My Dear Morocco


In the middle of November last year, when Islamophobia spiked globally, we found ourselves heading to Morocco, the country whose 99% of the population are Muslim. Most of my friends asked why? Frankly, I really didn’t know. Why not?
When my friends or anyone came to see me to consult their problems, telling me how desperate they are, I like to tell them to travel, because it’s along many journeys that we discover the answers of the questions we were not even know of before, and many times during travel that we can better hear the inner voice, the voice of our minds
Merzouga at 5 p.m., we packed our bag before mounting on our camels. The first half an hour of our ride to the desert camp was exciting enough, with the sunset over the Sahara desert as the background. When the night fell, silence took over. The next moment, our caravan, which was made of 6 human beings and 5 camels, were heading to the vast and quiet desert where no light or sound was present. The only movement that justified our existence was the movements of our walking camels. During the quiet hour in the middle of the Sahara desert, the voice of my mind was louder than ever.
The very same question seemed to repeat itself on that night at the desert. What am I doing here? I’ve traveled so far, just to ride the camel in the dark in the most freezing time of the year? On top of that, we happened to stay in the same camp as a group of joyous Brazilian students who seemed to be party-ready. Is it worth the money? Is this what I want? Am I happy? What do I want in life? Simple to metaphysical questions paraded into my mind.
But all the questions disappeared the next morning before dawn when I boarded our camel to head back to town. I’ve never seen the moon and stars’ light shining that much. The story of the nomads who use to moon and star lights to guide their way came into mind, as well as the words of the guide “you come to Morocco to discover.” Everything fell into place, and I have to admit that it was that moment, the moment we rode our camels under the stars was the moment I’ve been looking for. The moments that cannot be instagrammed, but engraved in our memories forever. And at the end of the day, I realized that I don’t need any reason to justify my travels. Once there’s no reason or set of rules, there’s no expectations, and once we don’t expect things to come, travel become more fun.
Morocco is not a country that offers you a perfect holiday experience. Dubbed (by me) India of Africa, Cities are full of beggars and touts. Most sellers are pushy, and the term ‘Moroccan hospitality’ always leave you in doubt. But in the same country, you will find the out-of-this-world scenery of the Atlas mountains that you never get tired of (at least for three days), the lively souks and the Medina’s maze of streets (that will lead you to the exact same spot one time or two), not to mention the riads with heavenly gardens hidden behind the dilapidated walls. Do I want a perfect trip? Not quite. To me, the surprising elements of this country already made me fall hard to Morocco, fall to its imperfections. This is My Dear Morocco.


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