Heal the Wound: Morocco

My first Moroccan experience left a sour taste in my mouth. On July of 2016, I arrived in Tangier hopeful and excited to explore a country of which I had heard many wonderful things.  Little did I know, I’d experience what would be forever remembered as one of my worst travel experiences nearly losing my life. After much consideration and thought, I decided to give Morocco one more chance where this time, instead of boldly walking into a country who saw me unknowingly imposing my sexuality during its holy month of Ramadan, I’d lay back, take it easy, and try to blend in as much as possible to learn and grasp as much as I could about this country. I’d begin in the city of Marrakesh and work my way up to Fez for no more than a week where I’d hope to dive and get to explore its rich, vibrant culture. While I was quite nervous to embark on this trip, I felt it necessary to confront the fear it left behind so that I could heal and grow as a human being. And so, I went.

A couple of things that have always attracted me to Morocco are the colors, the food, and the music. Being the nomad that I am, I’m always intrigued by countries that contrast what I’m used to in America. It always helps inspire me artistically while giving me an opportunity to see a different side of life that I’m not so used to living. Not only did I plan on diving into its history but also into its colorful markets where I have already purchased some great fashion finds. After all people like YSL, Jimi Hendrix, and the Rolling Stones did find Morocco to be quite an inspiring country. The Rolling Stones managed to record part of their 1989 album, Steel Wheels, in Morocco, while Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) found inspiration for his early fashion creations in the beginning of his career. YSL was the main reason why I decided to explore Morocco in the first place being that I love fashion and colors.

With just a few hours left till I depart, I can confirm that the experience and approach to this country has been a different one from the last. When traveling, it’s important to be aware of the cultural differences and adjust accordingly to have the best experiences. And while I did tone down my image, I did find out today that men with their ears pierced and earrings translates to homosexuality which now explains why I was still unknowingly commanding attention. Morocco- I’m truly glad I had the opportunity to see your beauty, however, I will be the first to board that plane! I leave with lots of inspiration and stories to tell. Thank you!

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