What It’s Like to Live in Marrakech, Morocco

Reflecting on the second one month of my Remote Year revel in. If you neglected Month One from lifestyles in Cape Town, learn it right here.

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Life in Cape Town was once necessarily one month-long honeymoon — particularly because it was once the primary thrilling month of my Remote Year adventure — and consequently, transferring to Morocco for 5 weeks felt just like the whiplash identical to tradition surprise.

February was once a quiet, pensive and difficult month — and my reflections from the second one month of my travels via Africa are just a little extra open-ended consequently.

I’ll get started from the start, although:

Our first Remote Year “transition day” was once an extended one — our longest of all of the revel in.

(Quick FYI for someone who wishes it: Remote Year is a commute program that allows virtual nomads to are living and paintings in a distinct nation each and every month. At the top of each and every month, you transition in your new house/nation.)

We left Cape Town at the night of Jan. 26 and arrived to Morocco mid-day at the 28th… I feel. It’s nonetheless — nonetheless — just a little of a blur, to be truthful. We flew east via Dubai (9+ hours) the place we attached to Casablanca (eight hours) — then we drove 3 hours to our house for the month, Marrakech.

It was once lengthy — however touring with 50+ new pals made it really feel extra like an journey. And, smartly, wine is complimentary on global flights.

Here are some candids from the trek: 


In Marrakech, we lived within the Atlas flats (pictured beneath).

It kinda felt like Melrose Place, since our whole Remote Year crew was once housed in the similar advanced—while in Cape Town we had been divided between two structures in separate neighborhoods.

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One of the most efficient issues about spending 5 weeks in Morocco is that I had an opportunity to peer a lot of it. Marrakech, in fact — in addition to Fes, Tangier, Chefchouen, Agadir, Casablanca, Essaouira, and Tagazhout.

… Oh, and the Sahara fucking desolate tract! You wouldn’t consider how crimson that sand seems to be in actual lifestyles.

Here are a couple of of my favourite recollections from the month:


As a carry-over from Cape Town, I spotted I used to be nonetheless experiencing what I’ve come to understand as “Remote Year time warp,” which is principally a constant circulate of days the place you’re like, “how the fuck is it already 6 p.m.?”

It were given “worse” in Marrakech, although — and in all probability that’s as a result of I rather actually spent numerous the month in limbo. We took a handful of weekend journeys around the nation — together with one 12-hour (and again) highway shuttle to the Sahara desolate tract. Plus, I traveled to Mexico for my sister’s wedding ceremony, which entailed 9 flights overall. Even strolling to our administrative center area took 30+ mins each and every approach.

Obviously no longer issues to bitch about, however simply portray an image. And on a an identical observe:

Moroccan way of life was once an infinite departure from anything else I used to be (or am) used to. I discussed this in our catch-up put up; however by way of the top of the month, I longed for conveniences I’ve grown used to (or even overpassed) as an American. I neglected such things as draft beer (nonexistent), the convenience of Uber or Uber Eats (nonexistent); faucet water, ice, and such things as chilly espresso drinks (nonexi-… You get it).

I used to be ill of my restricted dresser.

My heater by no means labored.

And in all honesty, I wasn’t in love with my residing state of affairs — it didn’t really feel like house. My roommate was once touring in different places for lots of the month, too. (RY is tremendous versatile like that.) Or perhaps with the entire collective lifestyles shit that was once taking place, I simply neglected feeling like I had a house.

We had been residing amid a most commonly Muslim tradition, the place faith is leading edge (you’ll be able to listen the prayer name 5 occasions every day) — that was once truly cool to revel in, surely. It felt jarring from time to time, although, to understand that many private personal tastes, sexual orientations and possible choices had been unlawful.

Yes, unlawful — such things as homosexuality, intercourse out of doors of marriage, even having alcohol in a standard Moroccan house.

There was once one evening I drunkenly made out with a Moroccan bartender (lol) simplest to rip myself away seconds later knowing my movements technically weren’t prison.

