I have this really great Army green vintage jacket that I found in a boutique in Crested Butte, Colorado. When I saw it, I knew it was mine and I had to have it. Perfect for traveling~wrinkled, washable, pockets. And, best of all, on the back this message ‘I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.’ Yes, those 14 words sum it up in perfectly. This is why I love traveling. This is why I love adventure. It’s the people.
Living in a ‘small world’ as in the same place, seeing basically the same people, doing the mostly the same things has its good points. Don’t get me wrong. But, stepping beyond those known boundaries of life, while sometimes scary, unpredictable, challenging and more, can and will make you better. You don’t have to go to a foreign country. You can push those boundaries and tiptoe onto the other ‘side’ wherever you are. It’s just a matter of doing it.
One thing I hope I’ve given to my now adult children and currently to my seven grandchildren is this zest for exploring all that life has to offer. And, there’s no better way to do this than with traveling. So, even if it’s a local road trip where you’ve packed a picnic and want to journey off the beaten track, do it! You’ll not know what lies ahead, but once you get there, you might just find something magical that touches your heart and soul totally unexpectedly.
That’s what happened to me in Morocco. A journey into the Sahara where I thought I’d get the cool experience of riding a camel and camping under the stars was sidetracked by a 4×4 ride to see what life is really like in the desert. Can you imagine it? I learned so many things. From how the people grow their gardens with having access to water three hours a week in a communal water trench of an oasis to weathering the harsh conditions year round. I did get some first-hand experience.
I was invited to have tea at the home of Hassan, a seven-year old little boy who lives with his mother. It was full of class and hospitality. Some bread, olive oil, nuts and, of course, wonderful hot tea. Taking off our shoes, we sat around a small table in the salon tent. Soft winds blowing, the sun beating down and warming the barren landscape, the vibrant colors of the patchwork tapestries and pieces of rugs let me know that this home had immense love and care in it. It was a huge honor and I’ve not been welcomed any more warmly even by my own family!
Hassan and his mother are Amazigh Berbers. The Amazighs are an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa, mainly Morocco and Algeria, and their rich long history, culture, language, traditions and life is intriguing and dates back to about 945 BC with Shoshenq I Berber Pharaoh, founder of the Egyptian 22nd dynasty. The word ‘Amazigh’ means ‘free people’ or ‘noble men.’ Yes, that is what I discovered with this unexpected gift of tea with Hassan and his mother.
If you have a bucket list, then you want to put Morocco on it. If you don’t like to travel, don’t want to or just have other reasons it’s not going to happen, then jump on my magic carpet. I will share the adventures with you. I have a hashtag about doing things in life. It’s #ifnotnowwhen. So, take to the cyberspace exploration and read more, just Google it, about these beautiful people and their history. In the meantime, ride with me into the desert for tea with Hassan.