I don’t know if this holds true for other writers, but while I find it relatively easy—relatively—to get into deadline demolition mode, it’s another thing to force myself to write anything even remotely personal.
As much as I really want to get all my travel entries over and done with—my personal writing deadlines outnumber my to-dos at work—the moment I sit myself down (or in tonight’s case, flopped on my belly) in front of my laptop, the words disappear. The only other time this happens? Fellowship applications.
Fact of the matter is, I really suck at writing about myself. It’s precisely why this blog gets updated only once in a blue moon—and yep, this entry is already making me cringe because, come on, “once in a blue moon”??
Yep, personal essays are my waterloo.
So imagine my amazement when I opened my dashboard today and discovered I actually managed to churn out a grand total of 145 entries since 2013. That’s a pretty sweet number for someone who finds personal writing painful (I exaggerate; it’s pleasure spiked with pain; Hello, Anthony Kiedis).
I don’t know if anyone’s noticed but I rarely share my travel itineraries here (you have to message me if you want them). And I guess it’s because when it comes to writing about new places, I just automatically shift into writing about what really goes on inside my head. Travel is really that deep a personal experience for me, and, at the risk of sounding like a character straight of a video making fun of millennials, it’s part of what makes me ME. Something about moving from one region of the Philippines to another, coincidentally living near airports all my life, hearing those 747s and Airbuses fly above my head must’ve hardwired my system into thinking I always have to be out there.
Anyway the point is, there is no point.
Just like this entry about Marrakech is not really an entry about Marrakech.
Sometimes you just need to let all the words out because there’s a lot of them in your head and because keeping them to yourself isn’t nearly as satisfying as having somebody—a lone reader or a community of readers—to bounce off and share words, images, and ideas with. The act of travel may be something I like to do alone on occasion, but writing about the places I’ve seen and the people I’ve met? Instinctively communal. So if you’re reading this, I’m grateful you are part of my community.<3
And if you can, you really do need to get yourself to Marrakech.
And if you do find yourself there, you have to stay at a riad, spend at least a day in Jemaa el-Fnaa, and devote a few more exploring the old medina.
Walk around the square. Sample some dates. Watch the snake charmers. Enjoy the noise. Scour the souks. Buy the bag and all eight pairs of shoes (or the number you’ll thank yourself on your deathbed for).
And when you’ve had your fill of sensory overload, park your ass in a rooftop cafe, watch the sun set east of the old mosque, sip on mint tea, take a few photos, but stop at 11.
Marrakech, and the rest of the country straight right out of a movie set that is Morocco (and there have been a lot of films made here; Hello, GoT!), is all about The Pause.
Just revel and breathe it all in.