Morocco is by far my favorite place on earth. I haven’t been everywhere yet, and I rarely go to the same place more than once. But I have been planning my return to Morocco since before I left it. You can read about my longing for Morocco here.
I love Morocco for many reasons, including the people, the culture and the natural beauty.
The people are hospitable, friendly and generous. They treat visitors and each other kindly. To illustrate, my guide and I had car trouble outside of Ouarzazate. We pulled over on the side of the road to figure out what was wrong. Even as we were pulling over, a truck was pulling over as well to make sure we were ok. My guide spoke to the driver who was kind enough to give us a gallon of water. While they were chatting, another truck stopped behind the first. We had to move the car far from the road so that people would stop helping us. That’s not something I see often where I live.
Like many African countries, it is chock full of interesting history and culture. Spend a day in Marrakech and you will be almost overwhelmed by the culture around you. I spent time at Jemma El Fna, a square in the old part of the city (the medina). The square was full of stalls selling spices, jewelry, clothes, and fruit, among other things. There are, of course, many places to get henna tattoos done. In the evening, the entertainers come out playing music, performing magic and telling stories. I felt like I was in a story book.
It was in Morocco that I learned of Ibn Battuta, the famous Moroccan traveler who lived from 1304 to 1369. He traveled throughout North Africa, West Africa, the Middle East, Central and South East Asia, and China. He wrote extensively about his travels in a book titled Rihla (Travels). My favorite travel quote comes from this remarkable man:
Traveling – it leaves you speechless then turns you into a storyteller
I could not have put it into better words.
The scenery is almost magical. From the Atlantic Ocean in the north and west, to the Atlas and Anti-Atlas Mountains, to the Sahara Desert, there is always something delicious for the eyes to feast on. The colors are so intense that the sky is among the bluest I’ve ever seen anywhere. I have fond memories of driving through the Stony Sahara with the Atlas Mountains on one side, the Anti-Atlas on the other side, and the pink dunes of the Sandy Sahara in front of us. The Sahara Desert is my favorite place to be. Communing with nature came easy while sitting on the silent dunes that seemed to stretch forever.
These are the main reasons I love Morocco. There are many more and you should definitely visit so you can make your own list. Until next time, live young and travel.