Who wouldn’t want to check another continent off their bucket list?! I recently traveled to Marrakech, Morocco while studying abroad in Madrid, Spain.  I can confidently say that I will remember this trip for the rest of my life, and this weekend adventure has been my favorite out of all the places I have independently traveled.  From hiking into the Ourika Valley, riding ATVs and camels, to a traditional Hammam bath, I have never enjoyed a wide array of experiences more.  Not only is Morocco a beautiful, intricate country, but it provides a source of cultural immersion that I believe all young Westernized students should experience.

When friends and family ask me about this trip, my first answer when describing Morocco is perspective-shifting.  I have always felt that Americans have been taught a limited narrative of Africa.  Now, I do not mean that Americans believe all Moroccans live in poverty, however the Western narrative often overlooks rich cultural diversity and stereotypes the continent of Africa as a whole. 

This trip made me realize not only how much we take for granted, but also how much we have in common with those who may practice completely different religions and come from vastly different walks of life.  I loved conversing with locals about how they value education and family.  I was so grateful to be surrounded by such welcoming and gracious individuals.  Although I just left, I am already planning my next trip back, and I hope to explore other amazing countries within the African continent.  Experiencing this country during Ramadan was something I will never forget.  I highly recommend this destination for anyone looking to broaden their horizons outside of their European study abroad experience!