Usually after traveling to a country, I write an article listing the things I love about that country, but, unfortunately, this will not be the case with Morocco. I always travel alone and Morocco is the kind of place where people said I was brave and potentially crazy to travel alone as a single female and this was the first time that I actually agreed, to an extent.
As a seasoned traveler, it is extremely rare that I stay this, but I wouldn’t go back to Morocco. There’s nothing overly exciting in Morocco to take me back, the food was surprisingly not very good, and I had multiple bad experiences there, due to the culture. I was constantly harassed and sexually harassed. I even got touched by a man while I was with my stepdad, who I had met up with in Marrakech for a few days. Of course this happened when I was alone too, but I was surprised it happened even when I was with another man. I got called “fucking racist” for repeatedly, politely and calmly asking a Moroccan man to stop following me and talking to me. I received a death threat, simply because I said “no thank you” to two men with bad intentions who wouldn’t stop following me and some other backpackers. Constantly getting treated like a whore got really old, really fast. And it just isn’t safe. I constantly felt the need to seek refuge and hide in my hostel, which is not an ideal activity while traveling. Oh and it’s also a popular place to get kidnapped and sold into the sex trade, which is my biggest fear while traveling.
How Moroccan women are treated by Moroccan men is really upsetting and depressing. I can’t and don’t want to imagine the amount of physical and sexual abuse they endure. Morocco is #10 on the list of The 10 Worst Countries for Women. I said this before and I’ll say it again- if I was a woman born and raised in Morocco, I would legitimately jump off a bridge. I’m a very independent, assertive, outspoken and athletic female, which are qualities that aren’t accepted in Morocco if you’re a woman.
Morocco is the first place I’ve gone where it has made me repeatedly thank Allah that I live in Canada, so that is the silver lining to all the bad experiences. It was also the first place that I was actually happy to go home at the end of my trip (usually I go home kicking and screaming). I’m so thankful that in Canada I can say what I want, do what I want, act how I want, dress how I want and go jogging outside for exercise without being at high risk for rape and attack.
A month and a half in the Middle East will start to wear on you and mess with you psychologically, especially as a blonde, single female. I was in Turkey before Morocco and while I did have a few bad experiences there also, the good far outweighed the bad because Turkey was way safer and way more awesome. I loved Turkey and I would go back in a heart beat.
The Middle East messed with me so much that when I stopped in London for a day and a half on my way back home and an older English woman approached me and my stepdad in a park in broad daylight asking where Harrods was, I was shocked and speechless. This was the first time in a month and a half that a woman had approached me in public. This concept had become foreign and baffling to me. This was also the first time in a month and a half that a stranger (who was always a man in Turkey and Morocco), approached me in public without any bad intentions. It was so bad that when she approached us, I actually started sizing her up and thinking about what her intentions were. Luckily my stepdad did the talking. Then I snapped out of it and realized how absurd that all was. The woman was about 65 years old and completely innocent. It was clearly time to go home.
I don’t regret going to Morocco because I had always wanted to go, but after traveling there, I can’t say that I recommend it. If you’re a male, Morocco will automatically be a little safer. If you go on a tour, it would also be much safer, but then you’ll spend a lot more money and you won’t have any freedom, which is why I try to avoid tours. All in all, the general consensus with Morocco seems to be that you either love it or you hate it.