A spontaneous trip to Marrakech, Morocco.
Marrakech, Morocco; Impromptu travel trip at the end of the year? -Yeah, why not!
Over the years, I have a habit of making sporadic and spontaneous travel decisions, off the cuff and, out the blue and I’ve just gone and done it again!….I’ll be spending the end of 2017 and New Years Eve in a country that I wasn’t even thinking about visiting just yet.
If you read (travel memory: San gill, Colombia.) I mentioned that I have a friend who normally calls me asking where I am in the world and comes and joins me for a little holiday. Well, this time around the tables have turned. I was literally sitting at work and messaged him asking where he will be for New Year’s Eve this year. He told me he and his girlfriend were heading to Marrakech, Morocco and invited me to join them. His words were “You come to me for once!’…So, me being me, I made a snap decision right there on the spot and accepted his invite. So all of a sudden I’ll be heading off to Marrakech, Morocco for a week and to see in the new year.
Another New Years Eve in another country.
This will not be the first time I welcome in the New Year in another country though. Last year was actually the first time since 2009 that I spent Christmas and New Years Eve at home. I’m actually more accustomed to being abroad than at home during this time. However this will be the first time in a country that doesn’t really celebrate Christmas and New Years Eve like we do, so it will be interesting to see how that goes.
Since 2010 these are the countries I’ve spent my New Years Eve’s:
- 2010, 2011, 2012: Sydney, Australia
- 2013 – Siem Reap, Cambodia
- 2014 – Gilli Islands, Bali
- 2015 – Bogotá, Colombia
- 2016 – Loughborough, England – (I finally came home last year)
- 2017 – Marrakech, Morocco.
Just a short holiday though.
So, I have no qualms in doing this trip, I’m actually really looking forward to getting back out there in the world after a year off from traveling (I’ve mentioned in many posts how I’ve had a sabbatical away from traveling after 6 straight years of it). However, the only thing is, it’s only going to be for a week. I’m used to traveling slow and taking long trips, my last trip was for a whole year in Central and South America. – Taking short trips is something I’m not used to.
In fact, this trip is the complete opposite to how I normally travel, I travel long-term and this is just for a week, I normally travel solo but the trip will only be semi-solo as I’ll be with friends for 4 days and solo for 3. I travel on a budget but seen as I’m only going for a week I don’t really need a budget. – I am a long-term solo budget traveler and this is going to be weird for me.
The last time I took a short holiday like this was when I came home for a week from Bali to head to Mexico. As weird as this may sound, over the 6 years I consecutively traveled the world, I’d come home for a week or two for a quick holiday from my travels when I was moving between continents. So, yes for me coming home for a week or two was a holiday from my traveling (work that out!) Never the less, I’ll be taking this holiday and although it’s only for a week I won’t be going armed with a packed itinerary.
A few ideas but no itinerary.
I have a few ideas and have done a little research into things I’d like to see and do while I’m in Marrakech, Morocco. There is obviously the main square, the souks, the city in general and a few other things in and around Marrakech but even with my limited time, there will be no packed out itinerary.
In all fairness from what I’ve read and seen about Marrakech, I just want to experience the city, the colors, the environment, the architecture, the culture, the flavors, and smells. I can’t wait to get my haggling game back in gear in the souks and to see the snake charmers on jemaa el-Fnaa. And, not to mention sample some famous street food, Moroccan tea and smoke a Shisha pipe or two.
I’ll be spending 4 days with my friends but once they head off there is something I just can’t miss: A trip to the Sahara desert.
Sahara desert trip.
This is something else I will be doing differently to normal from being on a short trip – I’ll have to do a tour rather than doing it the budget backpacker way.
What’s the ‘budget backpacker way? Well, it’s doing the cheapest way possible and doing as independently as possible. So whether that’s taking local transport, hitchhiking, or my own transport and making my way to the desert Via other towns and settlements, experiencing and doing it how a local would. For example, my friends will be doing the backpacker way and doing it for the fraction of the price as tours cost.
However, with my time restraint, I’ll be doing it the ‘tourist’ way.
I would like to do 3 days and 2 nights out in the Sahara, at the time of writing, I’ve looked at a few different tours but not totally convinced with getting value for the asking price is.
There are a couple of ways how to tackle this, just to bite a sour apple and book a pre-organised trip for once or to wait until I get to Marrakech and look for a cheaper option.
I know for a fact that if I wait until Marrakech, I’ll be able to haggle for a much cheaper price but it’s just the whole timing thing. See if I was going for longer like normal I would have the time to look around more once I’m over there and get the best price possible. I still have over a month until my trip, so in the next few weeks I’ll do some proper investigating into finding the best option and I’ll findings with you all.
Have any of you guys been to Marrakech before? What was your experience like? Do you have any recommendations? Apart from being wary of pickpockets and people trying to confuse you in the souks is there anything I should be wary of? Did you do a Sahara trip?
Or if you’re planning on heading over to Marrakech, Morocco in the future is there anything you would like me to find out for you?
Over the next month, I’ll keep you updated on my planning and research, be sure to check in to see the latest updates and don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter below.