Adventure Travel Africa Sahara Desert

Hitchhiking: The Reality of a Female Hitchhiking in Morocco

HITCHHIKING marruecos casablanca

It almost became comical after having the same conversation over and over as I neared my departure date for Morocco, Africa. “Sarah, you really don’t need to be traveling to Morocco. It is a very dangerous country. Many people get raped, robbed, and even die there. If you feel the need to go, go with a man or with a guided group, but do not go otherwise.”

It’s not that I don’t respect what other people say about a situation. I understand more than ever about risk and the importance of staying safe, especially when you are alone in a foreign country. But I also understand that we live in a world that focuses on the negative.

As a result, people are bound by fear and terrified to break away and explore.

After countless times of telling others that I was going to make the trip to Morocco without a man and without a guided tour, the next conversation often happened:

“Sarah, I hate that you have made the decision to go; however, whatever you do, you cannot hitchhike there. Hitchhiking in that part of the world is dangerous. They take girls like you all of the time. If you hitchhike, you will not make it out alive because the people there are not good people.”

The truth of the matter is yes – there are bad people in Morocco, just like any other country in the world. Bad things happen each day in Morocco, just like any other place in the world. People get raped, robbed, and murdered in Morocco, just like any other country in the world.

I flew out of Marrakech, Morocco to return to Spain scratching my head in wonder. With all those who were so quick to talk about how bad the people were in Morocco and how dangerous it was there, how was it that after my being there a few weeks I had not faced any of this “maltreatment?”

Was I just lucky?

If my experience was strictly based on pure luck, then I must have the best luck in the world. I must have been “lucky” the night I hitchhiked my first ride at the ferry crossing between Spain and Morocco, where my Moroccan truck driver offered to share with me his hot chicken dinner, drink, fruit, and dessert and took only a few bites for himself.

That was only the beginning.

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After successfully hitchhiking with 53 different people, while I was alone and with other travelers, I am 100% confident of one thing:

I was not lucky.

I can honestly write that I did not have one single bad experience hitchhiking in Morocco. It was actually the opposite; I was treated like royalty. The Moroccan drivers (both men and women) offered me snacks, water, cookies, engaged in interesting conversations, bought me dinner, and one even invited my two friends and I to stay at his house with him and his family (an offer we accepted).

I felt sincerity from each and every one of my Moroccan drivers as they took me from city to city. I felt a genuine desire from them to get to know who I was in a short period of time and a desire in return to share their culture with me. Conversations were not limited by a difference in religion or nationality.

They accepted me just as I was, burka or not. I felt no judgement about me and not once was I uncomfortable with any of my male drivers. Were all 53 of these successful hitchhiking experiences luck?

Or could it be that we are too quick to label a whole culture based on little knowledge and negative news reports?

Don’t forget to read: 

 

  • What are your thoughts on this topic? 
  • Have you ever hitchhiked in un “unsafe” place? 
  • Share your stories below! 

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Quora
    11 May, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    What are the various ways you use to make others feel important? How does it benefit that person?

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  • Reply
    Spiro
    5 August, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Please join and let your voice be heard on fb! Search for our group, “female hitchhikers / badass travelers”

  • Reply
    Paula
    31 July, 2015 at 5:27 am

    The article would have been so much better if you would have added some safety tips. You only get to be unlucky once. And the fact that your friends are overprotective shows only that they care for you. That they think that it could happen there but not in “more civilised” countries is very short sighted of them.

    • Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.com
      Reply
      Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.com
      13 August, 2015 at 9:59 am

      Paula! That is a great idea, I will make another post on some of the things I do to keep myself safe and some of the things I have learned from hitchhiking as a single female. Thanks for the feedback! 🙂

  • Reply
    jay
    29 July, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    hello sarah! Im glad you make it hitchhiking in a place like that. I just experienced hitchhiking once only in zamboanga Philippines and I rode in truck full of fruits. I just sat at the back of the truck and it was indeed an awesome feeling. Yes your right there’s bad and good people in this world but if we live in fear and avoid to do what we want to do in our life then we cannot achieve this so called emotional satisfaction. Anyways I read your blog about minimalism ands it is very true..felt the same way and what I did before I came here in Canada I just give most of my stuff to a friends and relatives that way I made them happy and in my part less stress.Next year Im going to Batanes Philippines and I am so excited.You can check it out so you will know how beautiful the place is and the people there.
    Goodluck to your next adventure

    • Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.com
      Reply
      Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.com
      13 August, 2015 at 10:02 am

      Jay! I love your experience about the Philippines, that is so awesome!! You sound like quite the adventurous person also! That is great about your future travels and your own journey towards minimalism… Its always good to hear from people with like minds and are on the road to living out their dreams. Keep it up and be safe! 🙂 Continue to share you adventures on here when you can!

  • Reply
    Abel
    29 July, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Nice post. I’m a man and I have always had good experience hitchiking, but because I’m a man, all my friends say (after saying is dangerous, no body is going to take you, and realizing that I already did) they answer, ah, you are a man, if you were a girl is different. And I can’t not answer that question. I hope more people will follow your example, I hitchhike in more than 7 European countries, more than 100 cars already probably, and I had no one bad experience. And a lot of really good and unforgettable experiences. There is something there. as you said, that is more than luck.
    Cheers and good luck with next projects 🙂

    • Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.com
      Reply
      Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.com
      13 August, 2015 at 10:04 am

      Abel! You are so inspirational! I am so glad that you shared this! So many people say that its “IMPOSSIBLE” if you are a man, however I have heard countless success stories from men. Sure, it may be easier as a female, but it also is with men too. You are a perfect example of that. I am so glad that you also have not had any bad experiences! Good luck in all you do and continue to share your success stories for others to see! You rock!

  • Reply
    Abdou
    29 July, 2015 at 10:47 am

    hello there. I am from Morocco, Marrakech as well. I could not agree more Sarah about all that you said in this lovely and well expressed article. Yes it is true we can not judge anything just due to some negative fact that are most of the time a mere propaganda. I for myself met two Canadien guys in Marrakech they were looking for someone who speeks english in the cumpus I was lucky to meet them, we talked much, and I took them with to my village to the mountains, and they had a Morrocan traditional breakfast with my family. All that they said is “thank you Abdellah for bringing us here it is really wonderful”.
    Well done Sarah I really enjoyed reading your article. I really hope that from time to time tourists could do the same as you did (posting this) in order to show the reality of (not just Morrocco), but allover the word, rather than the falacies that we here often which are not a totaly true and do not unravel the basics about certain places. Thank you.

    p.S: I didn’t take anything from them (the two guys). I did it for fun and practicing my english that is all.

    • Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.com
      Reply
      Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.com
      13 August, 2015 at 10:07 am

      Abdou! Wow, you are a perfect example of true Moroccan hospitality. That is so incredible that you did that for them and I know that because of that they will ALWAYS remember you. Its people like you that truly make an amazing experience in a country. Its definitely a plus also that you got to practice your English! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your awesome story!

      • Reply
        Candie
        8 January, 2017 at 12:22 am

        It sounds like it has been an amazing year for yoCaount!cting strangers to meet up scares me too but I met Kyla the last time I was in Winnipeg and she was so sweet and kind. Maybe next time I’m there we could get together!

  • Reply
    Saikat Roy
    29 July, 2015 at 10:43 am

    You are my hero Sarah. The way you inspired me, no one else was capable enough. Carry on my hero. All the best my traveler friend.

    • Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.com
      Reply
      Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.com
      13 August, 2015 at 9:56 am

      Saikat! Thanks so much. I am so glad that you are feeling inspired. Thank you so much for sharing that with me! 🙂

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