We hit the ground running, or driving I guess i should say. As soon as we touched down in Casablanca, we were greeted by Hassan, our driver, and the Mercedes sprinter van which would become home for the next week. We were to spend our first night in the north in a city called, Chefchaouen, or the Blue City. A drive which was meant to take 3 hours ended up taking 8, but if I’ve learned anything from all of my travels it is that the JOURNEY is the DESTINATION. It’s never about where you are going to end up, because that just takes you out of the beauty and wonder of the present moment.
We had planned on having an entire day to explore, but had to squish it all into 2 hours, before our Hamam and dinner, of course. So we dove into the streets of the blue, which eerily reminded me of being in Mykonos just a few months prior. The windy walk streets were each slathered with a slightly different shade of cerulean, periwinkle or sky blue, and were decorated with all kinds of gifts and gags. We strolled around, and ended up in a castle, that overlooked the city. We got the chills as we walked through an old prison, and tingles in our toes as we escalated the steps to the very top of the castle’s tallest tower.
What I really want to share with you all is my experience of the traditional Moroccan Hamam. Milo and I were ushered into a stone room by a sweet woman in all black. At first we were both just wearing our bathing suit bottoms, as we were about to be scrubbed off all our sins. (Ok, maybe not sins, but definitely lots of dead skin and airplane gunk.) We laid down on opposite sides of the room on two large stone benches, and were hosed down with a hot blast of water. She came to me first, and with such precision and care began to scrub my entire body. She took care, cradling my neck to one side, as she scrubbed behind my ears, all the way down until she was tickling between my toes. Once more, she sprayed me down, this time removing layers upon layers of the old me. She proceeded to rub clay into my skin, and now it was my turn to lay and rest.
She moved onto Milo, giving him the same love and care as she did to me, only this time, glancing back at me, when Milo would lean his head too far back, so I could tell him to drop his chin. I understood her, even though we did not speak the same language.
By the end, when it was time for our final wash, nearly an hour after steaming, scrubbing, eucalyptus and clay masking, she motioned for me to strip all the way down. It was so freeing, like I was really letting go of that final layer that needed to be washed away. In that moment I let go of shame and fear and embarrassment, and allowed myself to embody the perfection of self. Self love, self care. These are things we often forget, or are made to feel bad about practicing. I urge you to please, LOVE YOURSELF. Remind yourself of how wonderful you are, and that it is more than okay to receive love. I love you. Off to Fes.