A New Appreciation

 

America, the land of the free. I have heard and sung that line my whole life.  It’s easy to hear something over and over, but never really to grasp the full meaning of the words. After my travels through Morocco, Africa, I am more aware than ever of the significance of the word “freedom.”

I traveled over a month and a half alone there, only by means of hitchhiking and lodging in the houses of Marroquí families. In that time, I hitchhiked over 50 different cars across Morocco and changed houses every 3-4 days which gave me the opportunity to meet many different Moroccan families.

Throughout my trip I would randomly meet with other people, share the travel experience, and stay in the same house. Some were foreigners like myself, but many were Moroccan people, which gave me the opportunity to dive deeper into their culture. Sometimes communication was difficult given the language barrier, but usually I could communicate without a problem with the majority of people directly or through a translator.

One interesting topic that always came up in our conversations was the topic of FREEDOM. As an American, I can travel throughout the world with few problems. Although there are exceptions and in some cases it’s necessary to get a visa beforehand and show proof of things like a letter of invitation, bank account information, health insurance, etc., usually I can travel where I want. 

 

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I have the FREEDOM to travel and explore different cultures which is my dream. My freedom is something that I never paid much attention to before, because since I was a child it has always been something I had taken for granted and considered normal. However, after spending time in different parts of Africa, I learned that while it is normal for me, it’s not that way for citizens of other countries.

For places like Morocco, to travel as a tourist outside the country involves restrictions and rules that make it very difficult. For someone who is young it’s even more difficult, unless you have a family with money, dual nationality, or you have finished your university and are earning good money. Even to enter Spain, the closest European country, is a difficult task.

I always try to encourage others I meet around the world to travel, see the world, and get to know other people and cultures. I always encourage by saying: 

“Travel, live, and accumulate experiences…” 

However, in this case I found that the problem was not that these people did not want to explore the world, rather that they could not do it so easily. Many of them look for any way to see life outside of Morocco and in extreme cases some die trying to cross the ocean to do it.

When I was traveling through Morocco, I had already traveled to many other countries, but I had never truly valued my freedom and realized how blessedI was to have the freedom to live my dream of traveling the world.

My experience in Morocco taught me that my freedom is something that I should be thankful for daily no matter where I am.

Think about all that you have and ask yourself if you are really valuing what you do have. Many times we focus all our attention on what we don’t have and we don’t give thanks for what we do have.

Don’t forget to read: 

Awaken Your Spirit of Adventure

Live As if There Were No Tomorrow

Consistency in Achieving Your Goals

 

 

Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.comA New Appreciation