Emily Hoeven, an opinion columnist for The Chronicle, made her dream trip come true by traveling to Rabat on her own instead of waiting for her soul mate (an imaginary man) to accompany her. She talks about this beautiful experience with enthusiasm.
After a moment of hesitation due to society’s perception of being single, Emily Hoeven flew to Morocco on her own, where she had a dream vacation. The more I thought about my ideal vacation-which I was especially eager to take after three years of Covid-19 restrictions-the more I realized that I wasn’t incomplete because I didn’t have a partner. I was completely myself, and there was nothing separating me from the world and the experiences I wanted to have, except the residual feeling that I was supposed to be doing these things with another person,” she wrote in an op-ed published on The Chronicle.
She landed in Rabat, settling into a riad – a traditional guesthouse with an enclosed garden and courtyard. The welcome was warm. “I was escorted to the terrace for a welcome cup of mint tea. Among the people enjoying the breathtaking view of the city and the Atlantic Ocean were two young Moroccan women, who immediately invited me to have tea and food with them,” says the columnist. With a Rabat-born-and-bred college friend she had planned to meet, Emily and her hosts explored the labyrinthine alleys of the Medina and sampled street food, took a boat to the old city of Salé, visited the mausoleum of Mohammed V.
They also went to a traditional restaurant for dinner (tajine) before taking the metro streetcar back to her riad. Her journey took her to the Sahara. There, she rode a camel in the desert. I danced around a campfire, singing songs in a mixture of languages with people from all over the world who would never be in the same place at the same time again. I lay on the dunes at midnight with other campers, the only sound being the camels sniffing in their sleep, looking up at a sky so full of stars I could only see them indirectly.”
Emily says she was happy to have had a dream vacation in Morocco all by herself. “What a shame it would have been to miss out on the whole trip because I was single, because of (society’s) mistaken belief. And what a shame it would have been for me to postpone my dreams for an imaginary man, to give him the power to make or break the trip, when in fact that power resided in me all along.”