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Zagora or Merzouga: what desert to choose

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Zagora or Merzouga: what desert to choose

One of the most unforgettable experiences you can live as a traveller going to Morocco is to make an excursion to the Sahara Desert. Depending on the days you have available for your trip to the desert, you will be interested in visiting Zagora or Merzouga From Marrakech, there are mainly two excursions to visit the Sahara: the one that goes to the Zagora desert, and the one that has the destination of the Merzouga desert. Two deserts that, although they are part of the same Sahara desert, are totally different from each other. Keep reading, because in this post we will tell you the peculiarities of each one so you can choose the desert trip that suits you best. You should take a look at desert tours in Marrakech for all the excursions you can do there.

Marrakech

Visiting the desert from Marrakech is an adventure that you will remember in a lifetime.

Zagora or Merzouga: defrosting the margarita

There are many factors to weigh when choosing whether to end up going to Zagora or Merzouga. One of the main points to consider is the time you will spend. An excursion from Marrakech desert tours to Zagora is ideal if your idea is to make a short trip of 2 days and sleep 1 night in the desert. If you have one more day, it would be best to opt for an excursion to Merzouga. The minimum number of days you must use to go to the desert of Merzouga is 3 days and 2 nights. Normally one of the nights you will stay in the Atlas Mountains, and the other falls you will sleep in a jaima in the desert of Merzouga. You should know that this desert is famous for its sand dunes: some reach 150 meters high!

 

Map of the Zagora desert and the Merzouga desert

Where are the deserts of Zagora and Merzouga with respect to Marrakech? How many kilometers are they from the so-called Red City?

Zagora Desert

The Zagora desert is about 355 kilometers away from Marrakech and to get there you have to make a journey of about 6 hours by road. Although it seems that it is quite a long time to spend there, visiting this desert is perfect for a short 2-day, 1-night desert getaway. The big difference with the other great desert of Morocco, Merzouga, is that Zagora is much more arid and rocky. But that does not take away charm, in fact, it is one of the most visited deserts in Morocco.

It is quite different from the concept of the Moroccan desert that most of us have in our heads, but it is really beautiful and well worth visiting. In this desert you can do activities such as riding a camel at sunset, go quad biking and of course sleep in a jaima enjoying the night and the desert sky. Zagora is a more rocky desert, although you will also find dunes in it.

 

Zagora Desert

MerzougDesert

The desert of Merzouga is 562 kilometres away from Marrakech, and it takes about 9-10 hours to reach by road. That is why the trip to this desert is usually done in 2 stages. This is the most popular dessert in Morocco and the most visited by travellers who have more time to invest in this adventure. Taking an excursion to Merzouga means using at least 3 days and 2 nights.

In this desert, you can enjoy large sand dunes of more than 150 meters and watch the sunset while riding a camel through its dunes. If all this is not enough to make this excursion unforgettable, the camel ride will take you to the jaima, where you can enjoy the starry desert sky. Seeing the Milky Way while lying on a sand dune is something you will never forget.

Huge dunes and film landscapes are waiting for you in Merzouga.

MerzougDesert

What desert is better? It’s a matter of time

As we said before, going to one area or another of the desert will depend, to a large extent, on the time you spend there. The time you should spend in Zagora to enjoy the whole area is about 2 days minimum, while if you go to Merzouga the ideal will be to spend at least 3 days. Apart from the question of the time of your getaway, it would be better to choose Merzouga desert, as we have said before we recommend you the desert of Merzouga, since it has the largest and most impressive dunes; while the Zagora region in Morocco is closer to Marrakech, but it is more rocky and arid. You should take a look at desert tours in Marrakech for all the best excursions you can do there.

 

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Amel Elezovic is Traveling the World, Here Are 6 Reasons Why Traveling Abroad is Important for Young People.

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In high school and college, it is likely that you will receive some kind of encouragement to travel, study or work abroad. It may seem like you have a lot going on so you don’t seriously consider these opportunities or maybe you write them off since you plan on traveling later in life. I would encourage traveling at any age, but the earlier you can learn the lessons travel teaches the better.

When you are young you are still finding yourself and preparing for your school and career. The skills and experience you gain from traveling abroad can give you lifelong personal benefits as well as a leg up in the professional world.

In high school and college, you have the luxury of having flexibility since you can study anywhere in the world and have relatively long study breaks. It is a prime time to take advantage of your freedom and youth.

Top 6 reasons to travel abroad while you are young:

  1. You’ll Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

As young people, most of us have a pretty established comfort zone. At home with mom and dad, in a community that has known you for probably a good part of your life. You have your established, friends, activities, hangouts and possibly jobs. We become comfortable in these daily roles and the idea of breaking out them can be scary and uncomfortable.

