SPECIAL EDITION TRAVEL SERIES: POST 2.0 HOW I TRAVELED BETWEEN 3 CONTINENTS ON A SHOESTRING BUDGET

Traveling to Morocco for the 2nd time in the past 3 years was a dream and a blessing come true. Going back and forth to the Motherland can be quite expensive and it’s the primary reason most Africans who live in America don’t return home so frequently. However, once you get over the distance and layover the experiences there are hard to forget. This time around my trip was quite intentional; instead of going back to Casablanca, which is in the north, I wanted to ground myself in Marrakesh. And this time, my focus was on transforming my health and subsequent global community. Here’s how I did it:

    • It began with connecting to the continent from Europe. For under $140 I was able to grab the last seat on Aegean Airlines overnight to Morocco from Paris (with a layover in Greece). That’s also a steal since you can easily spend almost $400 one-way to North Africa.
    • Once in Morocco I stayed in a hostel with a rooftop deck on the outskirts of the Medina for a total of $40 for 5 days. It wasn’t anything fancy but the peace of mind, the local street fruit and the proximity to all the shopping and eateries was well worth it. For me, it’s important to have a quiet place to rest when I want and the bustle for when I want to experience haggling and such later.
    • I booked a prepaid taxi on my credit card several days before I arrived at the Menara Airport (just $12 for a 20-minute drive) to take me to my lodging. The alternative was to take a bus from the airport to the medina and then walk to my place of stay, but I’m not about that life. If you don’t mind being stopped and asked where you’re going or have a local attach to you and then try to swindle you out of money for escorting you, take precautions.
Asha Tarry
Asha Tarry, Life Coach
    • Eating was of course one of the most pleasant experiences I was waiting for. Right outside the doors of my hostel were locals who sold chocolate and fruit which for just $1 you could sort 5 pieces of homegrown apples, oranges, pears and bananas. For dinner, you could swap an outdoor family meal for an average of $10 per person some nights with a fancy indoor restaurant meal for $30. Most times, I explored different styles for a variety of experiences. Sometimes, it meant having the best falafel and hummus on the roof of a beautiful restaurant or finding a café on the streets to eat a vegetable burger and fries.
    • Shopping on this trip was about purchasing a combination of small gifts for relatives such as aluminum bowls and teaspoons, mixed metal and stone bracelets, babouches, which are Berber-style handmade leather slippers and shoes, to beach bags and hats that have become popular in the states. The medina is also where you get to test your bargaining skills. Never go for the rates they first quote you and always be ready to walk away if you don’t get the price you want. Most times, they’ll lower their price.
    • The most profound experience for me out of this trip was finding the spices that have helped me transform my asthma and allergies. Prior to leaving New York I professed that I would find natural remedies to heal myself from the immense allergy storm I go through year-round. Not only did I find some relief, but I now have a connection with a new friend and business partner.

With all that I wanted to experience and some of what I did in Marrakesh, the most important thing for me to feel while there were the ties I have with my roots. My Moroccan heritage is one that I treasure deeply and always return to in some fashion. Though I wasn’t ready to do it all like so many people want to when they think it may be their last time there I know I will go back soon. To see the beach of Essaouira and the mountains where the Berbers reside are all a part of the journey of discovery for me, but so is going back to the medina and sitting in the park outside the mosque, and learning to improve speaking darija—Moroccan Arabic. My time away was what I needed, envisioned and proclaimed it would be. It was the remix of a lifetime.

*This blog is about becoming free. It’s a reflection of introspective thoughts and experiences that have crossed miles of self-discovery. I created this blog to inspire others to live life with less self-criticism, judgment and openness to new experiences. May you find that you learn how to live a life by design and on your own terms!*