Nomadic Belonging: Morocco

Nomadic Belonging: Morocco

A Reimagined Retreat

October 20-27, 2017

Sense riot. Design wonderland. Prayer symphony. Ancient artistry. Modern old world. African-European-Middle East mashup. A border-land. A doorway to three continents crossed by the languages, food, prayers, art of ancient and modern nomads: the gorgeous madness of Morocco, an oasis at the center of the world.

Our Journey:

·   6 days, 5 luxurious nights at Peacock Pavilions in Marrakech {art-filled rooms with a story} and 3 days, 2 nights at Kasbah du Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains, including optional morning and evening sweat-yoga-meditation practice tailored to all levels.

·   Immersing ourselves in the full sensory experience of Marrakech:

    • A private guided tour of the epic Medina, Marrakech’s historic city center with a historian and expert on the labyrinth of sites and shops in the Souk.
    • An afternoon at Les Bains de Marrakech, a luxurious traditional Moroccan hamman (spa)
    • A day at Le Jardin Majorelle, the enchanted Moorish-Cubist-Art Deco garden created over 40 years by French painter Jacques Majorelle and then adopted by Yves St.Laurent, and the world renown Berber Museum
    • Poolside henna and cocktail party with local artists at Peacock Pavilions

·   A day trip to Essaouria, the blue city, on the Atlantic coast, to explore its medina (a UNESCO world heritage site), ancient working port, and stunning coastline crossed by horses, camels, surfers, and fishing boats. A hike or horseback ride along the sand dunes at sunset, dinner by candlelight in town, and along the way, a tour of one of the Argan oil farms and shopping directly from the collectives of women who refine it.

·   A half-day workshop volunteering with Project Soar, Peacock Pavilions' nonprofit Project Soar, which supports the education of underprivileged Moroccan girls through arts and fitness workshops and community building. Peacock Pavilions donates 10% of all profits from the hotel and its Souk as well as its facilities to Project Soar, which is rapidly extending its curriculum and personnel to villages throughout Morocco.

·   3 days and 2 nights in the Atlas Mountains:

    •  We’ll stay at Kasbah du Toubkal in the Imlil Valley, at the base of Jebel Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak.
    • Morning and evening yoga, sweat, and meditation sessions in the Kasbah’s stunning glass-walled yoga studio overlooking the entire valley, or on one of the Kasbah’s rooftops carpeted with rugs made in the surrounding valley.
    • A guided trek tour of local villages along ancient walking paths
    • Running and walking trails that wind around wild peaks, through centuries-old villages and river beds that bring stones and crystals from the Sahara.
    • A guided day trek around the entire valley.
    • Excessive time to relax and soak in the magic of the epic mountains and the enduring culture of this remote corner of Morocco.
  • A hand-selected collection of art and readings in preparation for and during the course of the journey.
  • And other surprises…

I didn’t mean to fall in love. I travelled to Morocco two years ago out of curiosity, and it kindled some deep fire I hadn’t suspected. Every sense alive. The creative energy of so many cultures colliding, of ancient traditions shaping modern technologies.

And expansive, expanding beauty. Desserts that extend and extend, becoming mountains that reach to the highest peak in North Africa, dropping into valleys overflowing with unimagined shades of green. The ocean, and ports exchanging the world for a thousand years.

When I thought about where to host my first retreat adventure, I knew it was here. Morocco will blow your mind with its energy, strangeness, and beauty. And it will move you to explore the wilderness within.

Morocco is rooted in the nomadic culture of the Berbers, who spread throughout Africa and southern Spain and made an art of carrying their treasure with them in jewelry and carpets, costume and music.

This image of nomadic belonging will shape our journey, both within and without. We will practice attending to the heart, and cultivating joy as the protected wellspring of our souls. The home that endures change and loss. The home we grow into. 

We will stay at two of the most magical places I’ve ever experienced: Peacock Pavilions, a handbuilt, artisanal riad in an olive grove just outside Marrakech, and Kasbah du Toubkal, an ancient fortress restored as a luxury eco lodge at the base of Jbel Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa. Both hotels have thriving partnerships with their local communities to support traditional and economic health.

At both oases, we’ll have a morning practice blending sweat, yoga, mediation, and vision-casting—curated questions and soul challenges for you to creatively play with during the course of our journey (morning and evening sessions will be tailored to all ability levels, and all are optional). Days of adventure and restoration, with plenty of space to dream, and feasts of fresh, local, healthy food (the breakfast alone at Peacock Pavilions is one of my favorite meals in life). Before dinner we’ll have an evening yoga, mobility, and meditation session. Everything is optional. You can do what the heart calls for.

 

Price:

$3,900 per person, double occupancy, ($900 supplement for single room) for reservation before July 31st

After July 31st: $4,200 ($900 supplement for single room)

 

Included:

·   Daily breakfast, lunch & dinners at Peacock Pavilions and Kasbah du Toubkal {flavor-forward, healthy, & prepared with love}

·   Round-trip airport transfer from Marrakech Menara International Airport

·    Daily transportation for excursions and deeply trained guides

Not included:

·   Airfare 

·   Travel insurance

·   Alcohol with meals

·   Lunches and dinners out in Marrakech and Essaouria

·   Hamman or spa treatment at Les Bains de Marrakech (approx 600 MAD/ $65 US)

·   Items from the room mini bars

·   Laundry

Payment Schedule:

  • $750 reservation deposit due upon booking (nonrefundable; transferrable to two coaching sessions)
  • 2nd installment of $1725 by August 15th
  • 3rd installment of $1725 by September 15th
  • Cancellation policy: You may sell or transfer your registration to another person. If you do, please send notice of your registration transfer, along with contact information for the new participant.
    • If you must cancel your trip, the following cancellation fees apply:
    • prior to Sept. 15th: $1500
    • Sept 15-Oct. 20th: 100% of trip cost (transferable to five coaching sessions)

For more information and to make a reservation, email nicole@nicolemeline.com.