Recently I found myself back in Germany, only two-hundred kilometers northwest of my birthplace (Mainz) in the city of Düsseldorf, strolling along the Rhine River with my friend,Tracy. I’d first met Tracy at a German-language meet-up in Seattle over seven years ago, before she moved back East, to Boston.
These days Tracy’s been living abroad in Deutschland, working on her PhD, and exercising her general awesomeness in day-to-day life. So, I was super-excited to be able to catch up with her in Düsseldorf — a Germanic metropolis I hadn’t yet visited. Being able to explore a new town and meet up with an admired friend makes a great travel twofer in my book!
I arrived in Düsseldorf on November 20th, and my plan was to spend a little over a week in Germany, visiting family as well as some parts I hadn’t wandered through in over 18 years — back when I was learning German in Limburg an der Lahn and in Wiesbaden.
I recently returned from an eight-day solo trip to Morocco, or al-Maghrib as it’s called in Arabic, meaning the place-where-the-sun-sets. Morocco is a country I have wanted to visit for most of my life. Or since I was eight years old, to be precise.
There are many wonderful reasons a person would want to explore Morocco, such as to do any of the following:
Trek across Morocco’s diverse countryside, climb its craggy mountains, or meander through one of its sun-kissed beach towns
Join a camel caravan making its way through sandy Saharan dunes
Experience the famed imperial cities of Fez, Marrakesh, Meknes, or Rabat
Partake of delicious cuisine while sipping on Moroccan mint tea
Marvel at the existence oftree goatsand snap their pictures
Or, perhaps, simply to rock the Kasbah, rock the Kasbah
Another compelling reason for visiting would be to experience Morocco’s rich culture, which has been influenced by so many peoples: the Arabs, Sub-Saharans, Romans, Andalusians, and originally, the Amazighs (also known as Berbers), who are the indigenous people of North Africa.
These are all pretty dang good reasons to go.
And they all sound very appealing to me too, now that I’ve written them down! But they’re not why I went. They’re not why I’ve spent thirty-two years thinking about going to Morocco.
Before I talk about my recent experiences in Morocco, I figured I should first explain my reason for going. That’s what this blog post is about.