Back in Morocco now with Hanane and her family. She tells me she’s going to kill me about a hundred times a day, but for now, she’s taking care of me. Nursing me back to health.
This trip was like a trip to the dark side. The worst couchsurfing experience in the world in Madrid, getting violated by Canadian customs, the betrayal of my father, the job that never happened, banks freezing up my money, getting bit by blackflies and nearly freezing as I made my way by foot and thumb all the way across Canada…and yet…
It was wonderful. Despite the awful experiences, despite the hardships – I made it. I made friends, I rode horses, I discovered new places, I renewed old friendships, I connected with family, and I made it home with enough cash to perhaps get the ball rolling to marry Hanane and the sincere desire to settle down.
Perhaps it was my friend Rafael’s advice on my last stop in Belgium that really decided me to come back to Morocco and give it a go –
“Look,” he said. “My daughters are the best thing to ever happen to me and they wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the relationship I was in before. You were a Marine and you told me it was hell doing that for four years. Commit to five years and see how it goes…it can’t be worse than the Marines.”
And as Hanane nurse me back to health and her family welcomes me back like a much loved son, I have to thank him for his wisdom. This isn’t at all as bad as the Marines were…and I don’t think it ever could be.