Morocco is almost entirely what I imagined, but in a way it’s very different too. Expectations are a tricky thing, especially when it comes to travel, because they can easily lead to disappointment. You spend so much time, energy and money when planning your adventure and all you can base your expectations off is reviews online, guidebooks and what people tell you about a place. Sometimes it’s spot on and sometimes it’s not. Dealing with disappointment on the road is really hard, but it’s important to get past it and make the most of your adventures.
As I’m really at the end of my travel money now, I’m cautious about money. I’m quite simply happier when travel is cheap. My trip to Morocco was part curiosity: a new country, continent and way of life. But if I’m honest there was a big part of me that picked it out because it’d be a good opportunity to slow down and save some money. I had heard it was really cheap from fellow travelers and read everywhere of bargain prices. So when I arrived at the train station in Tangier to find that the train ticket was over twice the price quoted, I felt deflated. 350 Dirham was a lot more than 160 Dirham and it just seemed to be a long line of things being more expensive than I planned. The ferry from Tarifa to Tangier was 36 Euros, we had read that it should be around 24 euros. We went to a supermarket in Tangier and paid more for groceries than we would expect to in Spain… what was going on here? What happened to my affordable adventure to Africa?
After an hour of feeling a bit sad that the prices had been so wrong, I finally clicked. After realising that yes, it is more expensive than I thought and yes it’s going to make my upcoming few weeks of travel a little more difficult. I finally realised that I am in AFRICA and tried to think of when I’ll next be here, which is probably at least a few years away. So, the cost of not enjoying this trip and not doing it properly will far outweigh the cost of dipping into my overdraft a little in the coming weeks, if I need to.
Today I was called a princess told that I “look like Lady Gagga” and that I have “beautiful eyes and a big ass” – they’re a bunch of charmers here. And there are snake charmers, too.
I think I’m going to slowly fall in love with the winding streets and bustling markets of Marrakech.
Have you been to Morocco? Where did you love? Suggestions, please!