Beyond Disney: Family Vacation to Morocco

While the Arab country of Morocco in North Africa does not immediately come to mind when thinking of family vacation destinations, Cass Erikson writer for proves that this country may be the best experience for a child in her article Saharan Soccer: Traveling with Children in Morocco.”

“Moroccans treasure children more than any caravan gold. Children–all children–are blessings, and a foreign child is no different than any other.

Nowhere was our experience more dramatic than in the desert areas. In almost every village we explored, Oliver was invited to play soccer with the local boys while I drank tea with their mothers. During breaks, the children would ask him about American movies and demand to receive English lessons, but even with the language barrier, I would look over to find them rolling in the sand and dirt, laughing and smiling like they understood each other perfectly.

Meanwhile, the women and I compared notes about marriage, sex and childrearing, as well as our hopes for the future of our children and for ourselves. Surprisingly, we shared many of the same experiences and expectations.

But the real highlight was the three-day camel trek we took in the dunes of Erg Chebbi. Oliver had never ridden a camel before, but took to it like a real Tuareg. He was king of all he could survey from his high perch: with his turban tied around his head, he was Aladdin and Ali Baba, a powerful sheik and Lawrence of Arabia. And even when we made him wake up at dawn to watch the sunrise over the desert, he was enthusiastic and thrilled.

Our guides also taught him how to care for his camel, how to saddle her and how to milk her. They even offered to sell her to him, and I was tempted to agree!”