It's wild to be sitting here a month after our spontaneous trip to Morocco feeling like it was a dream.
It was never part of the plan to visit any time soon - it had always been a "one day" trip. But fate would have it that this was the time. (The first time anyway!) And I'm not complaining.
As you might know from previous blogs, I've had an invitation to a huge family wedding in Jamaica sat in my drawer for the past 3.5 years. Every year it's been getting postponed - initially due to family circumstances, then due to Covid-19 restrictions, and most recently due to the company cancelling our trip 3 weeks before we were due to fly.
Over the past few years I've definitely developed more patience than ever before, and learned how to be flexible with plans. Sometimes everything can't be planned up to finest detail, and somehow I'm totally okay with that. I have no idea how, but the bride is taking all of this in her stride - It's fascinating and refreshing to see. The past few years really has taught us all so much collectively.
So here's what happened:
We were due to fly to Jamaica on the 9th October. I had pretty much packed - wrapped up my work commitments and I'd planned to take the full ten days off with rest days either side. It was family time, holiday time, adventure time rolled into one! But... Tui emailed us saying that due to rising cases in certain parts of the Caribbean, our trip was cancelled and we could either get a full refund OR book another trip with 20% off.
[Sound familiar? The exact same thing happened to us last Christmas and we were lucky enough to end up in the beautiful Maldives]
So we scrolled down the Gov website and looked at all of the destinations that were on the green list. We wanted to find somewhere that was sunny, a place that we could experience a significant shift in culture, would be cost effective for the time we wanted to spend there and had delicious food.
Morocco it was!
More specifically, Taghazout! It's on the coast in the region of Agadir and is known for huge waves, hippy vibes and international surf championships.
We booked it 17 days before we flew which is probably a new record for me (Little Miss Organised!) And we booked The Rui Palace Tikida Taghazout. It looked unreal on the website: Next level luxury, beautiful interior, seven swimming pools, right on the beach, all inclusive and the weather looked a lot better than it was in the UK.
As me and Daniel are fully vaccinated, we weren't required to take a PCR test before our trip, but we did have to order and organise tests for when we returned home.
Arriving in Agadir airport, we were the only plane on the tarmac! You could tell it was one of the first flights as things had started to pick up more in the travel industry, and it really was a blessing to see things through this lens as I was able to appreciate everything in a way that I wouldn't usually. It felt quite special.
We landed at around 10:30pm and when we arrived at the resort, I was blown away by the vastness and detail of the design. WOWWWWW what a hotel! We were greeted with drinks in the lobby, given our room keys and directed to the buffet which they had kept open later to accommodate our flight arrival. After we filled up on late night dinner, we went to our room and it was more of a suite than a hotel room. We jumped around, got into our comfies and cheers-d to a much-needed holiday before collapsing into a heap on the bed and falling asleep without needing to set an alarm.
I have to point out that the buffet selection was one of the best that I'd experienced in a hotel. There were so many different choices and options, and In loved that there was always traditional Moroccan food available - as well as sugary, minty Moroccan tea to awaken my senses in the mornings.
The pool situation was incredible, it spanned out across seven different pools and several levels. There were also a couple of adult only infinity pools, a swim up bar (it was closed when we arrived due to minimal staff), and a private beach area. The hotel was pretty much the only large resort in the area - although along the beach, there is lots of construction taking place for future projects. So this was a pretty awesome time to experience it.
It was gorgeous weather while we were there (mid-October), but it took a long time for the sun to come out. It usually popped out at around 11am. Which meant no pretty sunrise, slow mornings and grey walks along the beach first thing. But let me tell you, it heated up after that!
One of my favourite things to do was walk down to the little fishing/surfing village of Taghazout and hanging out at the beachfront cafes. It was incredible to immerse myself into the local culture, feeding the dogs and cats and seeing the locals taking their boats out for the catch of the day. It’s got such an amazing feel to it, with crumbled, graffiti-decorated buildings and hanging lights and colourful rugs spread out over the rocks my the ocean.
We even stopped off at a fish stall by the side of the road where the locals ate and tucked into some fresh grilled sardines and soft, warm bread. Our favourite sunset spot was Cafe Surf Berbere. It was like something out of a book! We would sit for hours looking our over the rocks and watching the sun move across the sky before it found the perfect spot to set.
It is amazing to see the beautiful wild cats and dogs playing along the beach - they would happily sit next to us for sunset and snack on food that we snuck from the buffet. We made great friends with the local puppies and noticed that they are picky with food because they’re spoiled with fresh fish from the locals and guests from the nearby hotels and apartments.
We booked 3 day trips while we were there all and three drivers had incredible knowledge of the area, were great fun and made our tours extremely special and personalised. (Would highly recommend Zakaria on the 'gram).
✨Agadir private city tour
A taste of the hustle and bustle. We went to Souk El Had and haggled for everything from sunglasses to spices. We also explored the old Medina (which was like something out of a film 🤩) and had delicious food on the Medina. **We noticed that the main section of Agadir is very touristy (with a British pub, loads of big hotels and touristy restaurants) so it was nice for the day, but I’m happy we stayed in Taghazout as that was exactly the vibe we wanted for this trip.
A little oasis in the middle of the mountains. We got really lucky with this one! We were the only people to show up for the tour and we were the only people in the valley for the first couple hours we were there. Usually there are multiple pools with water, but lack of rain means that the others had dried up. So we could only swim about in the first pools. There are tiny fish that nibble at your dead skin, and little turtles that swim around with you.
✨Essouira private day trip
This was my favourite trip! It’s all built within and around a fort and has a huge fish market where all the boats and fishermen set up. It’s crazy busy and so much going on at all times! I had huge oyster for less than £1 and tried my first ever sea urchin. There some incredibly quirky cafes and hotels there that blew my mind with their interior and food! Salut Maroc and Mega Loft are a must!
It was such a fantastic trip and I can’t wait to go back and see even more of Morocco! Marrakech, Fez and Chefchaouen are extremely high on my list, so watch this space.
I know from experience that it can be really difficult to decide when is the 'right time' to take a break. We often feel pressured to keep working...
But here's the thing, creativity and inspiration is such a powerful part of any business or journey. If you're someone who is building something, or working towards a big goal - I urge you to find creativity in the places that light you up the most. Of course, it would be amazing to travel and play all day everyday to embrace your creativity - but that's not always possible.
I've been working with my clients on getting their creative juices flowing on autopilot so that they can get the results they want without burning out.
As if we didn't already know how lucky we were to escape, after returning home on the early hours of the Tuesday morning, we found out on the Wednesday that all flights between the UK, Germany and Netherlands to Morocco would be cancelled. So all of the tourism we saw starting to pick up, would be dwindling down again due to rises in Covid vases around Europe.
It's such a shame that we're still in this uncertain cycle and it's been almost two years. It's hard to get too excited about anything or make solid plans without knowing whether they'll be whipped away at a moments notice. So the best we can do is find those windows of opportunities when they present themselves and try our best to make it work.
We've all had no choice but to embrace an element of flexibility over the past year, and I believe that as tough it's been, there are some huge benefits to this approach to life in general.
With that in mind, I can't wait to get you up to speed with some of the travels I have planned throughout 2022 (all going well with restrictions). So stayed tuned!!
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