Category Archives: Morocco

Travel and work in Morocco

A Horse With No Name

My first goal in returning to Morocco was to go to the Sahara desert.  Time and weather were against us during my previous stay and we were unable to make the trip.

At that time I was in the mind set that this trip to Morocco was a vacation.  I wanted to do all the things I did not have the chance to when I was working full time at Peacock Pavilions.   Go into town more often, treat myself to Les Bains de Marrakech, practice piano, go to the beach, and most importantly go to the desert.

This trip I had a return ticket and a dream of ultimately moving back to my beloved New Orleans and…settling?

It is humorous to look back, see yourself and ask, “How could I ever think that?”

I knew the desert would be magical but I did not know that the experience would completely throw any notion of “settling” out the window.

Due to some miscommunication my initial traveling companion was unable to accompany me on the excursion.  So in a panic of missing the desert again I contacted an acquaintance I had met at this year’s Mardi Gras who I knew was in London.  A true friend of a friend of a friend.

Via Skype:

“Todd!  I know you want to buy a ticket to Marrakech and go to the desert with me!”

“Can I call you?”

Within 30 minutes he had purchased a ticket to Marrakech from London leaving in 5 days.

When we met at Mardi Gras the conversation was just as abrupt and sincere.

“What do you do?”

“I travel.”

“I travel!  I’ll be in Italy and Morocco next week.”

“Maybe I’ll stop by.”

All of our communications were short and quick to the point.  Neither of us ever looked at the fact that we barely knew each other.  Our mutual friends were the basis of our trust.

So the magic of Mardi Gras and my beloved city of New Orleans created a remarkable friendship that aided me in fulfilling my desert journey.

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Filed under Morocco, Travel Inspiration

A New Adventure

I have done this process before.

Two years ago I uprooted my five year life in New Orleans and came to Dallas to…work and save money.

Would you like to know how long 3 months of working at a restaurant and coffee shop in Dallas gave me to travel?

1 Year + 5 days.

Dates: December 5th, 2009-December 10th, 2010

Route: NYC-Italy-Greece-Italy-Morocco-Italy-France-NYC

The budget lasted this long because I was working via WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farming) and Work Away.  These are programs that provide you with numerous profiles of hosts situated worldwide who give you room and board for various jobs.  The only money going out was for my travel costs!

Through these programs I worked as a gardener, builder, cook, wood-chopper, farmer, cement mixer, painter, decorator, home school teacher, au pair, hotel staff manager, server, and marketer.

Phew!

After returning from this year long jaunt I prepared for what seemed…well something more like a ‘jaunt.’

I was given the opportunity of chaperoning my dad’s High School Spring Break Italy Trip where he takes a group of his students on a tour through Italy.

I had decided that once my dad’s group returned to Dallas I would stay and revisit Morocco to see friends and the family I worked for in the Fall.

I arrived in Marrakech with expectations of renting my own apartment but after looking at a few and coming to grips with rent prices I came to a disappointing realization, I didn’t have enough money…this time!

After a few days of squatting in my friends cousin’s abandoned Riad (In Arabic: رياض‎. A riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard) with no electricity or running water…I decided to return to the luxurious Peacock Pavilions, the boutique hotel in Marrakech where I had worked 5 months earlier.

It was wonderful to be back with the family and coworkers I spent almost every waking moment with only months before.

The day after I arrived I woke up bright and early to drive the kids to school.  This had been one of my jobs the previous trip and I was more than happy to do it again.  Every morning we would pile into the car (usually in a some what hectic, “we are going to be late!” way) and as we pulled out I would crank up one of the kids favorite songs.

Click here and continue reading…

We would belt our hearts out on the 15-20 minute drive and somehow this tradition became a type of meditation.  Having a degree in Music Therapy made this exercise obvious to me of its benefits for personal well-being but for the children it was just fun!

I instantly felt at home yet again.

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Filed under In Between Traveling, Morocco, Travel Inspiration