The problem is, you learn the most in uncomfortable, unfamiliar situations. In our daily routines, you know how to act and respond to people and your surroundings. Being in a new place, with different people, who hold different values and go about life differently (or not so differently you may find) strips all that familiarity away.

It can be scary, but once you figure out that you can connect with people despite differences, and you can navigate foreign environments, you become a smarter, more competent individual. Embrace the discomfort. Search for it, because it is helping you grow.

Amel Elezovic at The Level @ Alicante, Spain.

  1. Traveling Builds Confidence

As you conquer the obstacles of figuring out how to use public transit in a foreign country or asking for simple things in a grocery store, you are building confidence and the ability to adapt to foreign situations. I remember moving to a country where I spoke little to none of the languages.

When I returned home, I moved across the country to a state where I had no family, friends or connections. The prospect of that move may have intimidated me before living abroad, but then I thought to myself, ‘Well if I can do it abroad in a completely foreign system, I will be just fine in a place where I at least share the language.’

You realize that you CAN do things, despite the obstacles and suddenly the obstacles seem less obstructive and more like welcomed challenges.

Amel Elezovic at Eurostars Madrid Tower Hotel.

  1. You, Will, Develop Cultural Sensitivity

Being culturally sensitive is key in our globalizing world. It is not enough to say “people from X country are like this.” It is important to look for underlying values that may explain a certain behavior in order to practice cultural sensitivity. A good example is when I was in Spain (especially in the south), where they take a 2-3 hour siesta and lunch in the middle of their workday.

Many people view this cultural norm as the people just being lazy when it really has a lot more to do with the fact that historically Spaniards value family facetime. Eating together as a family is more important to them than maximizing work time by scarfing a sandwich down at their desks.

Being aware of cultural values and norms is not only fascinating, but can help us understand international issues and conflicts, or even relate to the cultural norms of a foreign business partner. It is an important skill to be able to shift perspectives and see where someone else is coming from.

Cultural sensitivity will help you with your communication on both business and personal levels.

Amel Elezovic celebrating New Year’s eve in Cibeles, Madrid.

  1. You Can Adapt to Globalization

Whether you like it or not, with the internet and social media, we are globalizing quickly. It is not unlikely that you would end up with a job that has you travel for business or take part in conference calls with international business partners. In our globalizing world, it is important to be culturally sensitive and it can’t hurt to know a foreign language.

In the business world, having lived abroad can give you a competitive edge. Use the confidence and cultural sensitivity that traveling helps you develop and help it make you successful.

Amel Elezovic at The Level at Melia Alicante.

  1. Be Immersed in a Second (or Third) Language

 Before I lived abroad I never truly understood the beauty of becoming fluent or even proficient in another language. In the United States, we don’t need to know another language, or many would argue that. Once you travel abroad you realize that especially in Europe, almost everyone you meet speaks at least two languages somewhat proficiently.

We in the States have a bit of a disadvantage since geographically we cannot country-hop as easily as Europeans can. This is why traveling, especially for us, is even more important.  I would argue that in the globalizing world it really can only benefit you to speak another language. Not to mention, it opens up a whole new world of people you can now connect with and understand that you would never have gotten the chance to get to know had you never learned their language.

Living abroad is really the best way to learn a new language since you are forced to challenge and practice your skills on a daily basis.

Amel Elezovic at private Netflix Area at Melia Alicante.

  1. Infinite Opportunities to Network

I have studied and worked abroad and made some incredibly valuable connections. If you are interested in working internationally or even just having a couch to stay on in a country that you love, never underestimate the value of networking wherever you go.

One thing I have learned in my time abroad is that people are generally very friendly and love to talk about their home and culture. This is not always the case, but more than often it is. Making friendships abroad can make this big world seem a little smaller and help you feel more connected wherever you go.

The best advice I can give is to meet as many people on your travels as you can. It will definitely make your time abroad more enjoyable since the locals know best! Plus you never know when these connections will come in handy in the future whether visiting each other for fun or otherwise.

Do you agree or have you traveled abroad as a young person? Share your experience on the Instagram post!

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Best and Worst Passports of 2019 – Could Being White Have Something to do With It?

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Best and Worst Passports of 2019

The latest controversy on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter has arisen off the back of a recent CNN report that revealed the top ten most accepted passports in the world are from predominantly white countries. Taken from the Henley Passport Index, which ranks countries based on the number of destinations their passport holders can enter without having to obtain a visa beforehand, the CNN report has sparked outrage among people who wish for greater diversity in the travel industry. Considering every year families from all over the world use the help of a family destination guide to choose where they’d like to visit on their next holiday abroad, is it really fair that people from non-Europeans countries have limited options for their next vacation spot? 

