Two years ago, back in senior year I had to choose my “lifetime” path, one of the most stressful decisions of my life… I decided to go back to Morocco and connect back with my roots. I was anxious, scared, stressed but also very excited, happy and ready for a new adventure. You see I’m a third culture kid, I was born in Morocco, lived in Saudi Arabia since the age of 5 and went to a French school. Going back to Morocco was hard for me, I knew no one there, I never lived in Morocco expect when I was still a baby, and sad truth I hated Morocco. I really did…I hated the people; I hated the life, I hated to stay there for summer, I hated everything about it.
Now, wait, if you’re a Moroccan reading this, don’t get all mad and hate me, hear me out first.
Beyond all the hate, I still decided to go to Morocco for my bachelor. There was this feeling in my gut that told me Morocco is the place to go. So I did, I ignored all of the dream schools I wanted to go to, I ignored my passion, I ignored all of it and flew to Morocco.
Having neglected all my passions I still didn’t know what I was going to study. The condition that I gave myself was that I had to be in Morocco. Deep inside, I knew I was doing something right, I knew there was no other chance for me to come back to Morocco … I didn’t want to be that person who never lived in her country, hates her country, and stays a foreigner (to her country) her entire life. I decided to do transportation and logistics. It was something that intrigued me, something unknown, something challenging.
Let’s get to the fun part; nobody cares about my bachelor decision.
The first year was a mess, I was crying all the time, I didn’t fit in, I still hated Morocco… I was looking for schools in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, dying to go back home. Not because I can’t live on my own (Life alone is great; with its cons of course), but because of morocco’s society, I felt so far from it, I didn’t feel good about it …But you know what it was just the beginning. I wasn’t lucky … I stumbled upon people I couldn’t be friends with and generalized an entire nation… I made a mistake. I went to Morocco with a prejudice. That was wrong, that’s definitely not how I should have grasped the experience, but gladly I realized it early enough. My university has around 3000 thousand students, and I let 10 students question if going back to Morocco was the right choice.
Well let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life, being able to reconnect with my roots, with my grandmas, aunts, uncles… finally having Moroccan friends and being 8,000 miles away from my family really did change me.
I grew, I became more mature (I still have my inner child), I started being more independent. Living on my own changed me in so many ways, and being far away from my family was even better for my personal growth. I love it, I can stay up all night making art, and nobody will come to my room and tell me to go to sleep (Then again, I miss my dad covering me with a cozier blanket cause it’s cold at night).
My second year was even better than my first year. The antisocial kid I was in the first year disappeared. My bestie and I still laugh about how paranoid I was, to this day! Living in Morocco for 2 years has mostly taught me to be responsible and to speak up my mind.
Today I make my own decisions, I have a budget that I should plan according to, so if I ever spend my entire budget on books or activities and I’m left with no money to get me food for the next week, that’s my problem and only mine!
I learned to speak up my mind; I don’t know why I always used to be afraid to speak up my mind…Maybe because we live in politically correct society and were afraid of offending others, but you know what, take this piece of advice from me, whatever you do, you will get criticised for it, and whatever you say will eventually hurt someone, people are not the same and that’s the beauty of life. I learned that if I want something I have to speak up for it, and if someone said something like “women belong in the kitchen” I had to speak up my mind and stand for what I believe in. It’s good to be silent just not all the time.
So yeah, apart from growing, and being a better version of who I was, I learned to love my country again! I visited so many sites and places. Morocco is mesmerizing, everything about it is. The landscapes, the beaches, the food, the souks and most importantly the people. I bonded with Moroccans, I met sensitive souls, artistic souls, dreamers, realists, activists, writers, bloggers …
I can’t wait for what the third year has planned for me, it will be the last year, but I’m not too sure, I love living in Morocco, it’s fresh, it’s wild, but it’s also calm and relaxing. It’s all that I love in one place.
If you feel distant from your country and your roots, do yourself a favor and go back to your country. And if you already live in your country, go on a discovery journey, it changes you in ways I can’t count.
What about you, did you ever went on a discovery journey, share your story with us in the comments below!