23rd June 2017
For imprinting memories, nothing rivals extracting kids from their comfort zone
It struck me on a recent trip to Marrakech that far from the nightmare travelling companions of popular myth, children are actually great explorers. Always remembering the high points, the lows wiped from their memories the moment new excitement appears on the horizon. A few years ago, we took an interminable car journey: eight long cramped hours (having been sold to us as five) in the back seat, on bumpy, twisting roads, to get from Ouarzazate in central Morrocco to a camp in the Sahara.
Monkeys clamber about on leads. Dodging cobras emerging from baskets
The boredom set in within moments, and by the time we finally arrived, there had been tears and rages, two toilet emergencies, one bout of vomiting and a blessedly long nap. Yet the moment the kids saw the vast expanse of majestic shifting sand dunes, silhouetted in the setting sun, the journey was forgotten, as they jumped and danced like ecstatic dervishes in the light of the rising moon. Morocco has been our favoured location for February half-term since my two were toddlers, and at a time when big chunks of the Arab world are off menu for family travellers, it remains a unique oasis of safety, comfort and welcome.
It’s not a bad way to look at the world, and one worth bearing in mind when you decide on your next adventure.