I’d been dreaming of visiting Morocco for the past few years, so when my husband and I were planning our next travel adventure I knew where I wanted to go.
It’s probably no surprise that my main motivation for traveling to Morocco was to get inspired by all the patterns it has to offer. And it DEFINITELY didn’t disappoint!
There were even instances where I was so overwhelmed by the color and artistry we saw that I completely forgot to take photos. Luckily, I still remembered to pull out my camera often enough to capture a few magnificent shots.
What I did not expect was to completely fall in love with the country and it’s culture.
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to a lot of amazing places, but I can say without a doubt that Morocco is the single greatest country I’ve ever had the privilege of visiting.
It’s hard to articulate what made Morocco so special, but I’ll do my best. First off, this was a trip of firsts for me: first time in Africa and outside the Western world.
Also, I found the Moroccan people to be among the most welcoming I’ve ever met. Nearly everyone we interacted with from our tour director (who was the BEST I had ever seen) to the shop keepers to the children playing soccer in the streets, were warm and friendly.
Prior to our trip, we did have some friends and family who voiced their apprehension about us travelling to a developing nation that was predominantly Muslim (99% of Moroccans follow Islam). And while I appreciated their concerns, I found their worries completely misplaced.
Of course, some of the street vendors can be VERY pushy which takes some getting used to, but there was never a moment in Morocco where I felt unwelcome or unsafe. On the contrary, nearly everyone we encountered seemed genuinely happy to greet us, even the camels.
Some of my favorite memories from the trip were moments not originally planned on our itinerary. One in particular that made a deep impression on me was visiting a family’s home in a Ksar near Erfoud (just west of the Sahara desert).
In America, there’s a lot of focus on buying new gadgets to make life “easier” and working long hours to make a living, yet we often feel lonely and disconnected. But in Morocco, there’s a much larger emphasis on the importance of community.
This contrast was never more apparent to me than while standing on this family’s rooftop and literally seeing their entire community built around them (ironically snapping photos of it with my multiple gadgets: a dSLR and iPhone).
Then there were the quintessential Moroccan experiences that made the trip exceptional. Like our 90 minute camel ride to a desert camp where we spent the night in the middle of the Sahara desert.
It was an otherworldly experience riding along the dunes where as far as you can see there’s nothing but golden sand.
Then all of a sudden, a little oasis comes into view.
Morocco felt familiar and foreign all at the same time and to me, it’s that clash that made it so unique to my past travels. I was also in awe of the ever changing landscapes (did you know Morocco has forests and even a winter ski town? I didn’t, I stupidly thought it was all sand).
Oh and I haven’t even mentioned the food yet! The food all throughout Morocco was incredibly healthy and delicious. Each meal was usually accompanied by cooked salads and olives, and ended with mint tea (which was divine). Just writing about it is making my mouth water!
Also on previous trips, when it was nearing the end of vacation, I felt exhausted and ready to return home. But not in Morocco. Although I was exhausted from the all the travel, I wasn’t ready to leave.
I could have easily stayed for several more weeks … or months.
By now, I think you get the idea that Morocco now has a special place in my heart. And if it’s a place that is on your must-see list (as I really think it SHOULD be), I heartily suggest you make it your next destination. And not only for its beautiful patterns, but also for its beautiful culture and people!