Friday, July 16, 2010

One of the most common reasons people give for pulling up roots to live in Morocco is simplification - they want a slower pace of life, a better quality of life and time to not just smell the roses, but enjoy those roses.  The thing is, it's not always easy to figure out how to accomplish this.  There is a big difference between relocating to a slower-paced place and slowing down your own pace.

How many people actually know how to just live?  This means doing nothing but ordinary day to day activities that come up, if you want to do them or must do them, and simply ignoring the stuff you don't care about right now.  People who do that can go walking in the park during the evening, sit in cafes all afternoon, loiter on the street corners harassing girls and take the afternoon of from work just because they ate too much for lunch.  Work is not the primary focus of the day, chores at home like lawn-mowing or paying the bills can wait until whenever.  Or never.  You can just take things as they come.

People often remark on the incredible amount of time Moroccans take to socialize with friends and family.  Most are envious of this interaction and wish to experience it.  The thing is, you can't say, Well, sorry, I'd love to chat but right now I have to get to the grocery store; or little Penny has a dance lesson right now.  Some things fall by the wayside.  Not everybody in Morocco is laid-back either because I have seen just as many people working three jobs, speeding endlessly around in their car like its a second home and spending so much time on their cell phone they probably can't remember their last face to face conversation.  It's all about choices.

Chances are a first encounter with Morocco took place on a vacation.  As a tourist or foreigner, one has a different perspective on things than the locals.  You can pick up and go at any time whereas they have to live in the country they built.  Many retirees go down this road, following an idealistic image or memory of a great place they visited only to find that living there is not the same thing.  In fact, living in a foreign culture is a daily challenge that may ease over time, but will never entirely go away.  And again, it's about where you choose to focus.

Morocco is a nice place to live, but it has problems just like every place else.  Some are simple to resolve and others are challenging.  Some things you might consider problems are not problems for Moroccans and those issues will never end.  It's all about you.


  1. i am planing to retire to Morocco from Nova Scotia canada what do I need to be aware of first in the way of visias and residence status for persons who are not working but on retirement??

  2. Hi Kathleen, you need to show a source of income. The main issue with the visa documentation is proving you aren't going to be homeless or penniless. I find Morocco is very liberal in terms of giving residency. The paperwork is a chore, but then again, it's the same everywhere.