The Best Passports of 2019

Despite the majority of the top passports being from countries with a European background, it might be surprising to know that the top two passports are actually Japan and Singapore, both countries in Asia. These passport holders are allowed to travel to 188 countries without securing a visa before setting off. South Korea is also at the top of the list, coming in third place. 

While this might sound promising, it is discouraging to find that the rest of the list consists entirely of either European countries or countries with European heritage such as the U.S. and Australia. 

The full list of countries in the top ten, which can access at least 180 countries across the world without a visa is: Finland and Germany, followed by Italy, Luxembourg, France, Spain, and Sweden. Next with access to 185 countries are Austria, the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, and Switzerland. Next on the list is Malta, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Australia, Lithuania, and Slovakia. Rounding out the bottom with access to 180 countries is Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, and Slovenia. 

The Worst Passports of 2019

In the list of the world’s current worst passports, war-torn, predominantly Muslim countries make up the majority of the bottom ten countries. Additionally, dictatorships like North Korea are also on the list. 

But what is considered the worst passport in the world? Afghanistan; whose passport holders can only access 25 countries without a visa. Other ‘bad’ passports with limited accessibility to the rest of the world are Lebanon, North Korea, Nepal, Libya, Palestinian Territory, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Syria, and Iraq. 

Family Destination Guide: Who has the most privilege?

When comparing the lists of the best and worst passports, it is easy to see that those from the white, Western world can choose anywhere they want in a family destination guide for their summer holiday abroad. For families from predominately Muslim countries, it is unfortunately not so easy. Despite benefiting greatly from colonialism and exploitation of cheap labor in some of these areas, European economic superpowers are not so keen to let these people visit their countries without first undergoing strict visa procedures – which can be very frustrating. The hypocrisy is blatant; although there is still light at the end of the tunnel. With the growth of economies in Asia along with a rapidly strengthening of influence from the United Arab Emirates, more and more families from across the world are gaining the freedom to travel wherever they wish. 

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Get Your Rave Clothing Ready for Snoopy Island This November

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Get Your Rave Clothing Ready for Snoopy Island This November

This November, get ready to turn your Thanksgiving into a danks-giving at Snoopy-Con on Snoopy Island. Taking place at Sandy Beach Hotel & Resort, this rave is located in Fujairah, in the United Arab Emirates. This will be a rave for the ages. The festival will mix tropical vibes with hardcore electronic swagger, wrapped up nicely under superhero aesthetics. If you’re a fan of dancing until the sun goes down, then pack your rave clothing for the ultimate party, Snoopy Con

The Famous Snoopy Island

Previously, the same event organizers exposed ravers to “Space Island,” and out-of-this-world festival thrown in honor of Snoopy Island’s origin story. The island was iconically birthed after an asteroid struck Earth, so the festival brought appropriately extraterrestrial sounds in the form of its DJs, who are an eclectic mix of underground and mainstream performers. For this event, featured talent includes Caleesi, Jimi Jules, Maks, and DJ Tennis. Such a blend of performers will ensure a layered atmosphere of vibes for the two-day musical event

Be a Superhero 

In addition to its superhero theme, the festival also shares the views of many other festivals in its efforts to reduce waste. To serve this theme, the event will sell merchandise manufactured from recycled plastic, as well as serve its drinks with plastic-free cups. This is appropriate, as the event is being held on an island in the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean is home to a multitude of plant and animal species that are often as beautiful as they are endangered. To ensure that more species are able to go on without facing extinction, festival organizers are striving to make people aware of environmental issues. This goes hand in hand with the superhero theme that is being highlighted by event organizers – we are all superheroes. Let’s save the planet, right? 

Wear Your Finest Rave Clothing

The white beaches at this beautiful island resort will make the perfect dance floor for the all day and all night event. In addition to dancing, the island features other tropical must-dos, like snorkelling, kayaking, and the simple act of tanning in the sun. You’ll want to be dressed for any occasion, so wear what’s comfortable –  make sure it’s athletic, light, and easy to fling off. No matter what your favorite way of enjoying melodies is, this festival will enable it. After all, no matter what you’re doing will seem magical when it’s taking place in such a beautiful location. 

If you’re worried about being the only English speaker, don’t be. Most of the raves taking place in spots like these are frequented by foreigners, most of them being North American or European. The chances that no other raver goers will speak English is next to none, so  connections are sure to be made. Especially when you’re in as romantic a venue as this is. 

If you ultimately make the choice to participate in this rave event, then do so quickly – tickets are being sold fast. Packages as good as the ones being offered tend to fly off the shelves, so get yours while you can- you won’t regret it. 

More details on the Snoopy Con event in November will be shared on rave clothing shop, Innitiwear.com. Stay tuned to their news blog for more updates on all rave events.  For all rave events, check out the recently launched Dubailad.com blog.

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