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Friday, April 6, 2018 | 9:46 PM | 0 comments (+)
Sahara desert was never really in my top travel bucket list. Neither camel riding nor Arabic maze like medinas. But I guess surprises were not meant to be expected.
I stepped to Africa for the first time with my cabin sized backpack, a heavy heart, and almost depleted willingness to travel anymore.
Before Morocco, I was in Europe. Also my first time in the continent of my dreamland, which was not as dreamy as I have imagined for a lifetime. Sure, snow was exciting. But not winter, and the depression, and a dozen of misfortunes that came with it.
So, I had zero expectation of Morocco. I just wanted to escape the cold, having my daily dose of still cold but at least sunny winter, and of course catching up with an old friend who was flying over from the UK, joining me in my Moroccan escape.
I appreciated his company, we had a great one week together, explored the most touristy towns of the country, rode the camels, touched the milky soft Sahara sand, watching the stars with the sand dunes behind us. But then, as a typical person with schedule, life to live, and dreams to achieve, he had to return to the UK. And as a not very typical person, I was back alone in Morocco with my backpack who has been with me for too long. Dirty looking and ripped, expressed itself for being almost as exhausted.
I forced myself to enjoy, I met two other travelers and we decided for a spontaneous road trip, making a loop of northern part of Morocco, where the country blew me away. Endless green hills and valleys, Roman empire ruins, colorful medinas, towns covered with mural paintings, deserted beaches kilometers long, generous portion of meals, people who can easily speak 3-4 languages, high unemployment rate, corrupted police, people's hate towards their own king, and groups of youth who try to fight and contribute small for the country they love.
Morocco helped me to be reflective, in every sort of way. I originally planned to spend 80 days in Europe, but turned out staying less for Morocco, loving its humble tourism relatively to Europe. It has been the rerouting point, the learning curve, the fresh restart, that one singular brightest star in the sky, I never knew I would find in the dust without searching.
I have been through a lot. Acquaintances raised their eyebrows at me, aunties lost their ability to produce words listening to me, yet only the closest ones, those I shared everything to, were able to relate and laughed with me.
I, once again, grow as a person. Still far from maturity, but at least silly enough to smile over my disastrous turned blessing Europe trip.
Thanks to Morocco, my first ever African country.
And of course, you, who walked away from your comfort zones.
You, who came without hesitation to say hello.
You, whom I was more than willing to share the last slice of my pizza with.
April 6, 2017.
KA Progo. Seat 6E, 5. Somewhere in West Java. Indonesia.