Moving to Morocco....How Travel Can Change Your Life!
Updated: Jul 2, 2019
And we are here! What? Really? How did that happen? What started as a fun holiday road trip turned into a life changing experience.
I have a love for Rock and Sand so Morocco has been somewhere that I have been intrigued by and always wanted to visit, with its diverse scenery and dramatic landscapes and mix of Arabic, European and African cultures it has always fascinated me. Having been fortunate enough to explore Jordan and Oman it seemed like the perfect next destination. Daniel being a passionate Rock Climber fortunately shares the same love so it was an obvious choice when deciding where we would travel together for our first longer holiday, little did we know it would change our situation and lives completely.
The trip was over Dan's birthday so what better way to spend it than Rock Climbing in the beautiful Togha Gorge. It did not disappoint and we were lucky to plan and book climbing and accommodation through Julio Soares at Aventures Verticales. Julio is French and has been in Morocco for 10 years. He has set many of the climbing routes here and put together a Topo guide to allow climbers to come and enjoy the routes independently. In this time he has also built A Secret Garden. A beautiful intimate guest house, which we now call home.
We spent just one day climbing and night at Julio's guest house, in that time we realised we all have a similar mindset and felt a good connection and energy. Julio explained to us his plans to spend more time in France and travelling and his ideas for his next project, he just wasn't sure what he would do with A Secret Garden. The answer to that came to us whilst driving the 8 hours onto our next destination - Taghazout. We were both fed up of the 9-5 and commute to our desk jobs. 'You are a Rock Climber and an Engineer and I am a Project Manager and a Yoga Teacher' I said to Dan 'surely between us we can run the guest house and climbing business?' Dan agreed so by the time we had got to Taghazout we had a plan and emailed Julio to see what he thought. Luckily for us he was on the same page and 6 months later we were here. We packed up our flat, said goodbye to family and friends and flew to Marrakesh. One overnight bus later we arrived with 4 bags full of our life (mostly yoga and rock climbing equipment, a few clothes and books) and was greeted by Julio at the bus station, where he told us that his plans had changed and the 5 day handover we were supposed to have together was now just 1! That day was possibly one of the craziest days of both of our lives.! We learnt to take bookings and the systems, local contacts and authorities, make up beds, clean and cook Moroccan food for large groups of people all in 24 hours.
With a huge smile on his face Julio handed us the keys and said 'it is your guest house now' and left for France in his Land Rover that everyone here knows him for. That night was mostly spent thinking 'what the @**k have we done?!' and we lay in bed (well on a single mattress on the floor, in the basement with a house full of guests above) trying to work out what to do and how to undo what we had started. Fortunately from there it all improved and within 3 days we were in the swing of it. Fast forward 3 months we are in the process of applying for our residents cards, have founded and registered our own business Rock n Yogi Adventures, been adopted by a local cat (Mary), have started Yoga classes on our beautiful roof terrace, guided over 50 people Rock Climbing and on the Via Ferrata (we have the only one in Morocco here), taken groups on guided Hikes, housed and cooked for over 150 people and have settled into rural Moroccan life. So as the title suggests be careful.... Travel can really change your life!