Remote Year Ohana Week 8: Last Week in Marrakech
It's the time again to say goodbye to yet another amazing city. I got hit by a cold this week and didn't feel well for a few days, but still managed to make something good out of it by making some great professional and local connections and enjoying the last bit of Marrakech.
Monday, 23rd April: Coming back from Essaouira, the last week in Marrakech started out great. In the morning, Susanna and I helped Susan with her luggage as she was bringing back two big suitcases to LA mostly filled with our stuff. I'm so grateful that she was able to do that, which saved us from having to ship our stuff back. I felt so much better to have been able to unload a lot of my stuff, it was as if a big burden has been lifted off of me. One thing I have learned in the last couple of months is the benefit of traveling light. I thought I needed so much more than I actually do and all the extra stuff was just creating unnecessary burden. And once I parted from them I realize I really never needed them. In the evening we went to one of the Ohana, Nik's surprise birthday party and ended up staying for a while bonding with a small group of Ohanas.
Tuesday, 24th April: I woke up feeling more sick than yesterday, but kept strong and went to the networking event at the Emerging Business Factory, an incubator and co-working space in Marrakech. The space was filled with many inspiring and interesting quotes.
It was great to hear a few startups talk about their businesses and to meet the many interesting entrepreneurs.
I was also glad I stayed on after the rest of the Remotes left so I could continue talking more to a few of the entrepreneurs. I also looked at one of their pitch decks and gave them some feedback, which made me realize that I still really enjoy my previous life being in the business world. At the same time I'm appreciating my knowledge, experience, and the value I can add to people's lives without having to be in it full time.
One startup that sounded especially interesting and promising is SenSkin, which uses a tracking device to act as a personal skin care coach in order to prevent skin problems from arising. It almost works like a fitbit, except instead of providing information about your steps and sleep this device provides information about your skin.
Wednesday, 25th April: I woke up still not feeling 100% but much better than the day before. In the afternoon I had the last Nature of Psychological Inquiry III class, which is the very last class of my Doctor of Psychology program. Two and a half years after I started my studies I'm finally done with course work! After this will be all about the dissertation. I presented my new idea of my dissertation, which is about how being on a work and travel program such as Remote Year grows someone personally and professionally. The professor gave me good feedback which gave me a lot more confidence to go further with it. I did some work in the afternoon and had a very chill evening, trying to recover to 100% and catching up my blog and doing the 30-day killer workout which I had missed the last two days due to my sickness.
Thursday, 26th April: I had an early morning call and realized that I was still sick, now the cold has gone to my throat from the nose. I was going to stay with Susanna in a Riad for a night but decided not to do it since I was still not feeling well. When I felt slightly better in the afternoon I decided to go to the Remote Year Marrakech farewell party for a bit. It was held in a super nice house owned by one of the owners of our co-working space and the theme of the party was flower-power.
I had a couple of deep and stimulating conversations, one with Matt about his experience having completed Remote Year in a previous batch. It gave me some very interesting perspectives for my dissertation research.
Friday, 27th April: Last full day in Marrakech. I'm finally pretty much fully recovered from my cold and managed to get out and meet up with Susanna in the Riad she was staying in, Dar Justo. Riads in Morocco are all so charming and gorgeous. We then went to have one last snack in the Medina, and it is a beautiful space.
Afterwards we went to an underground art gallery that is still in renovation and saw some of the most beautiful Moroccan furniture, art, and decorations.
In the evening I met up with a couple of people I met at the Emerging Business Factory event earlier in the week and their friend. We went for a drink at the Radisson Blu to start then moved on to a bar / restaurant and did some dancing, and finally ended up at a club in the casino. It made me realize how good it is to meet locals and learn about the local culture, and wished I did it earlier in my month here, but alas, it was great to do it even if it's on the last day of my month here :)
Here we are, leaving another amazing city in another beautiful country. I was having a chat with my friend Susanna as we were walking through the Medina on the last day and she said she feels sad every time she is about to leave a city. And I said I don't feel sad but rather a sense of acceptance and excitement for the next city. It made me wonder, am I not having as much attachment to the city? But I think rather it's because I've always known that I'm going to leave it, like when I go on a holiday, except the difference this time is that I get to live in the city for longer and really get to know it before I leave. Even though it doesn't change the fact that it is temporary, what is different is that this time I have the option to come back and live in it for longer if I'd like to in the future. That is such a liberating and empowering feeling. It makes me feel so fortunate and privileged to have made a choice to get a taste of this lifestyle and to make a decision for myself whether I'd like to continue it in the future. This year for me is about getting a taste of living in 12 cities and seeing whether I can see myself living in any of them for the longer term, and if I can, come back to it. What amazing privilege and freedom that is!