Monday, 4 November 2013

4th November, 2013. Serene Panic

When I was a pre-teen my parents would talk about how privileged my sister and I were for living in so many European countries. My parents didn't leave Spain until they were 18. I complained that I would turn 18 and I would have never left Europe. I am 21 now and tomorrow I will be flying to Marrakech, Morocco, Africa.

It will be my first time travelling through a country on my own and will be couchsurfing this trip. For those unenlightened, couchsurfing is a website that puts you in contact with other open-minded locals that are willing to offer their free couch to travellers. There are some amazing and interesting people on that site and I definitely recommend it even if it's to meet people in your area.

I have to admit, searching for a couch in Morocco is very stressful: 24 hours after publicising my trip, I received 30+ couch offers from empty profiles with vague messages such as "you are welcome". A lot of my time was wasted declining these superficial invitations (and I nearly changed my mind about going to Morocco because of them) before I could mine my way to the propositions radiant with the hosts personalities. Millions of exchanged words later with truly inspirational characters, I chose one host for each city: Marrakech, Casablanca, Rabat, Tangier.

It was only when the hosts were settled that I felt comfortable enough to tell my family and friends. The amount of support I received was magnificent! I ended up on the phone with a family friend I hadn't seen since I must have been five, raiding tiny stores in Valencia at student-grouchy hours of the morning with a close and fantastic friend, nodding to trip details and advice over the phone with my parents. They have become as contributory to my trip as the rucksack that will become my life for the next few days.

The contents of my bag are as minimalist as I could get them. Travel documents, clothes, hygiene products, communication, a special gift maker for my absolutely honourable hosts, and Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything for my very knowledge hungry brain and long bus rides.

A tiny red booklet I did in 4th grade on Morocco's history, politics and trade is all I know about the country. In other words, not very much. However if there is one thing I have learned from travelling throughout childhood it's that people, everywhere, are just as interesting and kindhearted anywhere you go. All that changes is their perspective.

I am the wanderer above the sea of fog, I have no idea where I am going but the journey and the view are going to be spectacular!

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