It was my first time outside of Eurasia. I had no extra money for traveling and no available vacation days. But what I did have, was a colleague planning a trip to Morocco. The goal was to go to Atlas Mountains and climb its’ highest peak – Toubkal (by the way, it is the highest peak of Northern Africa as well). I watched him planing the trip, buying the tickets and looking for someone who would like to accompany him. I told him that it looks awesome and I would really wanna come, but it probably is too expensive for me to join in. What happened next was a start for my love for warm countries.
The tickets were not expensive. Since it was December, it was not a tourist season, but who cares about winter if it means minimum +25 Celsius. I paid around 80 euros for a return ticket and voilà! Morocco, here I come!
Here are the things I had to overcome:
- Since I did not have money to spend on food, I borrowed some from my friend and gave it back after 2 days of work. (Food is really cheap there)
- Since I did not have day offs from work, I had to call my manager and ask if it is okay if I don’t show up for work for 11 days.
- Since I did not have hiking boots, I had to buy some. (Just a useful tip for you: You can buy hiking boots cheeper in kids section. And, yes, they do have grown up shoe sizes )
- Since I did not have any hiking clothes, I had to improvise. I wore my winter leggings, Christmas reindeer sweater and borrowed a bag from a friend.
But what I gained from this experience was:
- First time experience in another continent.
- Very warm weather while it was freezing cold in my own country.
- Chance to meet new and amazing people (and then spend 10 days with them)
- Culture shock when entering city full of people who want to sell you everything you can imagine. ( If you have spent all your money – no worries – you can still trade stuff you have for what they offer. )
- Contrast between crowded city life and peacful mountain life.
- Incredible beauty of Atlas Mountains.
- The longest walk in my life.
- Understanding that you can visit another continent even if your budget is very tight.
What is my point here? You do not need a lot of money to experience the best vacation in your life. Just. Go. For. It.
P.S. Pictures were taken by amazing Mareks Steins who was capturing our best moments.