Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Is Morrocco Safe?

It took us a little over 24 hours to travel to Morocco. And during the majority of that time, our phones were off the grid. But as soon as we landed and settled in, I connected my phone only to be flooded with panicky and terrified messages from loved ones asking if we were alright. 

As it turns out, this unfortunate incident had happened. Finding out that two European tourists had been beheaded by Muslim extremists within days of our arrival isn't exactly how we had hoped to kick off our trip. Before Morocco, we had definitely done our share of riskier travels to other countries-like road-tripping through Mexico and exploring Cuba all on our own. But this whole situation was a lot more serious and left us wondering if Morocco is safe? We even considered changing our plans that involved traveling into the less populated countryside, but ultimately decided to stick with our original itinerary.  And I hate that this incident had us second-guessing ourselves because when it comes down to it, no place is truly safe. Even in my own city, I wouldn't travel to the bad parts of town. I feel like whether or not it is safe to travel to a certain place really depends on the person who is doing the traveling. A country like Morocco is not a vacation spot, it's a travel destination. Because it's not catered to tourists, it's essential to be aware of and respectful of cultural norms. In a male dominated highly religious Muslim country, two lone females going on a camping trip to the middle of nowhere isn't exactly a wise or safe decision. And because something like this could happen anywhere, it's pretty darn unfair to label an entire country as dangerous and to blame a culture for someone's irresponsible choices. On that note, we made our assurances to loved ones that we weren't in any danger and traveled the way that we always would-with respect and reverence for the place that we were visiting. As it turned out, Morocco was everything that we hoped for and more. At no point did we ever feel unsafe meandering through the Medina or getting lost in the maze of alleyways. Morocco can be as safe or unsafe as anywhere else in this world, it really just comes down to being a mindful traveler. 

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