My sophomore year of college I was lucky enough to live and study in Lausanne, Switzerland. I had previously traveled outside of the country and had amazing parents who ensured I realized that the world was so much bigger than me. All of the times I traveled though I was still in my bubble. I of course didn’t realize this until November that year. Five of my friends and I were dreaming about the most amazing place we could think of to go… and clearly we settled on Morocco. Initially we were thinking Casablanca (how romantic!) and then quickly found that Americans should not travel there (not so romantic.) so we booked our flights to Marrakech.
Some friends of ours had previously gone to a city called Essaouira so we decided we would go there as well. Why not? We were in the country anyway. We flew in at night (yeah yeah not smart) and made it to Djema el Fna shortly thereafter. It was the coolest town center I had ever been to complete with FIRE BREATHERS and SNAKE CHARMERS. Yeah that’s a real thing that people still do. At any rate we started looking for our hostel and quickly found out there were no street signs and, oh yeah, we didn’t have working cell phones. So, 6 Americans started walking around trying to find our way around an incredibly crowded city. We were soon surrounded by children who we had been warned about (they will definitely take your wallets!) and were approached by a less than reputable gentleman offering his assistance; read not a good situation.
ONE HOUR later we found our hostel. It was a wonder I didn’t collapse from fear. After all of us sat down and thought about the night’s happenings we became so angry with ourselves. The children and our tour guide (who had no idea where he was going actually) truly wanted to help us but because of our fear and our prejudices (too strong? nope- accurate.) we floundered around Marrakech instead of receiving help and believing in the general good of those around us. We were so lucky to realize this early on in our trip because the rest of it was magic. We met some of the most beautiful people with truly wonderful souls and allowed ourselves to be immersed into the culture and were given special access to some BOMB restaurants that typically are locals only.
INTENTION: So what am I saying here? LIVE LIFE and realize that people generally are good. There is a lot of bad reported on in the news and yeah things suck sometimes but I can personally attest to the fact that if you go out and hug the world more often than not, it will hug you back.
I am a lover of people, trivia, and food... not necessarily in that order. I am a G.R.I.T. but have fully embraced the California lifestyle and driving techniques. Let's go get Sprinkles cupcakes and be friends. Find me on Instagram @paigingdunn