Culture

How My First Solo Trip To Morocco Changed Me Forever

Solo travel can be daunting. Unfamiliar cities can be chaotic, ensuring you have everything you need for a grand adventure can be stressful, and navigating the big world on your own can be anxiety-inducing.

My first ever solo travel overseas changed me forever. After attending a wedding in Paris, I decided it would be a good time to hop over to Morocco. A spur of the moment decision – it was a trip that was off-the-cuff and spontaneous.

I had absolutely no plan.

solo travel morocco

I experienced all the feelings I had previously mentioned – stress, anxiety, chaos. However, I also had an incredible time learning about a new culture, meeting new people and, most importantly, learning more about myself.

And for those who may be considering solo travel, I have a few handy tips before you head off on your own big adventure.

Hostel living is perfect for solo travel

 

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Where you set up base camp is vitally important to your travel experience, you have to consider a whole host of factors like location and cost.

  • Is it affordable for your travel budget?
  • Is it conveniently located?
  • What are the bathrooms like?

What impressed me most about the hostels all across Morocco was the communal nature of their architecture. Inspired by traditional Moroccan Riads – homes or palaces with interior courtyards as the centrepiece – intermingling between residents is encouraged. There were plenty of shared dinners and group activities to get you well and truly in the travel mood.

And for those on a solo travel trip, or travelling for the first time, this set up works perfectly! My recommendation:

Riad Verus, Fes

 

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Conveniently located near the Medina (like the “old town” section of European cities) of Fes, Riad Verus is tucked away in the winding streets of this busy city. The hostel itself is warm and welcoming, with a rooftop terrace that oversees Fes and an interior courtyard with beautiful stained glass windows from which the morning Moroccan sun streams in come morning.

Eat as the locals do

solo travel morocco food

Food is the gateway into culture, and when travelling alone, there is no better way to experience local life than sharing in authentic local meals. The golden rule, real authentic experiences are not where the tourists are gathered.

In Morocco, my most memorable meals were shared with locals in small shops down random streets. They advised me on what I absolutely had to try and what to avoid. It quickly became clear that meals in Morocco were a communal experience – food was made to be shared, in company and over conversation.

So be brave and walk the streets! My recommendations:

Tajine

A traditional Moroccan meal, tajine is often meat (lamb, chicken or beef) and vegetables cooked in a conical clay cooking pot with a mix of aromatic herbs and spices.

Mint tea

solo travel morocco mint tea

The drink of choice in Morocco, traditional Moroccan mint tea is a pot of green tea stuffed with mint leaves and sugar – the perfect pick me up in the morning!

Khobz

A staple in all Moroccan meals, Khobz is a crusty bread baked in woodfired ovens.

Head out of the city

I had booked myself a tour of the Atlas Mountains for a week to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The morning of the tour, there’s a knock on the hostel door, where a man was asking for me.

With no identification and a few simple hand gestures, I followed this random Moroccan guy to his car parked in the middle of the Medina. It ended up being just me on this tour, driving out into the Moroccan wilderness. In a completely foreign land with no grasp of the language, I was a little anxious to say the least.

However, the trip turned out to be an incredible experience, hiking high into the Atlas, trekking on a donkey through different mountain villages – meeting, living and dining (yes, more food!) with the locals.

 

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It was on this leg of the tour that I realised true culture exists outside of the cities and in the far reaches of the beautiful country.

An introvert at heart, being alone in a foreign country was incredibly daunting. Naturally, as humans we yearn for what is familiar and comfortable. But, it was when I pushed myself to experience what was different where I found a unique similarity between Moroccan culture and that of my own – both were underpinned by the importance of community.

Read more about Morocco and get inspired.