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Lessons Learned From Solo Travel to Morocco

FILED IN: Behind-the-Scenes, Education, M&G Happenings

Posted By: Jamie Kutchman

I don’t usually get super personal on the blog but every now and then I share some things from my personal life. I’m finding more and more over the years that my experiences in my personal life impact who I am and how I perform as a CEO and vice versa, and are therefore worth sharing from time to time. Who may even help another business owner in their own journey, no matter what stage they're in. You never know when what you have to say may be just the thing that another is needing to hear to take that next risk, feel more confident about taking a leave of absence, or just everyday food for thought.

solo travel morocco

The beginning of 2024 has looked far different for me than the beginning of any other year while owning M&G. Things in my personal life got completely turned upside down at year-end of 2023 and it's taken a toll on my ability to focus and be as present at work as I normally am. I missed putting out our first two monthly newsletters of the year for January and February, social media has all but come to a screeching halt, and I have admittedly not been at work full time. This is unheard of for me. The timing is especially impactful because typically January and February are months where I usually spend time doing intense business planning for the upcoming year, taking my annual workcation independently, then setting goals together with the team, and beginning to execute on the goals we've set with a lot of positive momentum and enthusiasm. But mentally, emotionally, and physically I’ve been far from being in the type of headspace that this process requires. I've known it and my team has recognized it in me too - it's been more than obvious. Sometimes you're thrown for such a loop that you're in survival mode.

Instead of beating myself up and forcing this standard New Year routine simply because the calendar said I was supposed to be doing planning and goal setting in January and February because we always do these things in January and February, I decided to hit the brakes. After a busy year and crazy holiday season with hardly any breaks, I recognized the need to focus solely on myself instead. I booked a trip to Morocco and Spain for just me, myself, and I - a trip that had been on my bucket list for ages. Was I scared to go alone? Yes. Did I feel entirely up for this type of adventure? No. Did I do it anyway? Yes.

female solo travel in morocco

Adventuring far away on your own doesn’t solve problems. It can sometimes make them worse simply by delaying the necessary steps to solve them. But it does force you out of your comfort zone which, in turn, can help you improve your self-esteem and offer lessons you can apply to both your personal life and work life when you return. I find that traveling to places with very different religions, languages, topography, customs, and currency offer the best opportunities for growth simply because you're forced to adjust to other people's way of doing things rather than other people adjusting to you. This is not unlike business ownership where the very nature of it can be outside of your comfort zone because nothing is guaranteed, and risk taking is required over and over again. So any chance to feel some discomfort and apprehension about the unknown is a good thing!

I was immediately blown away by all of the shades of marigold I encountered all over Morocco and Spain. (It made the whole trip feel meant to be!) And in fact, the presence of an entire rainbow worth of vibrant colors everywhere may have even caused this neutrals-loving girl to reconsider her favorite color palette. If you suddenly see some bright and colorful new gift box designs show up in our online shop in the near future, you'll know exactly why!

ceo solo travel to morocco

ceo solo travel

color travel to morocco

In Morocco, I rode a camel in the desert (scarier than it looks), explored the markets in Marrakesh and Fez, tried my best to steer clear of snake charmers since I'm phobic, tried not to get lost within the winding and extremely narrow alleyways, hiked to see breathtaking views I'll never forget, and admired some of the most beautiful sunsets against backdrops of architecture unlike anything I'd ever seen before, and toured historical sites too. In Spain, I took a Spanish cooking class in Seville with a very gracious woman named Patricia who welcomed me into her home for the day, and even did an evening tapas tour along with soaking in some of the most beautiful gardens I've ever experienced. 

ceo solo travel morocco ceo solo travel morocco

female solo travel morocco

ceo solo travel morocco


ceo solo travel in morocco

One of the benefits of solo travel is that you're 100% in charge of your itinerary. For me this meant I could focus heavily on the arts and crafts side of things (so many opportunities for this in Morocco!!) that inspire my creativity without having to worry that I was potentially boring a travel companion who wouldn't want to spend such a high percentage of the trip getting their hands dirty, so to speak. I spent a lot of time talking with artisan makers, learning what they do and how they do it, and showing genuine appreciation for their crafts. I learned so much about woven textiles, moroccan rugs, pottery, and mosaics. I even toured a tannery and witnessed how leather goods are made as well as a shoemaker and learned how shoes of all styles are designed and made. I tried my own hand at the pottery wheel (not going to quit my day job!) and did a mosaic of my own. Let me tell you, it's far more difficult than it looks and I now understand why all things mosaic are always pricey.

ceo solo travel morocco

solo travel to morocco

ceo solo travel to morocco

ceo solo travel to morocco


I returned home to face the same realities that troubled me before I left. But, there are lessons to be learned here:

I’m reminded that redundancy is needed in every part of the business, including my role as the owner. If any one thing comes to a hault when one person is out or not able to work at full capacity, it’s time for redundancy. As the CEO, I still do all of the marketing and social media for the business as well as several other key functions and these parts of the business have suffered as a result. This has been a reminder to look to cross train on these functions or outright hire for it and remove myself completely. We are not there yet but it is something I am strongly considering.

I am woefully behind in my work and feel “off my game”. My ability to focus is severely compromised. But we cant let perfection get in the way of our progress and so half of my normal ability to focus is better than zero. I need to dig in right where I am and do what I can. Things do not have to be done on the same timeline you've always done them on. Who says March can’t be a great month to kick off the goals for a brand new year? I'm currently a new fan! 

ceo solo travel morocco

If you're a business owner, how to you juggle business ownership when things go wrong in your personal life and you're not your normal self? I'd love to know! And if you're interested in more lessons learned from solo travel, check out another recap here

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