Morocco ranks in the top 20 countries to visit in your lifetime according to Condé Nast Traveler (CNT). Well, it's a good job we already spotted how wonderful a place it is for women travellers, creative souls, and entrepreneurial spirits and are hosting our Wild Women Do Retreat there in August 2016.
Speaking to another lady this week in London who's spent many years there, owned a Riad, and now a new travel agency, she described Morocco as "a woman's place", which I've heard described before.
Perhaps it's the access to creativity, design, fashion, nature (with palm trees, water, desert, mountains), natural beauty products, hammam spa-rituals. Maybe it's the chance to let your imagination wander in beautiful historical buildings, in the sunshine, on ancient land.
It could be the great food, inspired romantic fables, the music, the craft, the storytelling, the curious conversations, the strong sense of family and community, where Westerners & non-Muslims are welcome any time.
Whatever it is, this North African land really has a magnetic pull to women (and men). I couldn't have known when I chose to host our first retreat there, how much this country could teach me about life, wellness, love, creativity and business.
It's reminded me of the need to relax, to go at a slower pace, to take time to write, to explore, to wander, to rest, to embrace new sights, tastes, and sounds that ignite my senses. As essential to the business growth, as sitting at the laptop.
Seeing creative artisans, makers and women entrepreneurs at work daily, inspired creative ideas, poems, stories, new retreat and coaching programs, new book ideas, and designs.
It's introduced me to new creative friendships that feel strong from the very start, bonded by a love of a place, and an independent streak that comes alive when you choose to live in a foreign land.
It's woken the desire to come into 2016 from an authentic, Wild Woman, soul-centred, deep-rooted place of knowing and strength, and wants to support other women to do the same. To let go of everything that no longer matters, to bring that sense of inner peace.
Through meeting so many creators, designers, makers and women entrepreneurs, new opportunities and networks arose I couldn't have predicted before.
It's stirred a desire to give back and contribute, provoked by meeting young child brides not allowed to be educated despite it being the law there to attend until 16. Such a contrast of life and career choices, when so near to women living a more modern life in the bigger cities.
Supporting the girl's education charity Project Soar is one way Wild Women Do can contribute to this girl's education and empowerment cause.
My travel in Marrakech also taught me to question cultural false beliefs and fears that certain narrow-sighted folk on social media and the media seem keen to express without facts or experience.
Take yesterday's damaging political statement by an ignorant man, about Muslims in America, that I don't want to even give airtime to.
I actually felt safer and more welcomed in Marrakech than I've done in many other cities in the world, and it confronted my own judgements about what it means to believe in a faith, or not.
Morocco, despite it's magic, has development needs like any other country and city. That's part of why I found it one of the richest places to learn from.
It's an ancient country, yet it's emerging into a contemporary place, with a blend of African and Western cultures, creativity and trade, peacefully side-by-side.
It's a Moroccan melting pot that seems to inspire personal, creative and business development if you go with an open heart, eyes and mind.
When we choose to step into a new culture and to stretch our imaginations and beliefs, we can appreciate more what we have, don't have, and want more of, whether at home or abroad.
For that, I'm grateful that for the opportunity to travel to such a wonderful land like Morocco, and look forward to many more visits and long-stays to come.
Read our blog interview with Rosena Charmoy, founder of Boutique Souk for more insight into what Moroccan travel can do to enhance your wellness and business.
If you want to experience it for yourself, come join us on our Moroccan retreat.