Here we are in the final month of 2016, a year that felt especially fast to me as I not only did so much traveling, to England, Morocco, Costa Rica and Hawaii, I also wrote my first book on painting which was a whirlwind of deadlines sprinkled in throughout it all! In April I ran my first retreat in Morocco, along with my co-leaders & friends Stephanie Perkinson & Mati McDonough, we welcomed a group of 12 women to Peacock Pavilions a boutique hotel outside of Marrakesh for the Sacred Insight Retreat.
We booked the whole dreamy property for our group and what a gorgeous week of sumptuous experience it was. Peacock Pavilions is dripping with details that the owner Maryam Montague has gathered on her many travels, sculptures, textiles, beads and many of the walls and floors are hand painted, with beautiful patterns at every turn. We dined in a special dining tent, sitting on the floor on pillows, and painted in another pavilion dedicated to our art, set amoungst an ancient olive grove. The air smelled constantly of orange blossoms.
We enjoyed delicious traditional Moroccan meals, as well as a traditional henna experience one evening before going into town for dinner.
I had always dreamed of visiting Morocco, the exotic beauty has appealed to me for as long as I can remember, and everything I imagined was real....being there felt like a wild carnival of humanity, a riot of color, pattern, fabric, mystery, dust & desert, so very different than anywhere else I've ever been. My favorite part of our time there was wandering the narrow streets of Marrakesh as we explored the Medina and adventured into little shops and restaurants during our days out in the city.
On a beautiful day trip to the coastal city of Essouaria, we experienced the highlight of our time in Morocco...a golden hour camel ride on the beach, caravan style with each of our camels following another, draped in colorful blankets, we passed ancient ruins, stray dogs and playing children. For those moments I felt outside of time, lifted up by the sparkling sunshine dancing on us over the dunes.
We were blessed with an amazing group of adventurous shining souls to share this experience with, each of them has a piece of my heart and our shared Moroccan adventure is something we're forever bonded by. Now Morocco is under my skin...I'm dreaming up what a return trip would look like, and what new adventures Mati McDonough and I could explore with another group in this amazing place!