Reflecting on Essaouira

Looking back on my time in Essaouira I feel so nostalgic. I bathe it in a light of perfection, air brushing flaws. Truthfully I didn’t like it to begin, I thought I would leave after a week. Thank goodness I didn’t because the love and lessons presented to me there are unparalleled…

I stumbled upon what I wrote when I arrived to Essaouira, how I felt being in the town and compared it to what I wrote after a few weeks and also just yesterday, everything I feel for the place now in hindsight.

Some things take time.


A few days have passed in Essaouira:

There is some part of me that feels lost here. Focussing inwards would surely help, easier said than done. I want to learn but am uncertain as to how. I need to move my body more, inspire growth through this movement- inspire joy! Go ahead: Wash your clothes, make real food. Meet a local, form a real bond. Open yourself up and give yourself over when you can. Be real, be alive but be you. Focus. Do yoga, go surfing, walk lots, listen too.

Be still and reflect then dance and forget.

The time is now. Now or never! Respect that you haven’t chosen this- it is the universe who has created this path of events to place you here with all those who surround you. If you feel the need to leave, that too is the universe guiding you. Either way, make sure you take time to listen first. Really allow yourself the opportunity to hear the voice of the universe. Hear its plans- however unseeable.

I am yet to see the point of this stop. That, for now, is enough to tell me I am not finished here. I am not ready to accept that the lesson here is that I don’t fit in everywhere, that my social skills are still so messy, that I am still so uninspiring (To myself and others). Wait and see. What an exciting prospect that something awaits you now. That you are on the verge of discovering something that will make you look back and go “wow, it all makes sense…”

Stay excited.


Nearing the end of my stay:

The hostel had emptied and it was nearing 10pm, but I couldn’t let the day finish with this boredom looming over me. I head outside.

The streets of this city were always hiding friends, whether i knew them already or not didn’t make too much difference.

I ran into Imad, and he was with a bunch of other guys i knew. We crowded around buskers (who I also knew by now) where an elderly Moroccan guy danced. One of the breakdancing buskers who’d been in Essaouira for a while now ended up joining in along with a female tourist. A hilarious show proceeded into the night. These new friends welcomed me, joking around, making me laugh.

Imad walked me home where I found my other friends, “let’s go! Ali is playing!”

Ali is a drummer at a nearby beach bar so together we piled in the taxi. We danced a few hours and wandered home around 2am, along the beach the wind blowing a gale the guys piled us girls up with their layers claiming to be warm.

Felafel sandwiches and mint tea before bed.

My last morning I went for one last walk around this city. This home. God I love this place. I ran into Imad and we walked along the beach together for a couple hours. “Religion, marriage, love, travel…”

Ibrahim invited me for one last coffee.

Anna prepared one last feast of many types of bread.

Hugs and tears, the bus pulled away and my heart hasn’t quite left those white walls and blue doors, those kittens hiding in winding alleys, the wind has captured my heart in its chilling tentacles. I’ll be back.

Wow, I am grateful. I can’t believe the experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met. Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou…

I have learnt not to waste time. Call people you want to see. Do things always, don’t waste spare time. Do head stands, learn, learn, learn. Make new friends, invite them over to eat. It will be okay. Give in. LOVE.


one month later:

I miss Morocco.

I am resisting England with all of my might, which I know is the totally wrong way to go about it.

But I can’t help it when no one meets my gaze walking down the street, where the streets are emptied of friends and music and fish guts and kittens…

The coffee is good but the company is nonexistent. How I would love to go back and accept every invitation for coffee I ever received in Essaouira. Oh and the roof tops. And the cheap food that was, most importantly, shared. The sugar laden tea that surely my teeth are cursing me for. The peace of mind that allowed me to truly practice yoga. The dancing in the street.

The friends. The love.

I will move on, let it go. It’s over now, I realise this. My friends are now dispersed across the country. Still, I can’t help hearing this cry from within that I left too early. Did I live out the experience to its full? Did I learn all I could?

Then again even in leaving early I have learnt. I have abandoned so many relationships on the cusp of real, lasting connection. If I had of pushed them that inch, that mile further… What could they have become? Try that next time.

It helps to be recognised as a tourist (sometimes)- it’s a conversation starter. You’re interesting. They’re interesting. You are united in you differences. You are both experts in things the other probably knows very little about.

It just felt so FREE! And now I feel locked in chains, the streets here push in in a totally new way. Before it was anonymity I was after. Now they’re telling me to keep my head down, to accept anonymity. And now that I’ve known such recognition I can’t BARE this solitude.

I want crazy back. Salsa, Spanish, camping for the hell of it, neck massages as I walk the streets by moon light, strangers approaching so openly.

All in good time… Insha’allah.

And it does… It all makes sense.

let the cycle begin again: change, resistance, acceptance, adoration, change.

Unbelievable musicians, kind, funny, dancing friends
Unbelievable musicians, kind, funny, dancing friends

image image


Surf girls
Surf girls


Post surf
Post surf

2 thoughts on “Reflecting on Essaouira”

  1. Hi Thalia!
    Just needed to say how beautiful your writing is and how much I enjoy virtual travel when I’m reading your words.
    Hope that the UK brings the unexpected to you…

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