I shared a post with all of you about a month ago as I was embarking out on my own, leaving my family for the first time ever, and traveling to Morocco. Morocco has been on my bucket list for years, so I felt very excited that I was able to go on this incredible adventure.
I attended a week-long women’s retreat with some of my dearest friends. We were all going to be experiencing this adventure to North Africa together, a place none of us had ever visited.
Never having been away from my family for nine days straight was big for me. I had all kinds of emotions surface. They ran the gamut from, excitement to anxiousness to fear. Still, I was eager to experience something new, and lean deeply into the unknown. It was time for me to grow.
We flew into Paris, spending a glorious night and day exploring that gorgeous city. Anyone who knows me well knows that I absolutely adore Paris. Being able to enjoy a day with my girlfriends sightseeing, exploring and shopping, was an amazing entry point into the mystery Morocco, which is where the retreat would begin.
We left Friday evening and flew into Marrakesh, arriving quite late. When we arrived I was in disbelief that I was actually in Africa, a country I had wanted to visit for years. Everything looked and felt and smelled totally different to anything I had ever known. The overwhelming feelings that came over me almost brought me to tears. Not because I was sad or scared, but because I had actually gotten on that plane and decided to do something for myself that was very out of the box for me.
I came on this journey with a very open and eager mind, willing to embrace everything that came my way. Every morning we engaged in a deeply profound yoga and meditation class at 8 AM. We met in a beautiful ancient room, set in a gorgeous courtyard. We practiced beside a wood burning fireplace, with birds chirping and smells of orange blossoms. I welcomed it fully and bathed in the peace that it brought to me, anchoring my day.
We did so many things during our trip, but one of the most memorable for me was the Hammam. A traditional bathing and cleansing ritual that is deeply important to all Moroccans. It consists of being put in a steam room and being thoroughly scrubbed down. You are then given an Arabian body treatment involving steam and cleansing black soap. Your body is scrubbed down again from top to bottom, leaving your skin literally feeling like silk when they are through with you. This is not a time where you can be shy about your body because you are completely naked and you just have to embrace it. We then were taken into a room and given a full body massage. You cannot visit Morocco and not experience this. Literally heaven on earth
Marrakech is a jewelry box of colors, scents, and sounds. The buildings and the craftsmanship in all that they do is exquisite. The detail the Moroccans put into everything they create is done with intense beauty, care, and integrity. From the rugs to the architecture, the food, the gardens and even the clothing is divine. We took in the beauty of the land by riding mules to see the snowcapped Atlas Mountains, and camels at sunset, to eating tagine chicken with couscous and shopping in the swirl of Souks, to seeing goats standing in the Argan trees. I promise I am not kidding about the goats in the trees, like Christmas ornaments! The beauty of this country is magnificent, tantalizing and kind. The people are present and gracious. They may not have a lot in the way of material items, but what they have is more meaningful. They love their traditions, their families, they love God and all of these are things pale in comparison to the rest.
I am thankful that I was able to take this trip and check it off my bucket list. As hard as it was being away from my family, it gave me a completely different perspective of the world we live in. The journey there really centered me on what’s important and what’s not. Relationships, living a selfless life and just being grateful for everything I have. We can all take people and life for granted if we allow ourselves to lose our presence. It’s easy to get caught up in our own busyness and forget about what is going on around us and in the lives of others. This trip really helped me re-evaluate my purpose.
Should you be interested in giving yourself an experience that will surely change your life check out www.terraveraretreats.com