I have many friends who think we are mad taking Aran to Morocco but I have to say that he absolutely loves it – so much so that after we got back, he asked if we could move there. He is quite reserved at home, but every time we have been to Morocco, it has brought him on in leaps and bounds as he is so stimulated by things being different. We have found that he loves the novelty of the country.
The Moroccans love children in general, so unlike many other countries, travelling as a family will get you a warmer welcome. While we were in Chefchaouen, Aran noticed some children playing with toy cars in the street and we went over to join in. I have some lovely photos of them racing cars together. Aran refers to them as ‘my Moroccan friends’!
In Fes we spent hours watching crafts and tradespeople at work, potters, metalworkers etc. that we never see at home and he was totally fascinated. Equally by things like the ‘rubbish donkey’ in Fes that went around collecting the rubbish – he kept comparing it to home. Even the palaces and medersa are of interest as they provide plenty of places to explore and play hide and seek.
As for the desert, Aran was so excited, he could barely sit still while we were getting there and although I run a lot, I was totally out of breath climbing the dunes. Aran kept going without a complaint as he was so keen to get to the top. In getting to the top of the sand dunes, we have all been left with an enduring memory, not fleeting gratification.
Food wise, Morocco is easy as everywhere we stayed, I was either allowed to use the kitchen to cook him something simple (I quite enjoyed this as I got to see what the local cooks used!) or they were more than happy to rustle up an omelette or pasta at any time of the day. I brought some pasta with me for the desert as I wasn’t sure what food they’d have there, and there wasn’t a problem cooking that with some vegetables.
I firmly believe that kids don’t have to be pandered to all the time – everyone needs their comfort zones pushed – just not too far at once! Morocco is different and exciting, but not too different and you can still find creams, nappies etc. in the supermarkets.
I should add as well that the beauty of a private tour with children is that it can be tailored to suit your needs, both in planning and also on the flexibility during the day. Jamal was very patient with our frequent stops and organisation of the day as Aran doesn’t have much patience when he is hungry.
We have all thoroughly loved the variety and interest in Morocco and your trips – I’d recommend them to any family who wants to think outside the square a little bit. I could go on, but I’ll never get anything else done!
We’ll be back, that’s sure!