Written by Owen
The final week of our trip started as the group left Rabat, starting Student Directed Travel, headed to the blue town: Chefchaouen. We hopped on the 1:15 bus and, after 5 hours of driving, a short break, and a shorter taxi ride, we arrived at our hostel around 9:00. We settled and had a lazy night, worn out from a day of traveling.
Our first of two full days in Chefchaouen consisted of a lot of chores, and recovery. With a late wake up, we had breakfast at the second of three Cafe Clocks (the first one was in Marrakech, where we attended a live Gnawa performance.) After that, the group headed out to do some gift/souvenir shopping, wandering the bright blue streets, along with the crowds of other tourists. As the day wore on, the group made their way back to hostel, to relax a little before our Kasbah adventure. After the Kasbah, we rounded out the day at the hostel, leaving only to find food.
Our second day was even slower than the first day, enjoying the company of each other, resting, and reflecting on our experiences, leaving only to go find food. The spotlight of the day was a short hike up to a spanish mosque that overlooked Chefchaouen to enjoy the sunset. Arriving about an half an hour before sunset, we took a little time to soak up the view before sitting down for a guided, reflective, writing activity. Here are some of our group’s biggest takeaways:
Recognizing that it is okay to not have your entire life planned out already, enjoy the journey, and enjoy where you are.
Change is a scary thing, but it also a good thing.
That in order to grow as a person, it requires effort
The recognition of the grand adventure that we have just had, and how lucky we are to have been able participate in something like this.
The realization of the importance of community, culture, and spirituality
Inspiration to study languages, to lean into the discomfort of language barriers, and to break through the imaginary walls that society has created.
Our trip will be rounded out with a day in Fez to explore the medina before our last hoorah in Casablanca. It is sure to be a bittersweet ending to our trip, from the likely tear filled parting, as we excitedly make our way home to our families.