I’m sitting here in Boston, Massachusetts on a Tuesday morning at my desk with 126 unread emails in front of me, wondering how it’s possible that just a week ago I was in a 52 camel caravan in the Agafay Desert of Morocco in Northern Africa at sunset.
Sometimes it feels almost delirious to compare those parallels and realize that both are equal parts of my life. Equal parts, and integral parts. When I first joined SurfYogaBeer, I took a chance on a trip halfway across the world where I knew no one. A wild move that I feel pretty grateful to have made and never looked back. As I headed into my third trip with SurfYogaBeer, I wondered what the week would bring - I knew the basics- new friends, inside jokes, and dance moves, but I was ready for whatever would be thrown our way in those moments in between.
It seems like a SurfYogaBeer trip finds us whenever we most need it. Whether it's the mundane day to day that’s getting to your head, or the routine you've fallen off of, or the stress of things outside of your control, there’s a trip right around the corner to ground us all in the things that matter most. I always feel relief knowing there is some Big Magic in a string of beautiful moments headed my way. But what exactly is Big Magic? Well, it’s really for the "take a mental picture you’re not going to want to forget this one!" moments. The ones that an actual photograph will never quite do justice.
In our day to day lives, we’re lucky if we feel Big Magic once a week, or even once a month. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the responsibility of it all that Big Magic just seems so far away - so unattainable. So when I encountered the Big Magic last week, in the most cliche of moments (like riding a 52 camel caravan with best friends who were strangers 5 days ago), and in the smallest (giggling so hard we snorted in our 8 person bunk beds about feeling incredibly close to summer camp) you’re damn right I squeezed every muscle in my body so that I could remember it forever.
The best thing about SurfYogaBeer is that you don’t actually have to surf, or practice yoga, or drink beer. In fact, most of our group preferred wine. But yet, those three things are much bigger representations of what our trips are all about. SURF - Our first pillar. Try something new, be adventurous, be scared, and do it anyway. You might actually catch yourself a wave. Our second - YOGA - Connect your mind and body, create more awareness for introspection. Give yourself the opportunity to be present with others. BEER - loosen up, laugh, dance, and share your authentic self with others. We mean it. The weirder the better, people. All of these things together, are the perfect catalyst for community. Leaning on those next to you - squeezing their hand a bit too tight when the ATV instructor says GO! The last shot of tequila with the late night crew, saying “please, when this is over, come visit me” and meaning it.
Big Magic could be found anywhere and everywhere you looked in Morocco.
During our themed party, Champagne Showers and Golden Hour (what a mouthful), two of our leaders made an epic entrance on a camel decked out in bathrobes and gold jewelry.In the same hour, a guest discussed that they want to organize the adoption of stray animals from Morocco to America.
Some of us were getting iced, while the next group was sharing just how scared of heights (and thus, Hot Air Balloons) they were - they did it anyway.
The duality of this trip - the fun and laughter mixed with heartfelt moments and joy, was palpable.
We bartered in the Medina of Marrakech, followed by a five hour dinner, with belly-dancing, candle-on-head dancing, traditional Berber dancing, and so much tajine. We performed synchronized swimming in full Disco attire and watched the stars while getting warm. We pushed each other for JUST TEN MORE PUSH-UPS! And .1 MORE OF THAT MILE. We shared who we want to be and were loved for who we are.
We crossed so many things off our bucket list in just 8 short days - a new country, a new continent, traveling with strangers, trying new food, and building community. And at the end of it, just to make sure we had something to look forward to, we booked our next trip. If that doesn’t tell you what time together meant to all of us, I don’t know what will. Until next time, SYB! Yallah!
All photos taken by Keegan Starkey, https://www.keeganstarkey.com/
Posted on Fri 16 Jun 2023 · by Meag Donnelly