This year, around the end of January, I decided I was going to go on a one-month solo journey around Morocco. I had just returned to Europe from a three-month trip through south-east Asia and a six-month volunteering project in Mozambique.
The program that I was participating in at that time, which included these trips, had one last part that had to be fulfilled in order for me to cross the finish line: the part in which we present what we did during the program and our conclusions about our discoveries. Since there were no clear instructions as to how we should conduct the last part, I decided I would get a little creative and possibly find a new challenge just around the corner.
Having met with friends and family in my home country of Romania gave me a subtle feeling of confusion. I forgot how to be “at home” and, surprisingly, I did not find the places I grew up in to be those that offered me a feeling of safety and belonging. On the contrary, it made me feel very alienated from myself and made it difficult for me to connect to people close to my heart. I was floating around in clouds of questions and feelings that were telling me new things about myself every day; and while it was a very complex and fascinating experience, it was a bit tough.
For a long time I had questions about managing a trip on my own; I thought my occasional shyness would get in the way of me connecting with locals or other travellers; I thought I would get bored at times when I wouldn’t be able to share some moments with a friend; I was thinking I will miss my travel companion and the types of wonderful moments we shared; I wondered how safe it would be for a girl travelling alone; what limits I would impose on myself, and how much I was willing to push my boundaries.
Luckily, the opportunity of collaborating with a cultural institute in Agadir, Morocco arose. I immediately got in touch with the contact person from the institute and found out basic information about their work. The institute organised activities – out of the box, inspiring projects, the aim of which is to create cultural activities for Moroccan youth and to promote respect for each other.
After asking a few friends who had already visited the country whether they thought it was safe for me to go alone, and after checking a route on the map, a few cities on the way, and very brief general information, I decided as a last part of my program that I would experience the culture of the north African country that is Morocco.
In the adventures I had gone on before, I was always together with at least one more person but, since I am a fan of challenges, I got extremely excited and decided I would take on this dare I had set myself up with. I quickly found cheap tickets that would allow me to spend the whole of March exploring and bought them during the next days. I started reading a little bit about the cities I had marked on my route, I checked out some blogs, looked at a few pictures, and without a lot of details, I had my trip planned.
I was going to live in the moment, and adjust the route as I got more information on the way from other travellers and locals. I booked a hostel in the first city I was going to land in, packed a light bag, and I was ready.