5 Travel Tips For The Single Woman In Morocco
Traveling as a solo female can be challenging at the best of times, but throw Morocco into the mix and you are soon to discover that this is one country that will test your limits of endurance. There is a plethora on the internet of horror stories that single females have endured from being spat upon, subjected to male sexual taunts and aggression, to having rocks thrown at them, which definitely wins the "ouch" factor.
But for all of these nightmare experiences, traveling vibrant Morocco is a temptation that many women cannot ignore, simply because we are female. It is a vibrant land of rich culture, the landscape is as colorful as a rainbow and totally seductive with its hammans, shopping, the diversity of the holidays available from glorious sun drenched beaches to cool mountain hideaways, and the fact that it is a country to jump to when your Schengen visa time is up.
So when the lure of this wild untamed land claims your psyche, consider the advice below before packing your bags. Don't forget as with every country; there are good people and bad people, every city has its "trouble" areas and you get back the vibes that you unknowingly put out.
1. Understand The Culture
You aren't really in the 21st Century. This is a male dominated landscape of strict religious leanings where women basically have very few rights. If you can't hack the implications of this, then go somewhere else.
2. Scamming, Overcharging And Beggars
Morocco is no different to many other countries where the divide between the rich and the masses of poor, is huge. You will be confronted with scenes of incredible and heart breaking poverty where outstretched grubby hands will constantly be begging for a coin or two. Unless you have a very big bank balance, you have to learn to look the other way and ignore your compassionate nature.
3. Do You Want to Face the Wrath of Morocco Alone?
This is one country that you need a very thick skin and an excellent sense of self-preservation to travel through. Do your own bit of personality self-analysis to decide whether you are experienced enough at solo travel and strong enough mentally to cope with situations that will definitely be confronting and sometimes downright confusing, without losing your calm, or going into panic mode. You need a high level of tolerance and the ability to know when to bite your tongue. Plus, a healthy dose of skepticism and natural gut instinct goes a long way.
4. Minimize Big Town Time
Get out of the bustling almost medieval big towns and head for the smaller ones where you will find the true heart and soul of the Moroccan people. You will revel in the kindness, generosity and slow pace of life, as well as being the subject of much curiosity in a "good" way.
5. Don't be Swayed by a Smooth Talking Male's Mouth
As Asian women hunt down the foreign men, Moroccan men tend to do the same to foreign women, for the very same reasons. They want a passport out of their native country and believe that all foreigners have money and a better life than theirs. Or, they just want your bank balance in their country and in their name. Some of the males' dark swarthy good looks wrapped in exotic turbans and flowing robes, offer a romantic illusion of a tempting holiday fling. Think again, if you don't want to be herding sheep in the remote Atlas Mountains and living in a mud hut, as the men don't do "flings" lightly and you will be introduced to the family before you know it.
Advice for traveling in Morocco as a single foreign female can be off-putting, which is why I am actually loath to rant and rave, as many others on the Internet have. If you want to torture yourself, read away of all the dire events that may happen to you on various blogs.
But if you want to have an amazing and rewarding experience, keep in mind all the travel tips that are applicable to any foreign country you may travel to. Morocco is no different and in fact, I would say it is one of the most fascinating countries to explore. Just keep a scarf on your head with dark sunglasses, have your own version of a non-alcoholic Ramadan, keep your legs crossed and your panties on!
Gail Palethorpe, a self proclaimed Australian gypsy, is a freelance writer, photographer and eternal traveller. Check out her website GailPalethorpePhotography.com