I was travelling in Morocco – a sensual haven by the way! Me, my back-pack containing a quarter of my wardrobe (which is quite big by the way and I somehow managed to put it into my not so big back-pack), my rolled up towel, my tooth-brush, my little bottle of Citronella to warn off those pesky mosquitos and my beloved Tea Tree oil Shampoo by Maple Holistics – which I wouldn’t have
left home without!
On my adventures, I came across a little village not far from Marrakesh. This little village known as Essaouira is allegedly where Jimi Hendrix visited in the summer of 1969 and wrote fair few songs to add to his repertoire. I was deeply in awe of the colors of this city, the colors…the sights, the smells, the lights, the call-to- prayer – which I found so majestic, the ever color changing bright skies and not to mention the vast blue choppy ocean. Yes Essaouira is a little Moroccan city that resides by the Atlantic sea. The waves are so vast and strong that many surfers and wind surfers have this incredible village on their list to go and surf!
Mogador was the once formal name of Essaouira and was once home to the Berbers (an old desert tribe that still exists). Now while there is still a lot of Berber influence in Essaouira, it’s now home to a wide variety of peoples – including a few Westerners that have decided to make this Jimi-esk village their home. I found that this little city carried so much history, culture and
really felt like a warm and welcoming family town. I noticed many people knew each-other – although they usually do in small villages but this had a special feel to it. It seemed as if people operated in such a way that they would do things for each-other quite unconditionally, like an unspoken rule of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”… but even more unconditional than that.
I noticed people’s doors were open, I got invited into many of them (usually blue doors) to drink Moroccan mint tea and play (as best as I could) on the drums or bang on them more like! Lol! I would just spend my days sinking into the warmth of Moroccan culture and thinking about my ancestors who had once lived there. Being half Moroccan, once I had finally touched ground with this land, I felt like I was completing a part of my family history. I was fascinated with this land from the moment I arrived. Even though I found it to be quite intense I must say – in other words Moroccans tend to not be afraid of getting all up in your grill you could say – I also learnt to just sit back, relax, drink tea and basically just learn to say NO.
That I would have to say would be my one of my own learn advice that I feel only fair to pass on to you. For females traveling alone, bring a head scarf, even though you may stick out like a sore thumb being a westerner in a scarf (although not always), in my opinion I found it helpful in terms of being less bothered on what can sometimes feel like a moment to moment basis. If you want to take it a step further you could always put a ring on your wedding finger and just point to it when it seems as if your about to be asked out for the 15 th millionth time! Not to sound egoistic at all, but it’s a well-known fact that Moroccan men are attracted to Western women. So all in all – I would say don’t leave Morocco off your travel map but make sure you pin in an avid NO into your vocal repertoire… I would say in actual fact don’t leave home without it!