Travel Diary of Abby Sands of Abby Photo.

Destination: Morocco

Inside Northshore Mar-Apr 2024

Travelers: A group of 9 from the Northshore

We Went Because: It’s MOROCCOOOOO!!!! It’s been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember.

Hotel Recommendations: In Casablanca and Rabat we stayed at The Barcelo (4 Star); Marrakech was Palais Blanc ~ a STUNNING 4 Star riad right in the heart of the bustling city and markets; Sahara Desert, we glamped (via camels) in 4-star tents with Berber rugs and handmade tiles.

Where to Eat: We went to many local places along the way, which I fully encourage. I’m a huge fan of street food, the more authentic the better and boy can they cook! Everything from their livestock to produce is so clean and fresh. Truly straight from the earth with no pesticides! They have great pride in everything they do.

Item of Clothing You Shouldn’t Leave Home Without: Welp, if you’re going into the desert, you will need a turban to protect yourself from wind, sand, and sun! Skirts and dresses are always easy and comfortable to travel in and of course good walking shoes to explore. Have no fear, if you come with me, I will bring THE RED DRESS as my trips include a red dress shoot at your location of choice!!

Favorite Historic Landmark: That’s a loaded question. Morocco is nothing but history! Between the (Funky) Old Medina’s, The oldest university in the world in Fez, Roman ruins of Volubilis, Inside Northside travel diaries – where we share real stories from real Northshore travelers. Get your own adventure plans ready as we explore fascinating destinations and unique experiences around the globe. Chefchouen ‘The Blue City’, Essaouira’s Kasbah, Marrakech’s Market, it’s just never ending…each turn is another WOW moment!

Favorite Local Attraction: After my group left, I carried on and solo backpacked for another 5 days. I took the train to a quaint, coastal village called Asilah, that dates back to 1500 BC!!… known for its hippie artist vibes and murals decorating all the walls within the medina. And of course, any time spent in The Sahara is pure magic!

Local Attraction Worth a Drive-By: The Argan Oil production factories were super cool. I even jumped up and churned with the ladies from nut to paste to oil! This March, I am taking another group back and it will be during argan season when the goats are in the trees helping with production, as they climb the trees to eat the nuts and then the farmers collect their droppings, crack open the nuts and crush them to extract the oil!

Worth the Splurge: Can’t say anything was much of a splurge since it is all relatively inexpensive. But the hammam is totally worth it! You just can’t be too modest as you are naked or nearly naked in a room filled with other women (I went to one of the oldest ones in Tangier so I really got the authentic experience) where they bubble you up and scrub you down with some massage slipped in as well. Tucked away in the Grand Sacco of Tangier, it’s called HAMAN DAR BAROUD! It’s where the locals go to get their weekly scrub down.

Something Surprising We Learned: The BERBERS are so cool! They are true nomads who roam the lands with their livestock…goats, donkeys, camels, cows… On average they speak 5 languages, all self-taught, as they do not go to school. ‘Life is our Classroom’ is their motto. The languages include: Berber, Moroccan (Arabic), Spanish, French, and English. Plus they are the kindest souls who will literally give you the last shirt off their back.

Insider Tip: Go! DO IT!! It is such a fascinating country, culture, everything. Out of all of my extensive travels, Morocco is definitely in the top 3!

We Would Suggest this Trip to Others Because: I have done all the leg work. It’s a big trip. Bigger and more exotic of a trip than Europe, due to the culture, languages, currency, history, continent, distance, etc… I interviewed half a dozen troops and found not only a professional guide with a detailed, authentic itinerary, tours PACKED with super cool history tidbits and so on, but they were also fun, interesting, flexible, accommodating and helpful too! The weather was perfect in September and it should be comparable when we return in March.

All trips I go on are life-changing in some form or fashion. The lack of wifi encourages you to be present and appreciate each moment. Talking to the locals, you get a sense of their lives and can appreciate your life that much more. Life is too precious and too short to stay home in fear … It’s meant to get out there and live it! And out there, we LIVED IT! And of course, JOURNAL, JOURNAL, JOURNAL!!!

Abby Photo