It’s time for another installment of “10 things that make me happy!”  In no particular order, here are 10 things that make me happy {about Morocco}…

  1. fes-door-moroccoMoroccan architecture
    It seems that everywhere you look in the Imperial cities of Fes, Meknes, Rabat and Marrakech, you see amazing architecture: keyhole doors, stunning mosques, and intricate details.
  2. Tagine & couscous
    I admit, after two straight weeks of eating tagines or couscous for dinner, I was a little over it.  However, the simplicity of this style of cooking is so efficient and delicious.  It’s like slow cooking, Moroccan style.
  3. Henna
    I finally got henna done while in the seaside town of Essaouira.  I ended up getting my hands, feet, calf, and stomach done.  The Moroccan woman did a beautiful job and it was so much fun watching her work.  The henna lasted for about three weeks and was a great reminder of my time in Morocco.
  4. tagine-couscous_moroccoBartering/shopping
    I tried to save most of my shopping until my last stop, Marrakech. Overall,  I ended up purchasing two large pieces of material, a leather belt and bag, and about 10 pillow covers.  I had a great time bargaining with the locals, throwing out an occasional “Humdallah” (Praise God), and “Insh’Allah”  (God willing), and telling them that this same thing was only $x in Essaouira etc.  Most of the vendors were really fun to negotiate with, and they all remembered me when I went back through the markets a few days later.
  5. Arabic slang
    OK, less slang words, more basic words.  :)  Anyway, I had a brilliant time using my basic words: “Merhaba” (hello), “Shukran” (thank you), “Yellah” (let’s go), “la” (no), “Insh’Allah”, “Humdallah”, and my favorite: “Mafi Mushkila” (It’s not a problem!).
  6. Being modest
    While keeping my shoulders and knees covered isn’t usually what gets me excited about packing for vacation, it’s surprising taradounte-gorge-moroccowhat you can get used to.  By the time I got back to Spain, I was shocked at how small my tank tops felt, and don’t get me started on the short shorts!  Being modest in a Muslim country not only feels respectful, but it really helps on the attention factor, especially if you have blonde hair and blue eyes!
  7. Mint Tea
    I LOVE mint tea!  Everywhere you go in Morocco you get mint tea, whether you’re hiking through the mountains and meet a Berber family or shopping in the souks.  It’s definitely a tea culture, and it’s super fun to pour!
  8. Moroccans
    OK, so the constant attention can be over the top if you’ve had a long day and sometimes you just wish you were invisible, but for the most part, it’s just curiousity… and maybe 50% the blonde hair and blue eyes bit.  At least now I know that I would hate to be a celebrity!  By the time I got to Barcelona, I was like “uh, no one has told me that I’m beautiful yet today or offered 1,000 camels for my hand in marriage!”  ;)
  9. Les chameaux (camels)hiking-imlil-morocco
    One of the most memorable experiences in Morocco was riding camels out into the Sahara, and sleeping out under the stars.  It was so quiet and peaceful and just one of those moments that I’ll always remember.
  10. Hamams
    After several days of cold showers in freezing Imlil, we decided on a visiting the local hamam after a five hour hike.  Compared to the hamam in Istanbul, it was very local!  But it was really amazing to observe the sense of community.

See more 10 Things That Make Me Happy lists:  10 Things That Make Me Happy, 10 Things That Make Me Happy {about fall}