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Traveling As A Woman In Morocco

During my travels in 2005 I not only backpacked Europe, but I also wandered off to Morocco. Even though I was with two guys traveling around Morocco it was still a challenge as a woman backpacker. Not only did I experience the basic problems women have traveling alone but I also learned how culturally acceptable it was for men to harass and annoy a woman. There were two instances where local men came up to the two guys I was traveling with to ask them for an exchange. Exchange meaning that, the local would purchase me for two camels and a pack of cigarettes. Now, the first time it happened we all thought it was a joke, well it wasn’t until you saw the local’s face where you knew they were being very serious. As a female backpacker in Morocco it is very common to receive your fair share of comments and whistles from the local men. Which is why many female backpackers can find themselves in a situation where you feel very uncomfortable and uneasy. So as a women traveler in Morocco the number one concern is your personal safety. As for me, traveling with the two men I was with, it was a little easier but at the same time there were moments were I was concerned. A few basic rules that I learned very quickly were:
1. Ignore all local men staring/ whistling, and catcalls.
2. Always avoid direct eye contact with local men. (Wear sunglasses)
3. Blend in with the culture and never wear western clothing, such as tank tops and mini skirts.
4. Wear a wedding ring and tell people you are married – a little white lie will save you in a few situations.
5. Never go outside after 10pm alone.
6. Find a traveling companion. Traveling with men who you know well will make your trip go a little easier.

Even now, as Morocco becomes more of a tourist stop there are many precautions you need to keep in mind as a women backpacker.


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