Last October I had the opportunity of exploring a country so unknown to me that I had no idea what to expect from it. The natural beauty and vast scenery of Morocco was so intricate and compelling, it was like nothing I had ever experienced. A week spent on a Busabout tour exploring the sprawling city, valley views and vast desert landscapes had me wanting to book my next trip before I had even left. While Morocco may be a turbulent country at times, involving the occasional harassment from men or the pressuring from stall merchants, it wasn’t a major issue for me, especially when travelling around in a group. For me, the city of Marrakech was a massive culture shock. It was unlike anything I had ever encountered, yet it was impossible not to immerse yourself in the abundance of culture, to be sucked into the infinite aisles of souks or market stalls, or to be swept away by enchanting Moroccan sunsets, with a signature mint tea in hand.
As with many poverty-stricken countries, you cannot ignore the conditions in which some people live. Walking through the streets and witnessing such extreme poverty was shocking, but the local’s constant smiling faces and their auras of exuberance, despite such poor living conditions, surrounds you and creates an air of wealth very different to that on the streets of Sydney back home. The people of Morocco welcomed us with fervour. It is due to the recent boom in tourism that this amazing country has started to thrive, yet they haven’t let tourists trample their culture and I love that it still retains an old worldly feel. Buildings made of clay lining the streets and markets stacked high with colourful spices and fruit allowed me to travel to a world where magic carpets and wish granting genies could really exist.
With all of your senses completely captivated it would be easy to spend endless days in the heart of Marrakech, but I would highly recommend venturing out and seeing more of what Morocco has to offer. With Busabout we travelled to and experienced breath taking views of Berber occupied valleys, nestling amongst the High Atlas Mountains – the most vast set of mountains in Northern Africa. We got the chance to feel like the size of an ant in comparison to the height of Todra Gorge – incredible rock formations that have an array of trails and paths waiting to be explored, and is often referred to the Grand Canyon of Morocco. Though, my absolute favourite Moroccan adventure was a camel trek through the Sahara Desert to sleep under the stars. To see the night sky, filled with millions of stars, from that perspective gave the illusion that we were in a whole new world. It was a truly a breathtaking experience.
The mysterious and captivating Morocco is a place I believe anyone who has a desire for the incredible should put on their bucket lists. I myself cannot wait to uncover more of this amazing country, past the tourist spots and into the real Morocco where I can learn more about the distinctive cultures of the locals, and the traditions that are so important to them. So put aside your worries, because this country cannot be more magical and you would be missing out if you don’t visit at least once in your life.