#HoyasAbroad Snapshots – Morocco

Tetouan landscape

Posted in Announcements News Story

Lauren Pyjar

Rabat, Morocco – Fall 2019

I’m terrible at traveling – not necessarily at living in other places, but the actual act of getting from point A to point B. While I was abroad, I booked multiple flights out of the wrong airports, for the wrong days, or at crazy early hours of the morning. I caused myself a lot of stress just because I didn’t double check the details before making a reservation. But somehow, all of these mishaps ended up working out.

Once, I was planning to book a flight from Tangier to Paris to meet my friend for fall break. Tangier is only an hour away from Rabat by way of the high-speed train, and the cheap flights to Europe made it a super easy departure location for a lot of people. However, when booking this particular flight, I accidentally booked it out of Tetouan. Tetouan is another northern city, but it’s not along the route of the high-speed train – in fact, it’s not along the route of any train; the only way to get there from Rabat was via a six-hour-long bus ride. When I found this out a week before my 6am flight, I was pretty stressed.

Luckily, my program coordinator helped me find a bus that would get me to Tetouan the night before, and I decided to stay in a shared Airbnb that night. After the never-ending bus ride, I found my way to the apartment I’d be staying at. The host answered the door, and introduced me to his family and the other guest who was staying with them. That evening, the other guest and I explored the medina together; we found the souk, got lost in a graveyard, and stumbled upon the king’s summer palace. Tetouan was one of the most beautiful cities I visited in Morocco, and the whole experience was quite an adventure.

The next morning, my host helped me find a taxi at 4am, and I made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. The plane took off over the Mediterranean at sunrise, and I was on the way to my next episode of organized chaos. This experience taught me that seemingly critical mistakes can turn into happy accidents if I have the right attitude, but it also taught me to triple check flight details before making a purchase.