- Planning Ahead: I am the type of person who, like three months out from a trip, starts making a packing list. I am thus also the type of person who buys train tickets, books hotels, and exchanges some currency before leaving home. With Morocco, I've gotta take one out of three. (Remember that Meat Loaf song "Two Outta Three Ain't Bad"? Me too. It's stuck in your head now, isn't it? Me too.) There's no getting dirhams before you get into the country, and forget about booking a train. Sure, there's a website and a phone number for securing your tickets, but you can't do so from outside of Morocco. This ultimately means kinda winging it. I'm a little nervous, but I think it'll be really good for me to let go and get out of my Type A comfort zone a bit. (My primary mission at this point is to not be so annoying about it all that George ditches me BEFORE we get to the train station. You gotta have goals, people.)
- Geography: Eighty percent of people have been super excited for us when we tell them about our trip. The other 20% has asked things like: "How far is Morocco from Africa?" "Aren't you scared of getting Ebola?" and "Aren't there great casinos there?" I'll forgive the last one because of my undying love for Princess Grace and desire to drive some kind of "roadster" in Monaco, but I gotta admit the others were a bit odd. I mean, not that I'm any sort of geography whiz,( though I have passed a few Sporacle quizzes in my day--You'll never move from your desk during your lunch break again. Sorry.) but we gotta move past the Africa as monolith thing. And when we do, we should at least know what countries are in Africa.
- Affordability: Our tickets to Morocco were really reasonably priced (we ended up booking through Iberia which had easier transfers and cost much less than other airlines for this particular flight), but we were giddy over the costs within the country. Gorgeous riads well under $100 bucks a night; first class train tickets on long rides for $20 bucks a pop; revered restaurants with delectable sounding dishes for fractions of what you'd pay back home. For a bonafide cheapskate like myself, that makes for happy travel magic.
So there you have it! Learning a lot during the planning process. I'm so excited to actually get to Morocco and see what surprises greet us there!