A little more than a week has passed since I set foot in the country of Morocco. The port city of Tangier is now my home until the middle of December but already I know it needs to be longer. Morocco has blown my expectations out the window. Tangier is a paradise, it gives you the opportunity to find yourself, taking you out of your comfort zone and testing you with every step you take. In my first week here, I have seen, heard, and smelt a different side of the world, and it has opened my mind to what this beautiful planet has to offer. From the gorgeous caves of Hercules, to the rocky coast with waves that created a beautiful white mist as they crash against the rocks. I feel Tangier has changed me in just the first week by throwing me into scenarios that I could not have imagined. This place tests you as well as mentors you in a way that is unlike any other place I have been. The streets invite you to explore, the shops peak your curiosity with their wears, and the building fascinate you with their rich history.
I have taken almost every opportunity to leave campus and go explore the streets. By the end of the first week I know my way to the Sunday market, the old Medina, and the port, as well as a few of my initial favorite spots to hang out. Every time I leave and go explore, I come back with a story to tell. Nowhere else in the world that I have been has given me that much experience just by wandering the streets and getting lost.
The people here are wonderful. You are greeted by a smile. They go out of their way to help you and welcome you to their city. The first few days I was a little weary of the kindness of the people, but as I get to know this place more and more, I find most of the townsfolk are genuine with their kindness. They invite you to tea, offer to show you to your destination, and are of the most gracious I have ever encountered. They light up when you talk to them, showing a friendly smile. They are overcome with delight when you thank them, and I even had a man tell me he was going to pray to Allah and thank him for sending a group of us to him to have a conversation and make friends with him. It has only been one week and there is just so much more to write about and explore.
A restaurant in Tangier is the first place to serve me a meal that I was left longing for more even after scraping my plate clean. I have made an effort to try every new food at my disposal, some of it melts in my mouth and leaves me with such satisfaction, and some is less than desirable but what makes food here special is the care that goes into every meal. There is also places to eat everywhere here in Tangier. Every street has a different set of cafes, restaurants, and mini markets, so food is never far from reach. The variety here is like New York City, you can find any food your heart desires here in Tangier.
The buildings here are rich with history and art, each alleyway has a story to tell. Wandering through
the paths in the Medina you will find color everywhere, from rainbow steps to a alleyway painted blue. I am starting to learn the ways to get around the Medina, but it feels like its ever changing, much like a labyrinth. You could wander in there for days and still find new ways to explore and a new shop to discover. History has written itself all over the buildings and pathways here. They seem old as time yet sustained for the modern times. Castles of stone overlook the port, showing their age with cracked stone and piles of rubble. Shouting in various languages ring out among the
streets capturing the diversity of the Medina. I never loved getting lost until wandering the streets of Tangier. It brings the real you out to the light, and makes you realize what kind of person you are.
More adventure awaits, nearly every weekend is a trip to a new place to explore and get lost in. I already love Morocco, Tangier, and the people of this beautiful country. I have so much more to look forward too and so much to experience and enjoy.