We approach the end

Lankey, my host program, gave me the opportunity to do a week-long internship where I teach students about the SAT.

I decided to take it.

While I’m here in Morocco practicing and studying French, I wanted to give back to the community I’m a part of. Plus, while I’m here I can speak French as a way to clarify to students a concept they don’t understand.

So, on the way to Casa this afternoon, while I was watching the Moroccan countryside fly by my window, I felt content, at peace, and ready to take on the world in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.

I have almost 5 days left in Morocco, and for the past two months, I’ve been recovering from the stressful academic year and getting ready to face my junior year. I needed this time to recuperate. While I’ve been here, I’ve realized that traveling is integral to how I function as a person. Northwestern is 800 miles away from where I was born and where I grew up. When I was in high school in New Jersey, I spent every Tuesday commuting an hour each way to New York City for a theater internship. Even when I was in middle school and had nowhere in particular to go, I would walk for miles out of my neighborhood, trying to find something new to see, something to do. No matter what I do in life, I need to keep myself interested in the world around me. Even if I end up at a job where everything is the same day after day, I need to take time to take a different route to work, or spend time trying new things. Adventure is only impossible if you give up on finding it.

Just to recap a little, I went to Tangiers this past weekend. It’s a city built on the cliffs. I think I fell in love a little with it. There are caves where legend has it that Hercules rested after the completion of one of his labors. They’re called Les Grottes D’Hercules and it’s one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever encountered. I promise I’ll do a long post soon with photos and things to tie up loose ends soon.

I also witnessed where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean at an overlook called Cap Spartel.

I also revisited Chefchaouen. Here’s me, in the midst of a truly blue city.

I finished my French course this morning. When I left my class today, I left knowing that it would be the last time I was there as a student. My certificate says I’m at a B2 level, which is exactly where I need to be language-wise to do the Paris study abroad at Sciences Po that I want.

Tomorrow is my flight out of Rabat, on one of the biggest holidays of the year, Eid Mubarak. The agenda is: have breakfast, watch a sheep get slaughtered, have lunch, fly home. (I might rethink breakfast, but we’ll see).

I just got off a video call with my mom who just pulled off one of the best surprises of my life. She called me, said, “Wait a minute,” turned the phone around, and there was my Grandma, who, after watching my face stick into a smile for a minute because I was unable to speak, naturally starts cracking jokes about how I, who always has something to say, am completely quiet. There was a time during this summer that my mom told me my Grandma was yelling that I needed to come home finally and see my mother. Now, on the video call, when I was expecting my Grandma to yell at me for traveling so far and not coming home to see my family for longer than a couple weeks, starts a speech about how proud she is of me, how blessed she feels to be my Grandma, and how lucky she feels that I am an example of someone she helped raise.

To the random forces of the universe that routinely make life awful, hectic, demanding, and provide the coincidences and chances of fate: thank you for this gift. On a random night at the end of one of the most amazing trips I’ve ever taken, I happened to catch my mom’s random video call, and was treated to a spectacular surprise rendezvous with my family.

I’ve been sitting here smiling like an idiot as I write this. To all the lonely travelers of the world, here’s to you. I hope you get to feel as good as I do going home.

I’ll post more soon, since I still have to tie up loose ends from other posts, but here I am, at the end of two months in North Africa, still alive, maybe marginally less healthy due to traveler’s diarrhea, wholly satisfied.