“I want to travel”
It’s a saying we hear across the world by young people of all origins. There’s something about the mystery of global treasures that entices us right down to the core. Even after aggressively touring the planet, I can’t seem to put my finger on exactly what it is.
Perhaps it’s feeding a part of our soul we know exists but can’t exactly tap into.
Maybe it’s the allure of a foreign tongue, unchartered flavors, and exotic melodies.
Possibly we’re searching for an answer to a question we haven’t even asked?
Or you could just want to make that Instagram feed light up with magic.
No matter what drives you to wanderlust, it all comes down to one thing: You need to go.
I’ve been going for the past two years, conquering over 25 destinations and a few months ago, in July, I found myself touching down to an orange-tinged sunset in Morocco; a place I had only visited in my wildest imaginations.
Whenever I land in a new destination, my first thought is to breathe. I don’t think we give enough credit to the energy we can find in the atmosphere of a new place. Inhaling Morocco offered a sense of spice, and mystique for me. I knew, my first time in Africa would be an awfully great adventure which I was more than ready to embark on.
As a fiercely independent traveler, I was unsure of what to expect out of a Contiki guided tour. However, finding myself in Fez’s ancient Medina under the wings of a chaos-seasoned Moroccan guide turned out to be an incredibly useful resource. Even more incredible was being immersed in a crowd of like-minded new friends whose eyes were ablaze with the sights of new cultures like me.
Contiki’s curation of the ancient city Fez opened the door to a world of history and a preserved way of life. Moments I caught my hand grazing along the golden doors of the King’s palace, buying ripe Moroccan fruit right from the market, watching a traditional rug demonstration and seeing how leather is crafted at a tannery gave me a raw insight into the way of life here. There’s nothing more I treasure as a traveler than that.
And after trekking through Morocco’s countryside on a Contiki coach and devouring the landscape, our group arrived at the iconic city of Marrakech. It was here that Morocco’s reputation in global traveling had been built that I was itching to explore. Taking full advantage of the free-time I had, I found myself awe-struck as I drifted through Marrakech’s bustling square, purchasing handicrafts at the souk and striking conversations with locals.
I learned just as much about myself as I did this foreign land by stepping outside of my comfort zone and getting lost in its exotic culture. To me, that will forever be priceless.
Yet perhaps some of my most memorable moments in Morocco took place around a table of food. From theatrical performances of belly dancers and musicians to dishes steeped in flavor and spice, Morocco’s cuisine opened up doors my senses never knew existed. Visually, aromatically and tastefully each meal was a presence itself. You never forget a cuisine that can achieve that. I was impressed by the different cooking methods and how heritage has shaped the way people dine in the country.