Prepping for Morocco

When I was 20, I created a “30 Things To Do Before I Turn 30” and promptly lost it. whomp whomp I found it again this November and decided to cross a few things off before May.

At the top of the list was travel – Egypt, Morocco, Greece, the Scottish Highlands, Salem, MA… Though I couldn’t make all of those happen in 6 months, I booked a trip to Morocco! As you read this, I am in Marrakech.

If you’re anything like me, you like to do a bit of preparation before any major trips. I thought I’d share what I did to prepare, in case it is helpful for anyone else.

Booking the trip

This was the easiest part, surprisingly. I had been fascinated by the National Geographic Journeys for a while now and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try one out. They have two main levels of travel – casual and premium. Casual has more relaxed travel (read – no 5 star hotels!) while premium is a more luxury experience.

Since I am headed to Morocco for the sights, not for the hotels, I booked a casual journey. This is the exact journey I’m taking. It includes all hotels, some meals and all in country travel.

That just left booking my flights and securing travel insurance. I opted to have the National Geographic tour operators book my flights, since that would ensure an airport transfer to the hotel. Could I have saved a bit of money booking it myself? Probably. However, the rates were comparable to what I found on my own and the ease made the extra few dollars an easy choice.

Learning

I prefer to go into a trip having read something about the area. It means I have something to “remember” as I am on a tour and I’ve found I get less overwhelmed by all the new sights and sounds when I have some idea of what to expect. The added benefit is that I can enjoy more of what is around me since I’m not on sensory overload!

For this trip I read two memoirs about buying and renovating houses in Morocco. It’s important to note that both of these are outsiders representations of Morocco, not someone who is from the area. I attempted to find a Moroccan’s story, but couldn’t find any that would arrive in time.

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The Caliph’s House by Tahir Shah

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A House in Fez by Suzanna Clarke

 

Packing

Packing for this trip was the most stressful part — by far! The tour company requested that we bring only a backpack and a small daypack. Having successfully traveled to Paris and London last spring in a carry-on made this slightly less nerve-wracking but I wasn’t sure the size difference between my Away carry-on and a backpack.

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Sunday Salutations #4

Sunday Salutations are my opportunity to offer you some reading/pictures/songs for the end of your week.

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Pasadena Housewife. Art Print – Janet Hill Studio
    • Rosie the Riveter gets an update!
    • Janet Hill Studios is one of my favorite places to look for art inspiration. I have a print of her Pasadena Housewife (above) in my living room.

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What I Read: January/February 2020

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Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss

Rating: 5/5

A weird and wonderful novella about a teenager forced to go on an archaeological experience with her bus driver father, her timid mother, an aging professor and a group of impressionable college students.

Scratched that The Secret History itch in a way nothing else has been able to!

 

 

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Body Love Every Day by Kelly Leveque

Rating: 4/5

I really enjoyed her first book, Body Love, and was pleasantly surprised by the cookbook version of it. Great if you want to grab some healthy recipes without the judgement.

 

 

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Sunday Salutations #3

Sunday Salutations are my opportunity to offer you some reading/pictures/songs for the end of your week.

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As you read this I am furiously checking my bags before I leave for Morocco. I am slightly terrified but mostly thrilled to have the opportunity to travel to a country I’ve wanted to visit for so long.

  • I first came across the word anthropocene in a poetry class. This essay is just the right kind of nerdery about the word and its interplay with climate change.

  • Packing books for a trip. Topical but since I subscribe to the Rory Gilmore method of carrying books… for reference, Rory carries 1 bus book biography, 1 bus book novel, 1 lunch book – preferably essays, 1 book of short stories. 

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Sunday Salutations #2

Sunday Salutations are my opportunity to offer you some reading/pictures/songs for the end of your week.

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Luke Edward Hall, “Diana”

 

  • Gender and sexuality are hard y’all. I really enjoyed this profile of Lachlan Watson who plays Theo on Sabrina.Their journey to defining their identity, and the way they fought to have different identities shown on screen should be required reading.
  • I read this profile of how Gilmore Girls & Parenthood star Lauren Graham spends her time. Moral? If you want to be creative, make time to see/do/feel creative things.
  • Liberal arts has a branding problem. Or at least it does according to potential students. As a Kenyon grad, I think about the value of my education every day but I’m not sure that articulating the ethos of it would work with my students.

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Sunday Salutations #1

Sunday Salutations are my opportunity to offer you some reading/pictures/songs for the end of your week.

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Designer Kit Kemp for the Haymarket Hotel

I’ve been wondering for months how to get back into blogging and had the realization yesterday that…you just do it. So here’s the first post in months, but hopefully you’ll hear from me again much sooner than that!

  • First up in articles this week is a former FBI negotiator’s tips for travel. I’m headed to Morocco so, so I’ll take all the tips and tricks I can get!
  • I’ve been trying to organize my schedule using timeboxing this week after reading this article about it in the Harvard Business review. Have you tried time boxing?

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  • I’ve been relatively obsessed with my childhood friend Ashley Trabue’s work. She shares her amazing art and her words of wisdom on Instagram. Give her a follow!
  • The rapid flow of information has made us all distractible. I’m trying to combat it with these 4 simple exercises. Care to join me?
  • I’ve been obsessed with Kit Kemp’s work for various hotels. So much design inspiration!
  • This week I’ve been listening to my February playlist, but mostly this song on repeat.

 

The Wayward Children Series by Seanan McGuire

Since the fourth book in The Wayward Children series was published on Tuesday, I thought it was high time I shared my review of the books. 

 

 

“You’re nobody’s rainbow.
You’re nobody’s princess.
You’re nobody’s doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.”
― Seanan McGuire , Every Heart a Doorway

 

 

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These books are for every person who ever felt too weird, too different, or too out of place in our world. For every kid who read about Narnia, Wonderland, Neverland, and Hogwarts and thought, “yeah, there’s where I would fit in.”

They’re for the adults who are still waiting to recapture some of the same magic that they found one afternoon in a backyard with their friends. That doorway to another world…

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