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When traveling, one is faced with a fair amount of questions that they would normally not encounter. Some find their answers in the people they meet, the personal experiences they have, the places that they walk upon, or in the endless things not mentioned. When first embarking on an adventure, we don’t start with knowing what we are looking for, but instead, with anticipation that whatever it may be that we are searching for will be found. And usually by the end, you are either left with a cliffhanger or a reason to free-fall. On this journey I was left with a reason to fall. I did fall. I fell completely in love with Morocco and its people. They had a different approach. Not just to some things but to mostly all things. The way that the people of Morocco would interact with me was one of the most comforting while respected actions I’ve ever encountered. Instead of being in a comfortable place, with people I knew and streets I could read, we were put into a community that made us the minority. This experience was not something that was entirely new to me, yet everything about it was different. When crossing the straight of Gibraltar, we were crossing into a new world, a territory that we had no claim or understanding of. There was a sense of anticipation, and anxiety that came with steeping off of that boat. Nothing would have prepared me for what was to happen next. There is no guidebook, no handout, no studying that could prepare your heart for the immense amount of love that you gain for Morocco and its people. I use the word love because love is something that cannot be explained. And I believe that Morocco is the same way. A place that you can tell endless stories about, a place that you can try to create for someone back home, but until they are able to go and experience it for themselves, they will never truly and fully be able to cross with a good understanding. Love is something that happens while in Morocco, it does not have an explanation. While there, enjoying the community, the Medina, the sun beating on your shoulders, the chawarma, and all of its many wonders, we are given love, by almost everyone we come into contact with or create a relationship with, a love that crosses barriers that we have in the US but to them is second nature, a love that can communicate based purely on physical connection due to a language barrier, a love that is unconditionally going to love you back, but also a love that is painful. Painful in the way it longs for you to come back, after a heavy goodbye is weighing over you. It is painful because it does not want to see you go, and it does not want you to forget about all of its complicated, extensive feelings that it made you feel. I will never let this fade. I will not let this discovery be a distant memory. I will never settle to think about Morocco as a far away place that I can only see in my dreams. It will become as much of a reality as I make it, and I will do more than my best to never forget it. I am forever grateful for all the love that Morocco gave to me.

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