(I will have to observe: I realize it appears like I’m complaining or no matter, however I truly did love my time in Morocco — I’m simply portray a good image of ways other it felt; particularly since Instagram/the Remote Year revel in can seem to be an utter spotlight reel.)


Now, that collective lifestyles shit I discussed:

As a complete, it was once a truly heavy month for our Remote Year crew.

The Dip,” as we known as it. It jogged my memory the best way I’d really feel amid an excessively gray, chilly, darkish Chicago wintry weather.

I guess it’s commonplace to really feel this fashion in February — like, we’ve were given no vacations to look ahead to, it’s day by day of less-than-ideal temperatures, it will get darkish early, and so forth… Who can relate?

Among the gang, it appeared that everybody was once navigating some form of lifestyles transition. Some of my closest pals had been blindsided by way of layoffs, breakups, and — worst of all — dying.

It left a palpable layer of emotion around the crew. One of the ones situations the place you’ll be able to’t simply slap an old-fashioned “however whats up, the whole thing occurs for a reason why!” onto the top of your sentences. You know what I imply?

I felt helpless and accountable that I couldn’t shake my very own “secondary disappointment” from all of it all the way through the month.

In an effort to search out the silver lining, although: Holy shit, did it convey us nearer in combination than ever.

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Personally, I started to really feel rigidity and power to make large selections for what to do with my weblog/profession this 12 months. Most days I’d get up feeling motivated to take on my lofty to-do record, however it might dwindle by way of mid-day.

I’m a large believer that we undergo our lives in seasons, and I simply wasn’t in a piece season in February. I do know that’s fucked up (as a result of I paintings for myself), however I simply didn’t. (Work rut, ya’ll — I do know you’ve had ‘em too!)

I attempted tougher, however the extra I attempted to drive myself to do one thing I didn’t need to, the extra I resisted it. And the extra I procrastinated. So it was once like my very own makes an attempt at self-control had been the very issues sabotaging my productiveness.

So I gave myself a wreck and determined to waft via the remainder of February. And after I stopped placing such a lot power on myself to produce and monetize and create, my environment — Morocco; lifestyles, even — felt extra magical.


By the top of the month, issues gave the look to be falling into position. And by the point we had been able to close up and head to Lisbon (our 3rd month’s vacation spot on Remote Year), I felt so at-peace in lots of spaces of my lifestyles.

… More to return on that.

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Looking again, Morocco expanded me in techniques I didn’t know conceivable via conversations with individuals who have fully other views and lifestyles reports.

My 2d month on Remote Year/residing in Morocco for 5 weeks driven me to lean into conversations with individuals who are living, glance, get dressed, suppose and worship otherwise than I do. To reconsider a few of  my priorities and values. It humbled me into changing into extra fluent within the common language of human.

(I used to be an ace at bartering with taxi drivers in Arabic, by way of the best way. Proud second!)

Friends — fellow Remote Year individuals — began to really feel extra like circle of relatives.

I was shut with other folks I hadn’t at first anticipated to, and everybody started to open up about quite a lot of levels of restore or trade they had been going via. The therapeutic nature of all of it made me notice how a lot I omit instructing/my lifestyles as a health trainer…

It was once the little issues that made it so memorable, like loud side road site visitors, stray cats (all over the place), highway shuttle playlists, getting misplaced within the Medina, consuming Moroccan tagine for reputedly each and every meal; and leather-based backpack-buying adventures.

But it was once the spontaneous issues that made it significant: Tearful conversations at the kitchen flooring, obnoxious reunion hugs (those that experience a working get started), dance events in the course of the Sahara desolate tract, and a marvel discovery of Imodium, crackers and a bottle of water leaning towards my door after that four-hour bus experience from hell.

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All issues that simplest scratch the outside for whilst Morocco will all the time hang a different position in my middle.

Onwards and upwards to Lisbon, our subsequent Remote Year vacation spot…

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