Saying Ma’ ssalama to Morocco

Cydney McFarland is a student at Arizona State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. Cydney just returned home from studying abroad with ISA in Meknes, Morocco.

Setting sail and saying goodbye in Tangier.
Setting sail and saying goodbye in Tangier.

I don’t think I’ve quite come to terms with that fact that I’m leaving Morocco. I’m not heading directly back to the US so really it just feels like I’m taking a little holiday before going back to study more Arabic with Professor Driss. However it’s true, this little section of my life is over. I now get to be that obnoxious friend that talks about ‘that one time in Morocco’ and used random Arabic phrases like ‘yaala’ and ‘insha’ Allah’ and puts too much sugar in her coffee.

I am excited to go home and eat whatever I want without fear of food poisoning, wear whatever I want without offending anyone, and being able to communicate in English and not some broken French-Arabic hybrid, but there is a lot I’m going to miss about Morocco. I’m going to miss how cheaply you can travel in Morocco and how easily you can access Europe. I’m going to miss fresh squeezed orange juice for less than a dollar. I’m going to miss the ability to live without the use of a car, an impossibility in Phoenix. Most of all I’m going to miss the slow pace at which everything moves in Morocco, everything except the taxis of course.

I’m sure it won’t take me long to readjust to the American way of life again and I’m sure I won’t truly appreciate my time in Morocco until I’ve gained a little bit of distance, and actually go back home. If I can say one thing for sure Morocco gave my a love for simply being abroad. Being in a place where you don’t speak the language and don’t totally understand the culture is like being thrown into the deep end of the pool, you either sink or swim. You learn to adapt and you learn to appreciate, because everything is more interesting when done in another country.

So, while I’m leaving Morocco I’m off for two more months of travel which, after Morocco, I should be adequately prepared for. While this will certainly not be my last time abroad, insha’ Allah I’ll come back to Morocco someday and see how everything has changed. For now, ma’ ssalama Morocco… it’s been fun.

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