I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when I knew I wanted to visit Morocco. The desire built gradually over time – more like a slow burn than a hot flash.
The spark was most likely lit in 2002 in the aisles of an over-stocked Pier 1 Imports store where I fell in love with their line of Moroccan-inspired home decor. Those jewel-toned pillows fringed with tiny beads, opulent flowing curtains, bright geometric carpets and intricate lanterns whispered softly to me of an intoxicating land far away.
Almost a decade later I found out that the über disappointing Sex and the City 2 was shot entirely in Morocco (not Abu Dhabi as scripted – none of the Emirates countries would give them permission to film) and that tiny spark grew a little bigger; a little hotter. Riding a camel across sand dunes the colour of smoked paprika (like Carrie and the girls) isn’t just for those rugged National Geographic Explorer types. It’s also for glamorous jet-setters and pampered princesses!
As my passion for food continues to grow, so too does that flame. I read about the authentic cuisine of Morocco – tender Berber skillet bread, chicken with tangy preserved lemons and olives, lamb stuffed with couscous and dates, spicy, garlicky harissa paste, sizzling kebabs and I want to taste it! I see photos of the iconic evening food market in the old Medina in Marrakech, the Jemma al Fna, the busiest square in the world and the entrance to the souks of Marrakech, and I sense that few other experiences will better satisfy my culinary wanderlust.
So what’s holding me back? Why haven’t I bought that plane ticket on a flight destined for North Africa? Booked that room in a palace-like Riad? As alluring as Morocco is, it’s also much more ‘foreign’ than the cobblestone streets of Western Europe. It’s got a gritty side to it, and frankly, as a female traveler, I’m a little unnerved by the idea of traveling alone in an Islāmic country where Arabic is the official script and one of two official languages. That’s not to say Morocco is or isn’t safe – just that I’m hesitant to go there without an excellent guide to help ease the culture shock.
Enter Dream My Destiny, a luxe tour company ready to hand me Morocco on a beautiful platter.
Linda Kozlowski, best known as the leading lady in The Crocodile Dundee trilogy, has embarked on a new adventure, partnering with longtime tour specialist Moulay Hafid Baba to form Dream My Destiny, a bespoke Moroccan tour company, offering one-of-a-kind, customized vacation experiences.
“My work in the film industry combined with my love of travel has taken me around the globe but no place has captured my heart like Morocco, which enchanted me with its natural beauty, magical landscapes and exhilarating energy,” says Linda, who truly embodies the sensual and adventurous spirit of Morocco.
Linda and Baba, as he is affectionately known, personally produce the tours, ensuring the clients have the best possible experience and are alleviated of the usual travel worries and woes often associated with travel in Morocco. Treating travelers to some of the most exotic and exhilarating haunts in the country, Dream My Destiny expertly juxtaposes five-star resorts with 1,000-year-old medinas, chic and unique riads with buzzing restaurants and private clubs. Tracing his ancestry back to the Alaouite dynasty more than 1200 years, Baba doesn’t need a GPS to navigate the Sahara. With his intimate knowledge of the country, which he has refined over 25 years of leading tours and facilitating world-renowned film shoots, he is uniquely positioned to take travelers to the country’s far reaches to see the brilliant saffron-gold sands of the Sahara or the towering Atlas, where Berber culture has its oldest and strongest roots.
Embracing all that is Morocco, Dream My Destiny cultivates an understanding of each client’s needs to provide a seamlessly choreographed, guided excursion. The Marrakech-based company, where Linda resides for much of the year, boasts exotic itineraries, which offer a ravishing myriad of sensual and spiritual experiences.
Since Dream My Destiny provides a bespoke service, no two itineraries are the same. I asked Linda what a regional foodie tour might look like:
Food in Morocco ranges from super VIP delicious to crazy “oh why did I do it” street food …but still delicious!! On a culinary based tour, we would offer clients some private cooking classes , of which there are many as it is becoming a very popular trend in Moroccan travel…2 classes would be great – one by a professional chef for an upmarket version of Moroccan cooking, and one taught by a dada ( a traditional Moroccan cook) for that down-home taste passed on through generations. Trips to the spice market , herb markets and vast olive markets in the medina. Learn about Moroccan herbs for cooking and healing (and black magic !…in case you need to spice your food with a love potion!!!) We’ll dine in some of the most delicious upmarket restaurants as well as sample the street food the locals love. Like a trip to gssabine, the area near Jemma al Fna square where they specialize in chwa (the special way of cooking lamb in a hole in the earth). Time allowing, a trip to Fez would be great as all the Moroccan people say the BEST cooks come from Fez !
Sounds heavenly to me – or as my friend Dina says, “where do I sign up?”
About Dream My Destiny:
Acclaimed actress Linda Kozlowski and longtime tour specialist Moulay Hafid Baba formed Dream My Destiny, a bespoke Moroccan tour company in fall 2014, which offers one-of-a-kind, customized vacations. The Marrakech-based company boasts exotic itineraries, which offer a ravishing myriad of sensual and spiritual experiences for couples, families, and groups of up to eight persons. For more information, please visit www.dream-mydestiny.com
A trip to Morocco wouldn’t be complete without a stay at the luxurious, Kasbah Agafay. This 18th century mud fort has been transformed into an Arabian nights fantasy. Unrivaled views are only out shined by the opulent locally sources cuisine served in the on site restaurant. Guests can even take some of the recipes home with them from taking a cooking class in the restaurant.