Expectations are a very “hot” topic in most people’s lives. Due to the power they can have over you, their ability to sneak up on you and paint an experience in a positive or negative light, the mystical phenomenon that is sitting comfortably in the family of prejudice is a highly thought about topic.
It is said you should not wait on a certain event in your life occurring in a particular way, that you should live in the moment; make the people in your life aware of the standards they are supposed to meet according to your wishes and judging by your values. This all makes sense and seems like it could work just fine if only people lived by it.
I tried not to have expectations about Morocco, how people live their lives, raise their children, make their decisions, and treat their people. Unfortunately, while gathering information for the trip, I became somewhat fearful at times and of course quite a lot of advice and tips about how I should interact with the people there as well as how I should behave.
I knew I was going to an emerging (moving upward from the status of developing country) state where the vast majority of people are Muslim. Immediately, I felt that I would be inferior in most cases, bearing in mind that from my experience in countries with a similar status, men conduct the affairs, they are the leaders of the family, and consequently have more power over women.
That isn’t to say that this scenario is not true for developed countries which are based on Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism or aetheism, but, because of prejudice and a few personal experiences that confirmed these theories, I was already building up some walls in order to defend myself from situations that were far from occurring.
I was prepared to go with a very straightforward approach, so that others would have no reason to doubt my word. I was preparing myself to behave in a manner in which I would not naturally interact: more rigid, hiding my willingness to compromise, and altogether colder. I was told I would have to bargain a lot, which was not a problem, since I thought I had the experience I needed from previous journeys.
From the information that I had been given by friends who had already travelled in Morocco, it is a safe country for women to travel alone, the infrastructure is good, allowing you to move from one place to another if for some reason you aren’t satisfied with one place. All in all it was looking good.
The only answer I managed to find regarding this very thin line, which has to be clear, understood and respected, is to ask loads of questions. As you might have read before, I am a great fan of questions for many reasons, and this is one of them. Having prejudices and expectations can influence your experiences in both a positive and negative manner.
Consequently, if you continue to challenge your conclusions about people, events, and feelings, you can determine whether they do actually apply in that particular situation. If yes, it means you have correctly used your experience to your advantage. If not, it means you have learnt something new, while disarming incorrect prejudices.
Finally, I started my trip feeling insecure, ambitious, curious, fearful, excited, calm, and most importantly convinced that I could make it a beautiful adventure!