Intercultural

Feeling at Home in Morocco

Khadijah Dixon is a student at Albright College and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Meknes, Morocco

I have been here in Morocco for almost a month and it is finally setting in that I am in a new country. As a first time traveler, there are many feelings that occur while you are traveling in another country. They range from happiness to sadness, but my uneasiness has been growing less and less as I’ve gotten more comfortable in Meknes. There were many things in Morocco that not only helped my first time travel fears but also made me happy that I chose to travel in this country. Here are the top four things that helped me to feel home here in Morocco.

  1. The People

The people here in Morocco are very helpful and they always try their best to make you feel welcome. Even though I do not know very little Arabic and they may not know very little English, we are still able to communicate with each other. Also the people here are very caring and will help you when you fall (literally).

An example of an uneven Meknes sidewalk

An example of an uneven Meknes sidewalk

  1. The Sidewalks

The sidewalks of Morocco are not like those in the U.S, which was to me a huge point in trying to adjust. The reason is the sidewalks are not evenly paved, and at times you have to step down lower than expected or even step up higher. But after some stumbling and not completely falling, I finally got it. I have my moments where I still stumble, but it’s all in good fun.

Cars on a Meknes street

Cars on a Meknes street

  1. The Traffic

Driving is different in Morocco, too. The cars are fast and they keep going no matter what. You have to always be on the watch for when they are coming. They don’t always follow the traffic lights. Sometimes people jaywalk–which may be the cause for drivers moving so quickly–but usually the cars will slow down to allow people to go. By the time I leave Morocco, I should be an expert jaywalker.

A delicious Moroccan meal

A delicious Moroccan meal

  1. The Food

Yes, of course, the food. The food is indescribably good. It’s definitely spicy, but I love it. Local cafés offer French options like crepes and American options such as chicken nuggets and fries. The home cooked meals are delicious as well. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day, and many business will close down for an hour or two for lunch. Also, here we have tea/coffee time, when people will have a cup with a sweet and just relax. We should definitely have this kind of break in the US.

There are always uncomfortable pieces of a new culture, but if you keep an open mind and a positive attitude, even these things can become part of what makes you feel at home.

The world awaits…discover it.

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