I can breathe again.
Marrakesh was madness. We were just taking a walk, getting lost on purpose, when a man stopped us and tried to force his directions on us. We tried to remain firm and politely decline his invitation to follow him, but he was too persistent. And when we finally arrived back to the gates of our Riad, he demanded money and scoffed when I gave him 30 dirham. I felt overcome with anger. We didn't ask for his help, and we didn't invite his hustle. I was ready to leave this city. I was tired of being pulled into shops and yelled at for walking away.
I had to remind myself to take a deep inhale just now, releasing the emotional charge even as I recount this encounter. Let it go. It's in the past.
Essouaria. Villa Anouk. This is my present. This is my favorite moment in Morocco.
I feel like we've entered medieval times, with stone piled walls and castle like buildings. There are donkeys roaming freely and red rocky mountain terrain.
Villa Anouk. Words can't describe how at home I feel here. Safe. Secure. Inspired.
The detail, love and care that Anouk put into every inch of this property transported me to a different time. I felt as though I were in a fairytale book, and this, my castle. The food was vibrant, the coffee was strong, and the dessert went straight to my soul. The artistry in the selection of each chair, each doorknob, and each blanket was understated and sophisticated. I could definitely live here.
Anouk and I had similar stories, both moving to Paris and then New York. Except she continued on to make Morocco her home, while I reside in LA. She and I have big plans, our story does not end here.