Land & sea - Morocco Exploration
Words and Photo by Kat Reynolds
We, as humans, are meant to connect. There is an intuitive calling that comes from so deep within us we feel it in our bones. Sometimes we don’t understand where that calling comes from, or what it’s leading us to. Whether it draws us to nature, to others, our roots, our heritage, or to the deepest part of ourselves. It is an innate compass guiding us on life’s great journey. This calling recently led me to Morocco. A journey I would share with an incredible group of passionate and loving women that would reveal a new part of ourselves through a connection to the land, its cultural tradition and each other… and of course a shared love of surfing. With this beautiful country as the setting, and these incredible ladies at the wheel, this experience was destined to be one for the books.
WE ARE’s mission is committed to the betterment of all beings and the conservation of mother nature, women who resonate with these ideals are attracted organically, creating a diverse community of strong individuals united by passion. Each woman, with the shared value of living a deliberate and intentional life, felt the same pull to connect in this land to honor the concepts tradition, culture, and living sustainability.
I first discovered WE ARE Creative Adventurers on Instagram. A women’s migrating surf and yoga retreat, that is by no means a retreat in the traditional sense. The purpose of the project is to connect and bring empowered women together in breathtaking foreign lands on a different kind of travel experience. The message WE ARE sends to women across the globe is something that resonates in a profound way and drew me in immediately. Particularly, because these trips are not “retreats,” so to speak, but “creative adventures.” A unique experience where women immerse themselves into new cultures, one another, and ultimately, their authentic self. They experience not only an outward, but an inward journey. A journey that follows that instinctive calling of the heart, expanding the horizons of the mind, and aligning with their purpose and passion in order to better live a creative and fulfilling life.
Our journey began in Marrakech. The energy of the city was a perfect mirror to the overall energy of the group. Our Riad was quaint and cozy, filled with color and warmth. The doorways are arched and lined with intricate hand carved tiles. Beautiful traditional rugs fill each room from corner to corner.
We meander our way through the souks, our senses are overwhelmed. It seems almost impossible to take it all in. We are inclined to breathe in every detail. And so, we do. We step into a room filled floor to ceiling, wall to wall, with handmade rugs, blankets pillows, poufs and the like. We are silenced. We take a minute to absorb the reality of all the hands that went into making each and every piece. Each one with its own story. We see our own stories woven into them, told by the hands of women we’ve never met. We want to know their stories, so we take a piece with us to remember and honor them. The markets are fast paced and intense, filled with trading and bartering and lots of movement. Sometimes we go slow so we can watch this new world revolve around us. None of these details are expected to be hidden behind a seemingly inconspicuous, yet beautifully crafted wooden door, much like every other door in this city.
For a moment, I feel like I am looking at the world through rose colored lenses: everything seems to have a blush hue to it. Both figuratively and literally. Each building is another corner to the pink labyrinth of narrow alley ways that make up the blueprint, or dare I say pink-print, of this unique metropolis. The only distinguishable difference are the doorways, providing only a little taste of what might lie beyond them. This is Marrakech.
We make our way into the desert, seemingly barren. Yet still somehow mesmerizing. Our drive to the desert gives us ample time to reflect and pinch ourselves to remind us that we, in fact, are not dreaming, “Is this real life?” The desert Is like that. Much like staring into a burning flame. We watch the rolling hills undulate as we pass by on a pothole filled road. The only traffic we hit are a few men on ‘donkey-back.’ The earth is blanketed in a soft, dry, light golden beige as far as the eye can see. When all of the sudden, over a hill, hidden and tucked away, a cluster of white tents emerge set against the backdrop of the warm desert sky. We are speechless, yet again. For a second we are eight years old again. Young girls. Seeing the world for the first time. And then, we all turn to each other once again, and in unison exclaim “is this real life?!” we continue to giggle, because what else do fully grown women do when you’re simply blown away at the surrealism of it all in a basking in a state of delirious wonder.
The desert has its own kind of magic. The kind that, without speaking, asks you to heal. To forgive. To strip away everything that doesn’t serve you. Providing space, so much endless space, to begin anew. A blank slate. Or better yet, a blank canvas.
Staring off into the vast nothingness. A gift that allows us to see clearly the thoughts that travel across our minds. We shed another layer, revealing a new stratum within our being, that had been hidden away with time. Allowing us to gain access to a deeper, richer, more vulnerable part of our soul that we might have tucked away In a box at some point earlier in life for safe keeping, left to be rediscovered only when we are ready. For some, these layers melt away with the desert heat, they have held onto this layer and have waited for some time to release it to the wind. For others, this is a layer that they hold dear. And know I will be a part of them forever. They honor it and cherish it. Some see this layer for the first time. There are tears, because they are they are reacquainting themselves with a part of them that they have never seen, or have lost. This is the magic of healing.
There is truly indescribable feeling of driving up to the ocean after a fair amount of time in a city and desert. It was the perfect contrast and balance to each step we had taken before. Standing somewhere on the line between the yang of the city and the yin of the desert was the ocean in all its majesty waiting to welcome us with open arms. We roll down the windows, feeling the cool ocean air lightly filled with salt. Just enough to taste. We breathe a little deeper.
There were many places us to set up camp along one of Morocco’s many right-hand point breaks, but instead we found ourselves at a quiet little fishing town nestled upon the shores of what has come to be known as “magic bay”. We pulled up to our accommodation for the remainder of our time in Morocco, a perfect little surf house by the name of Olo Surf, perfectly situated at the base of the bay with beautiful panoramic views of the point. I lock eyes with one of the girls. We share the same expression and don’t need to exchange words. We know what the other is saying: “home, we’re home.”
We arrive right at the tail end of a swell and there’s still some size in the water, so we sit and watch the waves roll in perfect lines one after the other for about 5 seconds before everyone suits up and paddles out. As perfect as the wave may be. It’s the people at Olo that quickly made us feel at home. Between Olo’s staff, Giulia, Lex and Leia. The feeling of becoming family had solidified. In the desert, we had taken the time to tell each other our stories, and gain better understandings of one another. Even one of the owners, Hamid, had commented that he had never seen a group of women like ours with such “amazing energy” who were all so grounded and supportive of each other. These connections that were created in Morocco curated such a powerful dynamic of trust and connection within the group as well as the empowerment of one another. This is what traveling is all about. This is what we are searching for. Authentic lasting, and unforgettable connections.