as my plane approached low over the desert city landscape of marrakech, i was a confusion of thoughts and feelings. i was really excited, and ready for adventure in the unknown, but i also had never been to a third world country on my own without any help before, or africa for that matter. i had no idea what to expect, and this also would be my first time to travel to a country with such a significant muslim presence, and that also made me a little nervous. it’s one thing to be open-minded and religiously tolerant in the USA, but things shift dramatically when you leave home and suddenly you’re the minority, especially in these times we live in. you begin to realize how little you know about the world, no matter how “aware” and “informed” you consider yourself back home.
which is why i hired a guide for my first week in morocco. when i landed, i still hadn’t booked an exiting flight yet, but i had an idea that i would be in the country for more than two weeks and less than three, so i figured the best way to get my bearings about me was to hop in with a guided tour until i felt comfortable to strike out on my own. i know some adventurers would view this as cheating, but this turned out to be one of the best decisions i made on my entire trip.
the wheels hit the ground with a harsh bump, and the plane bounced high back into the air, frightening passengers and waking me from one of my usual daydreams, Continue reading morocco, pt 1. marrakech: as-salām ‘alaykum