Morocco – Emily E.
I've been dreaming of traveling the world all of my life but was always waiting for the "right time." Last spring, my college roommate texted me and said, "do you want to go to Morocco?" In the midst of life changes, and 100% against my usual operating life procedures, I said "Yes!" and booked with Damesly. If I could go back, I would do EXACTLY the same thing again. It was the beginning of life as I now know it, excited for my next adventure with the women I connected and traveled with. Now, let me tell you, I'm a loner by nature and very much an introvert so I was pretty apprehensive about traveling with strangers and strange women at that! I never imagined that I would meet Kelly (trip leader) and immediately feel like we were old friends... and that each woman who I met on this trip would become one of those people I now consider a lifelong friend. Okay- enough about that piece...let's move on to the actual trip: 1). Travel itinerary and communication from Kelly prior to, during, and after our trip was clear, often, concise, and helpful. 2). Our driver and tour guide in Morocco were amazing; explaining the food, culture, customs, and answering 101 questions every day, along with jokes, laughter, and excellent driving in a very comfortable, air conditioned, never ending bottled water, snacks, and creature comforts van. 3). The cities. Just. Book. Your. Trip. We spent time in each of the big cities, as well as some amazing smaller villages along the way. Some of my favorites: a). Fes. We had a local city guide here and she was basically the queen of the city. She knew everyone, it seemed, and we were able to shop, (barter- she was super helpful here!), learn about the city as we walked through the city. I want to return just to see more of Fes with her. b). Marrakech. Another local city guide took us around and explained the history and significance of each site as we toured the city and its many wonders. I loved it here!! c). Chefchaouen. The City of Blue. So much beauty! So many cats! 4). The Sahara Desert. People, if you're still reading and you haven't decided that this is the right trip for you, the Sahara is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, in photos or with my own two eyeballs. It was breathtaking! I often dream about the dunes, the sound of nothing, the smell and feel of the sand, and that sunset I experienced while sitting on top of a perfect sand dune ridge, after my transport to that magical place on a camel. It was a darn near religious experience and I'm 100% heathen. Once the sun went down, just before the moonrise, the stars were so bright and so close it felt like I could reach out and touch them. 5). Lodging. Easy, peasy. Comfortable, safe, clean, and every place we went had the most delightful breakfast spread. Wifi at each place worked well, I was able to FaceTime and Video Message people back home easily. 6). Food. I love food and I'm fairly picky. It was so good everywhere. I came back with spices (from the spice market!) to try and recreate some of the food we ate...lots of tagine and so much variation of that dish, couscous to die for, and kabobs too! I liked how the food changed with the region...even though it was still these main dishes, the flavor profiles were slightly different. Delicious. I realize I'm writing a novel here and there is still so much to tell you! I'll wrap up with this: Just go. But go with Damesly. Kelly was an amazing trip leader, there were times that we laughed so hard together that we cried. I've been home for a month now, and I'm still daydreaming about the 10 days I spent in Morocco with this group of awesome, funny, adventurous women. There was time to be alone, to zone out and read while in the van, to take a nap in the afternoons if you wanted, to be social and laugh, to learn about a culture not my own. I think often of those evenings, with the call to prayer in the background, drinking tea with these women, talking about our day, our thoughts, our lives. Damesly travel not only afforded me the ability to experience a new corner of the world but also, gave me three new lifelong friends and that is priceless. I am grateful and excited for another adventure.