Greetings from Sorrento!
We're just back from an olive farm trip here on the Amalfi Coast, enjoying the last tastes and smells of the region as our trip nears its close. Only Tuscany remains for our Spring 2023 series of European LiveAways, most of which has gone very well and was full of fruitful insights for next year's LiveAways.
Next up, myself and several members of this group will head off to the southwest coast of Africa to meet some more travellers as we kick off our Namibia & Botswana program. We just released our 2024 version of this program a few weeks back, so stay tuned for thoughts on the experience if you're curious about joining us next year.
This week I'm pleased to release another program to Africa, this time to the north in our first trip to Morocco in 2024. Both of our programs in November of this year rapidly sold out; we actually had so many requests for it that we tried to put together a third trip for those who missed out on the first two, though we weren't able to get the space we wanted a third time.
I am pleasantly surprised and more than a little curious about this...why such interest in Morocco, and why now?
Taking in and synthesizing all the feedback from the community regarding future trips is actually one of the harder parts of my role; it turns out that when you ask a whole bunch of travellers where they want to go next, you do get a consistent answer...it just happens to be everywhere.
Roughly twice a year we do an intensive period of trip planning and calendar coordination via our Trip Inspiration Questionnaires, and generally speaking we get an almost even spread across all of our suggestions. This is perhaps predictable and I love the spirit of it...but it doesn't make planning and prioritizing much easier 🙂
Thus when something resonates with the community as Morocco has, it warrants a bit more thought. Is it just a 'hot' idea, or is there perhaps a deeper symbolism behind it all?
Morocco certainly has that je ne sais quois to it, a mysterious allure that I think comes from sitting just outside 'known' territory in most people's minds. Thailand is another exotic culture like that of Morocco, but far more present in popular culture, and thus most of us 'know' a lot about even if we haven't been.
As this 'known-unknown', then, it seems to me that Morocco somehow just feels like a proper adventure, a pushing out into uncharted territory. I get a little tingle when I think about it and that's always a good sign!
So if that's the why...then why now?
To answer this I think requires a look at the bigger picture and everything we went through the past several years. The pandemic was in all senses a brutal contraction in our lives - it was isolating, scary, and limiting, and symbolic I think of the dangers brought on by our paradigm of separateness in relation to the planet and one another.
However, it would seem that we made it through the worst of the storm, and now a year later the pendulum has swung the other way - it's time for connection, joy, and expansion, with a renewed sense of just how valuable those things are in our lives.
In line with this, I've noticed a palpable sense of carpe diem in the members I've met and travelled with over the past few months, and it's come up in many a conversation while on the road.
I think our travellers are more aware of how precious the gifts of travel are, I think that has reinvigorated a sense of adventure in many of us, and I think Morocco just might be a symbol of this spirit in our collective traveller consciousness.
Anyway I shall end the speculation there - if you have any thoughts to share on the subject, by all means let me know. And if you'd like to join us for these or other reasons, you can find the full itinerary below.
Lots more trips in the pipeline in the weeks ahead - be well and stay tuned for more adventures to come 🙂