My idea of Morocco was filled with exoticism; exotic spices, exotic music, exotic nights under the North African stars and while most of it held true, it wasn’t my time spent in Fes nor my time spent in Chefchaouen or even Marrakech rather, it wasn’t until my departure for the Sahara desert that my soul was completly awaken in regards to what Morocco is about. Our driver picked us up at 8AM on Tuesday to embark on our journey from Fes to Marrakech, a journey that would be filled with camping in the desert as well as unknown cities along the way. The long car ride gave me a bit of anxiety plus the idea of having no cell service whatsoever but all of that quickly changed once we left the city of Fes and made our way on the highway. The roads constantly twist and turned but the scenery was breath taking; our driver comparing the rocking cliffs and mountains to those of the Colorado Rockies…I couldn’t agree more!
I was grateful to be disconnected on this trip, learning about the areas and Moroccan culture from my driver. Learning about the Nomads or what some may know as Berbers that lived throughout different regions of Morocco. Finally, we arrived to the desert, a gust of wind gently blowing sand in my direction and with a quick change, I was on my way for my first ever camel ride excursion to take in the sunset but, the sunset did not happen. Rain clouds greeted us instead but I was comforted by our guide who opened my eyes in words that can not be described. He was humble and which seems to be taken for granted here in the states. We sat, surrounded by nothing but sand dunes and the peace of the wind and the following day was the same as we woke early to see the sunrise, sitting on the perch of the sandy hills, watching the sun slowly rise to awaken one side of the world!
I left the desert saddened but deeply grateful for the people I met along the way. The music that was played for us during the nights. Laying underneath the desert stars. Arising to the morning light. Feeling the glory of prayer calls throughout certain parts. The beautiful babies. The delicious food. The smiles. Putting things into perspective with the hopes that I can keep this feeling forever…
Morocco, I cherish you and as I write with tears filling up my eyes, I hope that I will soon be back to bask once again in all that you have to offer.