Traveling is the only time where when you spend money you come back richer. We designed our Travel Journals to help you keep your memories in one place.
Read on about Kylie's Morrocan Adventure and see what her answers are to our Travel Journal prompts.
Name(s) of travelers:
Kylie (on a family trip)
What inspired the trip and destination?
I've had a few friends travel to Morocco, all of whom come back with glowing reviews. Morocco is this fascinating intersection of French, Middle Eastern, and African culture. Aesthetic pockets of the internet are littered with photos of Morocco, which for years had taunted me with glimpses of Arabic calligraphy, rich red rugs, fascinating geometric pools, and desert landscapes.
- Bahia Palace (Marrakech)
- El Jardin Majorelle (Marrakech)
- Scarabeo Camp (Desert Agafay)
- Kasbah du Toubkal (Imlil)
Favorite shops you discovered:
Shopping in the many souks of Marrakech will allow you to discover magic with every corner turned. After wandering through the souks enough times, you will eventually discover many merchants sell similar items to one another. Highlights of my purchases in the souks include leather poufs, old Berber rugs, and a vintage silver jewelry box adorned with camel bone and coral detailing (it’s a true masterpiece).
If you try to read up on restaurants and cafes ahead of time, you might find yourself disappointed. Nothing that feels westernized in any way will provide you with a rich, genuine Moroccan experience. One afternoon, I was absolutely famished and needed to sit down at whatever restaurant was nearby. I wandered into a side alley where an unassuming sign read “Dar Mimoun Restaurant.” Knowing food was the answer, what I didn’t realize were the magical properties this little restaurant held. Divine, inexpensive food, an overgrown garden in the building’s courtyard, creeping into every corner, magical mismatched china and silverware, high expansive ceilings, and a pouf footrest for every guest. It felt like the Moroccan version of Alice in Wonderland.
Most inspiring/memorable moment:
I was in Marrakech during the Hijra (Islamic) New Year without knowing it. I stepped out of a museum and into a small side road where hundreds of people were marching towards me with giant paper mâché puppets. Children were dancing and laughing and cheering. I joined the crowd once I was over my initial shock of such a sight, bought a fresh kilo of figs for 10 dirhams (the equivalent of $1), and shared them with perfect strangers as I paraded through the streets with the jubilant locals. That moment encapsulated pure joy.
Dar Les Cigognes is the most enchanting little Riad just south of Marrakech’s city wall. The Riad staff were nothing but charming, the meals served in-house were so delightful, and having access to the rooftop terrace gives all guests a perfect platform to enjoy sunrise and sunset each day. During my stay, I became particularly fond of my room — my entire bathroom was green. The bathtub, the tiling, the sink, you name it. After wandering through the dusty, humid, bustling streets of Marrakech all day, I’d draw a warm bath, put on the new ZHU discography, and get lost swimming around in my thoughts.
Anything you can buy off the streets. Marketplaces have vendors selling all sorts of delights: dates and figs, sweet, sticky baklava, divine smoothie concoctions (avocado, date, and honey…), spicy olives, and the most astoundingly fresh French bread.
What did you love about the local culture?
In Morocco, detail is everything. Not a single walkway, garden, riad, or restaurant has been neglected of myriad textures, patterns, colors, and smells. Everything about Morocco is vibrant and delightful. There’s so much to take in, you’ll never stop feeling overwhelmed (in the best way possible).
What advice would you give to others going here?
- Read up on the cuisine, it’s not traditional Middle Eastern food.
- Knowing French (at least some) will really help.
- Get a Moroccan SIM card at a local bodega instead of signing up for an international plan with your American cell carrier.
- The locals are very friendly and very forward. Entertain the possibility of new experiences. Always say yes when offered a cup of mint tea.