If you’ve ever traveled abroad, you’ll know how different cultures can be. You can cross a town’s border and be shocked by a language change. You can travel to another country only 30 minutes by train and see different foods. And of course there is the striking nature of how beautiful other countries are, especially when we are so used to home. But when you’re in some commonly visited countries, they don’t like foreigners/tourists as much as you want them to and they don’t interact with you unless they need to. This has always been the case for me. I have never traveled abroad and met locals that genuinely seem to want you there and want to talk to you.

Morocco, and other North African countries, are extremely different from this. This was shocking to me. I have traveled to Europe and Canada a few times, but never to a country that was so different from the United States. Yes, Morocco is full of so many incredible, beautiful things. There are countless mountains, beaches, towns, people, and of course the Sahara. And I had so many incredible experiences exploring the country. But the most beautiful thing that took me about Morocco was the friendliness and welcoming nature of the Moroccan people. Everywhere we went, we had people come up to us and, in a genuinely nice and non-threatening way, asked about us and how we liked it there and genuinely wanted to interact with us.

The local people are constantly inviting you in for mint tea and trying to start conversations. They’re incredibly fascinated by the way our culture works and they want to teach us about themselves and their culture. The reason why I called this post “When you’re there, you’re family” is because that is exactly how they treat you. They invite you in to sit and talk and one of the best things you can do while there, is probably to actually agree at least once, when you feel safe, and do it. You get to meet so many people and learn so much from taking little opportunities like this.