Design Your Life

Lessons from the Road

By Travel Noire

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It’s not everyday that you meet a man with a camel…let alone a Gary Dourdan (circa “That’s the Way Love Goes”) look-a-like whose camels are named Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix. But, in a tucked away passage of a sloping Moroccan medina, I met such a man. Younes the Berber enlightened me with a few tidbits of knowledge in our afternoon of conversation.

As everyday truths that served as guiding principles, Younes shared with me affirmations of ways to live a better, simpler, and more fulfilled life.

1. “Good people meet good people.”
Short and sweet. When you put good vibes into the atmosphere, they’ll come back to you in the form of good experiences, and good people to share those experiences with.

2. “Our lives are hard, but our stomachs are not big.”
This was in reference to the rugged nature of the Berber lifestyle. They are nomads who traverse deserts and mountains, living by meager means. Still they don’t lust after things that, when not possessed, make life feel even harder. Material things don’t define their happiness. If you can enjoy what you’ve got, when you’ve got it, you just may be on to something.

3. You never know how far your generosity will spread.
The Berbers are known across Morocco (and much of the world) for the quality of the rugs and jewelry they make. Their goods are dope–in fact, if I ruled the world, I’d have freed my wallet to buy more of them. But, as I was (not so) ballin’ on a budget, I secured only a few small items. After we finished bartering, Younes told me that the purchase I made would help feed several people in his family. I will never meet his family, but its pretty cool to think that a good act can have such far reaching effects.

4. Sometimes you can think more than you can do, but good thoughts still matter.
Often you may want to do these big things to help people, but for whatever reason(s) you can’t do all that you want to. It’s all good. Even if you’re sending light and love, your intentions show your heart is in the right place. In the grand scheme of things, this matters.

5. “Life is too short not to smile.”
You may be stressed, but you’re here. Our daily lives can give us some reasons to frown, but if you really look around, they give us more reasons to smile. I could go into said reasons, but that would ruin the fun of you finding reasons of your own!

Who can say when or where you will meet the people destined to change your life. I began my current trip with places in mind, but it has been the people that have helped form my most memorable memories. When you travel with an open mind and a kind spirit, there’s no end to the paths you can cross. Who will you meet on the road?

This story was curated by Njaimeh Njie.

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