Friday, June 01, 2007

Decisions, Decisions


So yesterday I took a few hours and sat by the pool and planned out my itinerary for the next 20 or so days. I decided to pass on Lagos, Portugal and have a few days for Morrocco. I allotted three full days there plus two days of travel and hoped to hit Casablanca and possibly Rabat. Today on the high speed back to Athens from Santorini I chatted with some Americans who were strongly advised not to go to Morocco, so I checked out our government's website about travel warnings. Turns out there were terrorist bombings in Casablanca in March and April targeting American-related locations (i.e. American Learning Center and consulate).


Lost has already advised me to find someone to travel with while I was there and/or do a tour group/guided tour type deal, but now that I read about all of this and the following, I wonder if I should forgo it all together: "With indications that such groups still seek to carry out attacks in Morocco, it is important for American citizens to be keenly aware of their surroundings and adhere to prudent security practices such as avoiding predictable travel patterns and maintaining a low profile." The site goes on to detail demonstrations, crimes, etc. that I should be aware of before going.

Any thoughts? I hate to be so close to Morocco (I'll be able to see it on a clear day from spots in southern Spain/Gibraltar) and not go, but I'm starting to wonder if it's more trouble/worry than it's worth, especially since I'd have to do it with an annoying tour group (I much prefer solo-style) and am a blond woman and will have to be so "hyper-vigilant."

p.s. I'm grateful for the internet and all of the resources at my fingertips regardless of where I'm located.

15 comments:

GreenLineBoy said...

I actually spent a lot of time in Morocco. Mostly in Rabat. It is a great place to visit but I wouldn't go there alone if I were a woman. Men are very aggressive there. I went with a large group and we always made sure there was at least one guy with every group. Honestly, I'd be less concerned about terrorism than the culture there. They see American women as 'easy'. What can you expect, they get the same movies we do.

If you did have a guy to go with, it is a nice place to visit. In spite of everything I just said, the people are very friendly. When I went there, the first day someone invited me to their house. I had dinner there and they let me stay the night.

If you have more questions, shoot me an email.

icadle said...

As far as you fighting you personal war on terrorism, I think there is some safety in not being associated with a group in this instance. If the culture generally doesn't respect american women, you have a problem. On the other hand, its unlikely terrorism will be a big problem if you stay away from whatever the typical american hang out type places are. I've never been there but felt compelled to give my 2 cents. Please don't get kidnapped or something if you go there because I might feel guilty. :-)

Jordan said...

You could always walk around talking with a Swedish accent... and call yourself Inga. Or do they treat Swedish ladies the same as American woman?

ella w. said...

I'm a big chicken when it comes to that kind of stuff and would probably pass on Morocco and hit Lagos and Portugal instead...

Anonymous said...

Simply shave your head,wear a ball cap and boots and sunglasses. Also do not talk very much. Or better yet DON'T GO ALONE Dr RJJ

Michelle said...

Is it possible to find a guide or male American student in that area willing to give you a personal tour of Morrocco? I know you prefer to go solo, but it would be a worthy (and safe) compromise.

LeiselB said...

I love adventure, much to my own detriment, at times. I would go-- but a) Make sure you come across as a Canadian b) if you can find a guy, go. But if not, always look like you're with a guy....by that I mean-- walk confidently and if someone starts to bug you call out like you're waiting for a guy or something. It's worked for me. Mostly I think just be aware of your surroundings and don't draw too much attention to yourself. Take some mace if needed but I wouldn't forgo it altogether. But I could be saying that because I am DYING to go....had I only known in advance we could have gone together. ;) But my female friends say I scare them when I travel-- I'm a tad too fearless I think. Good luck and HAVE FUN!

Lost said...

Hmm...I didn't know about the warnings of terrorism against Americans! I would completely agree with what GLBoy said. He articulated much better what I was trying to tell you about being in Morocco as a woman.

I hear you, on feeling that while you are there you should go. That's why I went. That being said, I think that there is always risk no matter what, but the common factor is that, if you go, you should go with someone.

Good luck and let us know what you decide!

Kathryn said...

Hey Allison! I have a good friend who is living in Morocco that I met when I was studying in France. I forget where he is in Morocco but I know that he would love to show you around and he is really funny! His email address is m.johann@mailcity.com or m.johann@lycos.com. Try him at both. His name is Johann Meynet. Make sure you mention my name as Kathryn Elkins - not sure if he knows me by my married name. You may not be anywhere close to the same town but he would be a good person to ask about visiting Morocco, even if he can't meet up with you. Let me know how it goes. I miss you girl!!!! (Ellie is pregnant also. )

Neal said...

Ugh, I would love to go to Morocco too, so it would be hard to be close and not make it.

Ryane said...

Well, I am torn. I agree that to not go would suck..but honestly, given how crazy things are today--and you being a blonde, American woman, alone--I probably would pass. I hate to even admit that out loud..but there it is; I am getting old and more like a nervous nelly everyday! Anyway, whatever you do...be careful. And enjoy! What an amazing adventure.

Nicole Tibbs said...

Hey girl! I am glad to read and catch up on your adventures. I don't need to go to a beach and look like I have cellulite all over! HA! Pleae be really careful about going somewhere like Morocco. I don't blame you at all for wanting to go, but I would only go with someone who knows what they are doing! You are too American-looking! Hope you are having fun! It sounds like it! Miss you!

Double-A said...

I lack the intelligence to comment accordingly on this (or most) post, so be careful!

brandy said...

I'm with Michelle in saying that I would try and find a guide or someone to go with. I've heard morrocco is great, but if you were going to have to go alone, I think I would pass on it right now. If you really want to see it, you will go again when the time is right and it's more safe. Wow, my mom would be SO proud of me right now.

icadle said...

Maybe you could pose as a Norwegian or a Sweed (Sorry I can't spell)