Throughout my travels around Europe, I had the pleasure of exploring various countries and cities with their own unique cultures, languages, and histories. It was quite mind-blowing to overlook Paris atop the Eiffel Tower one moment and find myself dancing in a five-story nightclub in Prague the next but at the end of the day, there was still this cultural common denominator of sorts that prevailed across continental Europe. Churches spread throughout town, a love of bread and cheese, and advanced means of public transportation among other attributes could be witnessed in every European country I visited. Don’t get me wrong, I was a big fan of it all but there was a yearning inside of me to visit a place more remote, more distant, more exotic.
One day while my friend Nicolas and I were completing assignments in the CAPA London Center’s Cafe, we joked about the prospect of going to Africa as the continent was relatively close to us now that we were already across the Atlantic Ocean. Out of curiosity, we scoured the internet for flight and accommodation prices in Morocco and it turned out that the North African country had various wallet-friendly options to offer. Round trip flights for $40, two nights with breakfast included in a traditional riad for $20 total, it seemed too good a deal to miss out on. What began as a joke became reality as we looked at each other, looked back at our laptops, and booked our new adventure.
Our different adventure.
Morocco was filled with excitement and wonder. Arabic script populated every billboard in sight, the aroma of seasoned lamb emanating from local eateries filled the air, the bustling Medina filled with vendors and tourists seeking to do business, and perhaps the most impactful occurrence, the sacred Muslim call to prayer heard echoing across every town and village. This very much did feel like a new world and my wanderlust especially appreciated the visit. Despite the novelties, I noticed something. Children laughed. Women danced. Men smiled. The sky was blue. There was love, anger, joy, worry, and hope. Despite the variances in surface-level culture, I realized that no matter how far away from home you are, you will always find what matters most in this complicated world of ours: