Chefchaouen, Fes, & Spaces in Between, Morocco
Semana Santa in Spain is the equivalent to spring break in the United States. I had over a week free and decided to fulfill one of my dream trips of traveling to Morocco. I’d wanted to visit this country for a long time. My interest was sparked the first time I came to Spain three years ago. A friend and I traveled down by car to Algeciras, and took the ferry across the strait to Tangier. We spent the night there and arrived by bus to Chefchaouen the following day. This smaller city in the mountain side interested me because of the range of dark sea blue to sky blue colors in which the buildings are painted. Walking around the city you see the most beautiful doors and walls. The beginning of the trip, though different than I imagined Morocco to be, was like a wonderful dream come true.
When we arrived in Fes a couple days later, the dream took a rough turn due to a severe case of food poisoning. It’s common when traveling to a foreign country where your body is unused to consuming the quality of food provided, to get sick. It’s happened to me before in Indonesia and India but it was never so debilitating. While going through the throws of sickness, and looking back now, I wish I had taken more precautions. I am in fact an experienced traveler and should be more conscious when abroad. When I planned the trip to Morocco I allowed more days in each place than I have in many of the European cities I’ve visited this year because I didn’t want to just pass through. I wanted to spend some significant time in each place and experience the country best I could outside of tourism. We planned to also explore Marrakech or Casablanca after Fes, but I was unable to do the travel. I spent a couple days in the hotel, unable to leave, and felt I missed out on a lot that Fes had to offer. Luckily, I had a very patient friend who was kind enough to care for me bringing water, food, and medicine back from excursions into the medina. When I was feeling better we took the train from Fes to Tangier and then the ferry back to Algeciras and bus returning to Madrid.
I rarely have regret. It seems like a useless way to look back on an experience because you’re implying that you didn’t learn from it. From this I have learned quite a bit. I’ve been reminded there are many situations out of my control, but also that carelessness can really cost you, your time, money, and enjoyment. I will prepare better in the future, and I am grateful for the good health I normally maintain. But there is also something much more significant than that. When people see my posts about travel they believe that in every moment I am enjoying myself, because my posts consist of the best parts of the trip and I try to share with you the beauty (through my photographs and writings) I see in a place or a person. In many moments it’s true that I am having an incredible time. It’s amazing to travel, to see the lifestyle in other countries, hear the language, see the colors, taste the food (when it doesn’t make one sick), and explore places with friends that have only been visited in photographs and dreams. I will always be grateful for the opportunities I have had, because I have seen and experienced a lot more in my 23 years than many will in a lifetime. On the other hand, the reality is that traveling can also be very taxing mentally, emotionally, and physically and your life becomes so when you do it constantly. This trip has reenforced what I have been thinking for some time now. I’ve been desiring a more stable existence. My priorities are rearranging and my focus shifting. That’s not to mean that I won’t travel again. I will always have wanderlust in my blood and bones. I still plan to take trips and may even go to Paris before I leave Europe. I would also love to return to Madrid again though cannot definitively say when that will be. Now I’d like to have a comfortable place I can call home, people I can spend time with for longer than a few months, and to stay somewhere without having an expiration date so that I can pursue goals more whole heartedly. I have purchased my plane ticket back to the USA. I plan to return June 1st. I will be visiting family and dear friends for a couple weeks and thereafter hope to return to Miami. It seems that the nomadic journey I have been on, will shift into a calm and I hope more balanced and rewarding lifestyle.
xo Deena Danielle