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Changing Places: Maryam Montague on Marrakesh



I was a different person before I moved to Marrakesh. Not a worse person or a better person, but a different person. I was passionate about my job in a way that took over my days and nights. There were presentations and papers and briefings and receptions and working dinners. Day after day, seven days a week. In between and sometimes all the time, there was travel, one country after another -- there the days repeated themselves but in different locations.

Before Marrakesh, I surrounded myself with people who were just like me. We would speak intensely about global issues and our international development work. We leaned forward a lot, and we talked with our hands a lot. Our conversations moved from conference rooms to diplomatic homes to airport waiting rooms to small villages. I liked it that way and that's the way it was.

And then I moved to Marrakesh and I changed.

I still loved my job. I still worried about injustice and rights and tyranny. But other things crept in along the edges. It was like a warm filtered light. It was like a starry sky despite the rain.

In Marrakesh I spent time with people who were nothing like me. Like writers and artists and photographers. Like people who made films and people who made rugs and people who made dresses. And I found....I found I liked it. I also found myself becoming more like them. I stopped dreaming about my work, night after night. I started dreaming about everything else, even during the day.

It was Marrakesh, yes it was Marrakesh. It was something about Marrakesh.

{Perhaps this is a tale of rescue. Or perhaps this is a tale of loss. In any case, it's a tale of new beginnings. Maybe yours is right around the corner.}



Maryam Montague is a human rights and democracy specialist, a writer, photographer and co-owner with husband, Chris, of Peacock Pavilions – a boutique guesthouse outside Marrakesh.  Her rich and wondrous, award-winning blog can be found here.

Changing Places is a guest post series about the power of place to change us.  If you’d like to share your story, please contact me for submission details.

Reader Comments (2)

LOVELY to meet Maryam... and I especially loved this line, "I started dreaming about everything else"... That one really spoke to me, for I have felt the same way. :o) This series will be exciting to follow, Helen--thank you for it! Happy Day ((HUGS))

April 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

beautiful piece!

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRosanna

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