Lessons Learned From Solo Travel to Morocco

I don’t usually get super personal on the blog but every now and then I share some things from my personal life. I’m finding more and more over the years that my experiences in my personal life impact who I am and how I perform as a CEO and vice versa, and are therefore worth sharing from time to time. 

The beginning of 2024 has looked far different for me than the beginning of any other year while owning M&G. Things in my personal life got turned upside down at the very end of 2023 and have taken a toll on my ability to focus and be as present at work as I normally am. I missed putting out our first two monthly newsletters of the year for January and February, social media has all but come to a screeching halt, and I have admittedly not been at work full time. This is unheard of for me and the timing is especially impactful because typically January and February are months where I spend time doing intense business planning for the upcoming year, taking my annual workcation independently, then setting goals together with the team, and beginning to execute on the goals we’ve set with a lot of momentum and enthusiasm. But mentally, emotionally, and physically I’ve been far from the type of headspace that this process requires. I’ve known it and my team has too – it’s been more than obvious. 

Instead of beating myself up and forcing a practice simply because the calendar said I was supposed to be doing planning and goal setting in January and February because we always do these things in January and February, I decided to hit the brakes and focus on myself instead. I booked a trip to Morocco and Spain for just me, myself, and I – a trip that’s been on my bucket list for ages. Was I scared to go alone? Yes. Did I do it anyway? Sure did. 

female solo travel in morocco

female solo travel morocco

Adventuring far away on your own doesn’t solve problems. It can sometimes make them worse simply by delaying the necessary steps to solve them. But it does force you out of your comfort zone which, in turn, can help you improve your self-esteem and offer lessons you can apply to both your personal life and work life when you return. I find that traveling to places with very different religions, languages, topography, customs, and currency offer the best opportunities for growth simply because you’re forced to adjust to other people’s way of doing things rather than other people adjusting to you. This is not unlike business ownership where the very nature of it can be outside of your comfort zone because nothing is guaranteed, and risk taking is required over and over again. So any chance to feel some discomfort and apprehension about the unknown is a good thing!

I was immediately blown away by all of the shades of marigold I encountered all over Morocco and Spain. It made the whole thing feel meant to be! And in fact, the use of vibrant colors everywhere caused this neutrals-loving girl to have a change of heart.

ceo solo travel to morocco

ceo solo travel

color travel to morocco

In Morocco, I rode a camel (scarier than it looks), explored the markets in Marrakesh and Fez, tried not to get lost within the winding and extremely narrow alleyways, hiked to see breathtaking views I’l never forget, and admired some of the most beautiful sunsets against a backdrop of architecture nothing like you see here at home. It was all mesmerizing. In Spain, I took a Spanish cooking class in Seville with a very gracious woman named Patricia who welcomed me into her home for the day and even did an evening tapas tour along with soaking in some of the most beautiful gardens I’ve ever experienced.  

ceo solo travel morocco ceo solo travel morocco

ceo solo travel morocco

ceo solo travel morocco

ceo solo travel in morocco

One of the benefits of solo travel is that you’re 100% in charge of your itinerary. For me this meant I could focus heavily on the arts and crafts side of things (so many opportunities for this in Morocco!!) that inspire my creativity without having to worry that I was boring someone with me who wouldn’t want to be spent such a high percentage of the trip getting their hands dirty, so to speak. I spent a lot of time talking with artisan makers, learning what they do and how they do it, and showing genuine appreciation for their crafts. I learned so much about woven textiles, moroccan rugs, pottery, and mosaics. I even toured a tannery and learned how leather goods are made. I even tried my hand at the pottery wheel and did a mosaic of my own and let me tell you, it’s far more difficult than it looks! 

ceo solo travel morocco

solo travel to morocco

ceo solo travel to morocco

ceo solo travel to morocco

I returned home to face the same realities that troubled me before I left. But, there are lessons to be learned here:

I’m reminded that redundancy is needed in every part of the business, including my role as the owner. If any one thing comes to a hault when one person is out or not able to work at full capacity, it’s time for redundancy. I still do all of the marketing and social media for the business as well as some other key functions, and this has been a great reminder to look to cross train on these things or outright hire for it.  

I am also woefully behind in my work and feel “off my game”. My ability to focus is severely compromised. But we cant let perfection get in the way of our progress and so half of my normal ability to focus is better than zero. I need to dig in right where I am and do what I can. Who says March can’t be a great month to kick off the goals for a brand new year? I’m currently a fan!

 ceo solo travel morocco

If you’re a business owner, how to you juggle business ownership when things go wrong in your personal life and you’re not your normal self? I’d love to know! 

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