“Travelling, one accepts everything; indignation stays at home. One looks, one listens, one is roused to enthusiasm by the most dreadful things because they are new. Good travellers are heartless.”
― Elias Canetti,
If you follow my social media especially Snapchat you would have known that I have already spent nearly 3 weeks in Morocco. If you didn’t know, then surprise! I’m currently travelling Morocco for the next 6 weeks on a volunteer program with AIESEC. I am currently teaching photography to children aged 9 to 15 years.
If you have been following this blog from the beginning, you would know that this is my first trip abroad; out of East Africa and also my first solo trip. This post is just to simply update you on the nearly first half of this trip. So let’s get into this.
I knew early enough that I wanted to go somewhere. I was not sure where but my initial choices were Mauritius, South Africa or Morocco. When it actually came time to choose a destination, I knew that I wanted to experience culture that was unlike my own. Something totally different. Then voila…Morocco! It is mostly an Arabic country that speaks Arabic, French and Spanish; definitely completely away from my norm.
So how was I able to afford this trip?
Planning and preparing for this trip was tiresome, daunting and exciting at the same time. I made up my mind early enough that I really wanted to go on this trip and decided to reduce my expenditure completely to exactly what I need. I carpooled whenever I could and stopped eating out among a few things and I was able to save up enough together with some money I got from some side jobs I had and my internship.
I also informed my parents early enough in the year that I would really like to go on this trip and I feel blessed and lucky that they supported and helped finance it.
‘Casablanca is a fancier version of Mombasa.’ This was one of the first statements I snapchatted as I was going by taxi from the airport to meet one of the members of AIESEC Casablanca. It is quite similar to Mombasa in terms of their architectural style and also the laid back mode of the people here.
I tried having a conversation with the taxi driver but he did not understand an ounce of English. I could only understand bits and bobs of the French he was speaking as I did some French in my formative years.
Is this how everyone in Morocco is? They cannot speak an ounce of English? Well, yes. Not very many people understand English and I must talk in staccato and gestures just to get my point across. Not knowing French or Arabic will make your life a bit difficult in Morocco. I even fall short amongst my fellow black Africans as they only mostly speak French due to the fact that they are mostly from Senegal, Cote D’ivore and Congo. I am alone out here. Lol.
However, Moroccans are very friendly and willing to help a traveler. If you ever get lost; ask a Moroccan, they may even graciously walk you to your destination with no strings attached. Well, just some of them.
I have also had the opportunity to travel within Morocco. I have travelled to Rabat, Fez, Meknes, Akchour, Chefchaouen, Tetouan and Marrakech. All these cities have a different vibe, making it a different experience each time. I am hoping to head to the Sahara, Essouira, Agadir and finally Tangier. Inshallah.
With only two weeks left to the end of my trip, I am already nostalgically looking at these past 3 weeks. I have had some interesting encounters, amazing moments and down-right terrible moments. This is what travel is all about and I am glad I have this platform to share them with you so that you don’t make the same mistakes that I did.
But for the most part, I am glad that I have met some amazing individuals from all over the world (Tunisia, Algeria, Russia, Turkey, Hong Kong, Egypt, Romania, Croatia; to name a few) that are making this trip even more worth while.
Have a lovely week.