The County That Stole My Heart

Morocco was never on my list of places I had to go to. It was not there because a long time ago someone told me that they had been here and the people were aggressive and they had a really bad time of it. They were men. I figured a woman didn’t stand a chance so I never considered it again. But then along came Laura, an old acquaintance from 20 years ago and she threw out the proposition of going for a long trip.

My travel philosophy is always – GAO. Gao, gao, gao. Make it happen. Find a way. Do what you need to do but when an opportunity comes along, if I turn it down there had better be a damn good reason. So here I am.

Its’ been a month essentially. I don’t know that I had expectations coming into this. I hoped that this trip would give me new perspective. I could not have been more at a cross roads when I left. I hoped it would be a good experience. That we would have fun. Get along. Be safe. See some things. Meet some people. Learn a couple new things.

I had no idea what I was in for. I would not change one thing. Well. I couple things but those are personal.

First of all, I met some really amazing travel companions. Laura, of course, was amazing to travel with. Always willing to try anything. Easy to get along with. Fun. Smart. And she laughs easily. (mostly at me).  Good times.

Our tour companions, both North and South, were great too. We got so lucky in the North with 10 amazing women. I really don’t know how Mustapha did it…..but he made it! There were no disasters. No crimes, one injury (my arm and it didn’t even hurt). There was a boatload of Immodium, but hey….its’ Morocco.

I met some really amazing people along the way too. Not only did Mustapha teach us so very much about his beautiful Berber culture, but he introduced us to it in every possible, authentic way. We did things you would not do on your own and things you would not do with a big group. Lovely homes in the mountains, home cooked meals, access to places and things that were part of his past and present but so interesting for us to experience.

We did things that were amazing. Staying in the High Atlas mountains. Touring the medina in Fes. Staying in Moulay Idriss. Sleeping in the Sahara. All of that was far away and beyond my expectations.

But the most amazing part was the people. Without questions. The amazing local guides. The gentle Berber drivers, and helpers and hosts. The servers and the people we met on the street. Berbers are a truly amazing people. I’ve gushed about them before and I will probably gush some more. But honestly – – what a beautiful culture. I love me a good Berber.

Best of all – of course – Mustapha. The Prophet. He led us through thick and thin and never lost his cool. Not once. Ok once. But that’s ok. Nothing serious. A man I will never cease to admire he is.

His friends are lovely people too. We met a lot of them. He is so damn popular and they are all so nice, it was inevitable to make fast friends.

I will miss these Berbers. More than words can say. And because of that I will be back. Back to Morocco. Back to this beautiful place and these beautiful people. Sooner than you imagine. I will be back.

 

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