In this 3-part series, I’ll share my first hand experience of the places I visited on this trip to this vibrant country – Marrakech, Ourzazate (Morocco’s Hollywood), and Taghazout (the hippy-surf Mecca).
Jump to the part you are most curious about:
As I take in the electric pinks and pale yellows of my last sunset in Taghazout bay one last time – the camels strolling along the water their humps dressed in colorful carpets, led by men in long tunics as they probably did 400 years ago – only now they glance at their smart phones every once in a while – seagulls slicing through the darkening sky, surfers bobbing up and down on glassy waters hoping to catch one more wave… a rush of memories and impressions of the past two weeks flood my mind’s eye.
This was a spontaneous workation trip – part remote work, part vacation – a balancing act of responsibility and FOMO – decided on and booked 3 days before departure fuelled by bad weather back home and a thirst for adventure.
I work remotely for US based advertising clients and in parallel building a Coliving project in Portugal. This freedom allows me to do my work from virtually anywhere in the world as long as the wifi is strong and the time zone not too drastic. Africa works perfectly well. Last year I escaped to Cape Town and it was now time to explore Morocco.
I held out on visiting the country as I had a feeling that traveling as a solo female would be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous which is why I’m writing this – to give other female travelers an idea of what to expect. Full disclosure: I went on this trip with a male friend who happens to be Arabic, but I intently observed both the attitudes towards me when I walked alone as well as other travelers we encountered and local women. Additionally, my friend was able to lift the lid on and decode many of the customs and attitudes I may have misunderstood thus giving me a unique peek into a culture that is very different from mine, helping bridge the gap between my Western formed perceptions and actual street level reality. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy my interactions with the locals were and the general feeling of order and safety. It’s a large country that seems to function fairly well despite some places looking very traditional – which is what attracts us to places like Morocco, and travel in general…
Infrastructure is quite good, streets are clean for the most part (even though sidewalks are definitely not as much of a thing as they are in Europe), at least in the areas where we traveled, people seemed well off and there were lots of men, women, and children out in the evening.
Now onto Part 1: Marrakech!