New Year is always a tricky time of the year; going on a night out can lead to extortionate drinks prices and hour long queues at the bars, and staying in makes new found couples even more obvious. Earlier in 2015 I decided that I wanted to be out of the country on holiday for New Year and after lots of searching I found a week long tour in Morocco through travel company Exodus.
Without much thought to change my mind I booked the tour to go on my own and join up to 15 other people for a week of travelling. I spent time worrying about whether I would get on with people, if I would get involved in conversations and other confidence worries I get with new people. I needn’t have worried though as the group of people ranging from a few girls my age through to couples in their 60’s were all lovely and we all got on great.
The week was quite full on as we travelled across Morocco and covered places such as Ourzazate, Zagora, The Sahara Desert, The Atlas Mountains, a few places I can’t even spell never mind pronounce, and ending in Marrakech. The whole experience was amazing, we got to see so much/ do so much and it was refreshing to be with such a relaxed group of people.
As a solo traveller I was put in a room with another girl my age who was travelling on her own and we got on really well and it was just like sharing a room with an old friend.
I had some experiences on the trip which I will never forgot such as on the Tuesday we took a 90 minute camel trek into The Sahara Desert. I’ve ridden a camel before but never through sand dunes and it was an experience I am not likely to forget (even if it’s just the pain I remember). That night we were staying in a bedouin camp in the desert, and despite the word ‘camp’ it wasn’t like our camping. These were permanent huts which were surprisingly warm. We climbed sand dunes, watched the sunset, star gazed out at the perfectly clear black sky and were taught some traditional dancing from the locals who run the area. It really was a perfect night.
On New Year’s Eve we had another of our special experiences which was staying in a village in the High Atlas Mountains. We were dropped where the road finished and walked 90 minutes uphill to our accommodation which was situated around 1800m high in the mountains. After lunch though we completed a 4 hour hike to the top of one of the mountains bringing us to around 2400m high. The trek was one of the toughest things I have done as they weren’t real paths just mule tracks, the rocks were moving under foot and there were sheer drops on every turn. But all 13 of us which ventured up there made it in one piece and the views were worth every step walked.
We ended our holiday in Marrakech which was a stark contrast to the isolated quietness we were used to, and in all honesty it was a little overwhelming. Great for a day or so but I wouldn’t be running back there unless it was just for the sunshine and resorts.
Despite my worries about travelling alone and my lack of confidence I really had an amazing week and I would encourage anyone who is debating doing a tour to just do it!