It’s human nature to want to explore and discover as much as possible about the world around us. Some of us use vacations to exotic destinations to get our fix. Others take part in community service projects abroad, whether it is for one week in the Dominican Republic or a couple of years in the Peace Corps.
Sometimes we discover a place so memorable, we yearn to go back. This is exactly what happened to Maura Ewing, an American who spent a semester studying in Morocco. When the opportunity arose for her to go back to this place that held such good memories for her, she jumped at the opportunity.
inTravel had the opportunity to interview Maura about her time in Morocco before she moves back to the states.
INTRAVEL: What made you decide to travel to Morocco the first time around?
ME: I was a junior in college, 21-years old. I was doing a study abroad program in Rabat, the capital of Morocco. At the time I was interested in learning about Islamic culture first hand - I guess for academic and political reasons. Also, I had seen pictures of the country which were totally beautiful... And I found a really appealing program here in Morocco.
INTRAVEL: What ideas did you have about what the country would be like before you visited?
ME: I really had few expectations when I came.
INTRAVEL: Did you find that your notions of Moroccan life were what you had in mind or were they different from what you expected?
ME: Well, one thing that surprised me was the warmness with which I was received. I guess I had expected that it would be difficult to come here as an American at the time, and was surprised at how nice everyone was even when they knew where I was from. Generally people were really good at separating Americans from their government, which I hadn't expected. They would say things like, 'I love Americans. You poor thing, you have such a crazy president.'