As-Salaam-Alaikum

Hi, i'm writing this blog page to share information with all you wanderlust souls out there. Living in Morocco comes with lots of bizarre and unexpected events, which i thought you may enjoy reading about and sharing in the laughter.

My family and I moved to Marrakech 11 years ago from London. The beginning of a huge adventure for us. Choosing which country was right for us to live in had been an extremely long and tiring process. Having made a choice to move to Marrakesh, was in itself a big box ticked. We had two criteria lists, one for our business (opening and running a guesthouse) and one for personal.

Phase two of our journey then began. Setting up home in Morocco, also a non English speaking country with a very different culture to ours. Marrakech is a real melting pot of; languages, tribes, rich, poor, city slickers, country peasants. It sometimes reminds me of that place Luke Skywalker went to, to buy that space ship, with all those different intergalactic aliens. (Any one know what it was called?) After months of beauroctratic paperwork, rendez vous with people who don't turn up and renting from an unpleasant woman for a large amount of money, we bought ourselves a villa. This was not in the plan as we didn't want to tie up our capital in a home. I now realise it is one of the best things we could have done. When you've had a really difficult day here to be able to close the door and relax in your own place really balances you.

Zamzam Riad & Spa was eventually created out of love and we hope you will come and stay and be pampered in our luxury boutique riad.



Saturday, February 8, 2014

Floating with a Camp in the Sahara Desert - Morocco

We are building a beautiful Luxury Eco Camp in the Sahara Desert.  Me and the Morocco Retreats Team.  Its been fun but also very full on because the whole Ecological subject is not a one stop shop and has ecological hurdles and constraints to do with terrain and community.  I have loved it and as always you never realise how much you have learnt and how far you have come until a friend asks you ' what have you been up to?' after 20 minutes of verbal diarrhea you realise wow time is irrelevant when you're on a roll.

Anyhow last night i dreamt I was weightless, not actually weightless but able to levitate and in my dream i realised I used to do this a lot as a child and I had forgotten.  A voice inside said 'you can go on do it! you remember!' and I rose up past the hedge, past the houses, past the tallest trees into the clouds, bit by bit with full concentration and deep meditation.  Then I hesitated felt scared and thought - shit! I'm up here what now? - next thing I was hurtling to the ground at high speed waiting to die.  I woke up with a jolt.  I know we've all had this feeling but this was mega out of stomach stuff and I was then fully awake again - thought Id go to bed early and have a fab nights sleep but loved the memory and can't believe i'd forgotten what it's like to be light and fly.  Bring it on - thanks Sahara!

Watch my Sahara Retreat Video

See full Luxury Camp Retreat in the Sahara here - full programme

If you'd love to come with us on an adventure and deep soul connection email Emma - zamzamriad@gmail.com or call me on 00212 661215062
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Creating the Guest House

We had decided to buy land and build a country guesthouse as per our business plan, about 10 double rooms and suites. The dream was to create a holistic retreat and build our house on the same plot. We were going to have an organic vegetable garden and provide a Moroccan Spa.

Land in Marrakech at that time, went mad. Prices going up daily, lots of people fishing but not really wanting to sell. There is also a problem here of title. ie not much land is titled and to buy land without a title is very difficult, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and like a gamble. We looked at more land than you can shake a stick at, drank more mint tea than you can imagine and got totally no where. It can take weeks to even get a price. You may be being shown a piece of land that isn't for sale or has already been sold. After a year of this we said 'that is it!, we are buying a riad!'

I had a total nervous breakdown and couldn't talk to anyone for three days. He then said this doesn't have to be the end....... It wasn't I have now built an Ecological Camp Adounia in the Sahara Desert!