Winding Down (Sort Of…)

Yes, it has been a long while since I posted something. 
In my defence, I did write out a couple different updates, but they never got finished, so I never actually clicked the ‘Publish Post’ button. My bad.

Don’t worry – everything has been fine.
That is, if you don’t count the p0lice showing up on our doorstep to ask about what we are doing in the country, if we are in any way a re1igious group, etc etc. It made for an interesting welcome to Rabat.

Have I mentioned yet that we’re in Rabat? 
I think the last time I wrote anything official was just after we have moved in Agadir…
Since then, we spent a few days in an AMAZING riad (definition/example here) in Marrakech for a few days, and are now pretty comfortable in Skhirat, Rabat.

To save you getting a crink in your neck from all my stories and a full run-down of the past three weeks, I’ll try to keep to the main highlights…

We lived in an apartment on top of a patisserie. I’m still not sure if I should count this as a ‘highlight’ or not, but the workers there would definitely say yes. We went in at LEAST twice a day, among the group. I tried not to, seeing as I have already gained way too many kilos for my liking, but that didn’t stop the others from getting cakes, pastries, croissants, cakes, slices, cakes on a daily basis. I am not even kidding. The day we left, they had opened their store around two hours early, to say goodbye and give us a box bursting with cookies and a thank you note. It was so sweet, and lovely to know that we will be missed even by the bakers!

We climbed a mountain to where a kasbah used to be, and watched the sun set over the Atlantic. I got to share a cool story of how four of us sat on a bench for three hours until old mate Je5us showed up. Ask me about the Orange Robe Story when I get home 😉

We spent a family day at the beach in Taghazout, surfing, riding camels, and eating tuna and cheese sandwiches. Funny how salt water and sun make you so hungry even fishy sandwiches taste good!
This day was absolutely easily one of my absolute high points of the entire trip. I had been having a hard few days, just kind of run down, and to get to see WAVES – the first waves since I have left home! – and swim out to the back of the break, and surf a little, was absolutely priceless. It’s weird to say that I have missed the beach, because we lived in the Caribbean for three months, and have been at beaches plenty, but as soon as I dove into the water and had to battle the waves to get out the back, it hit me just how much I had missed it. 
For the record: I say ‘battle the waves’ lightly – they were maybe three feet if a big swell came through, but it was awesome nonetheless!

Oh, I have eaten camel twice, and snails. Camel is great!
I set a goal back in Belize that I would try at least seven different types of meat/animal this year, and I’ve already gone through snails and camel, as well as some very questionable meat pies back in Central America, so I think I’ll have to push my number to ten, at least.

Four of us girls got invited back to a lady’s house, whom we met on the street. It was really cool how it worked out – she was severely limping, and we wanted to pr4y for healing for her, but she couldn’t understand any english. She ended up putting me on the phone to her son, who invited us around to their place so we could talk more easily (as he could speak english no worries), and we spent a good three hours there, as well as going back the next day for lunch AND dinner. Making friends with locals is so fun, and it’s interesting how I’m more inclined to just go back to someone’s house here, than I would be a stranger on the street at home… Makes for some cool stories, at least!

Okay, another not-highlight-but-big-point: I was trying to book flights to Prague, and had to go through two different sites to book the different parts to get me there, and my card got blocked after paying for one of the two tickets. 
I, of course, was already at breaking point and had a complete mental breakdown in the cafe. I tried to call my Dad, but home wouldn’t answer, so I tried Sarah. She called me back within seconds, and I lost it. As in, full body heave sobbing. It was bad. I still feel a little bad for the two girls who were with me, and had to endure the bizarre and in no way subtle looks from the men around us in the cafe (thank you McKayla and Cecilie for your patience!). Sarah, for all who know her, is a pretty tough cookie.
I wanted her to call the bank and pretend to be me to get it fixed, she flat out refused and told me to suck it up and do it myself. It was so so good to hear her voice, and she was the best person I could have talked to in that moment.
I (amid sobs), asked how on earth she got through her trip by herself when she was on 19, and she just kept laughing at me and telling me to stop being stupid. She really is great! 🙂
Props to her, for putting money in my Skype account so I could call the bank myself. She taught me to control myself, pull it together and get things done myself. I really can’t thank her enough for her wisdom and encouragement in fixing my own problems.

We travelled to Marrakech on the 4th, and spent three incredible days in the heart of the medina. The riad we stayed in was deadset a palace. It was mind blowing! I’ll have to scrounge some photos off people to try and show you just how magnificent this place was!

And now, we’re in Rabat, in a six bedroom house complete with endless hot water, wifi, a pool, grass out the back that leads straight to the beach and the Atlantic. This place is HUGE, and the most amazing house to start the end of this crazy adventure.
It was our first day here that the c0ps showed up, and kindly let us know that the gardener will be living in the granny flat apartment for our ‘protection’ (very hospitable here!). We’re not too fussed about it – just keeping vigilant and smart about what words we say.

It is absolutely bizarre to think that there is less than a week left, and we’ll have to say goodbye.
It’s a sad thought that I don’t know if I will see everyone here again on this side of eternity.
It is utterly scary, knowing that as of next week I will board a plane by myself to go to Prague.
It’s kind of bittersweet imagining how I will be able to walk around without a minimum of two others. Or how I have to rely on just myself to get travel things done, sort out logistics in hostels to stay in, or try and figure out how to converse in different languages without a group of people from seven different nations standing beside me.

So in one sense, I’m winding down this chapter of my life.

But in another more real, intimidating sense, I am gearing up to have one heck of an adventure.
I’m staring down the face of seven more countries in the next two months, an empty bank account, and still at least eleven weeks before I see my gorgeous family.

Last year on my birthday, my beautifulincrediblephenomenal boss Vesna Trivuncevic told me that 23 would be one of the best years of my life. 
I had recently broken up with Matt, was hating life, and fought back tears when I told her I really couldn’t see how that was possible.
Turns out, she was right.
I am so humbled and grateful and incredulous of how the Big Guy upstairs has turned my life around. I am just so thankful for all I have been given, the path I have walked so far, and the adventures I still have ahead of me.
It happened slowly, subtly, and I didn’t realise it until looking back, but I can say with full confidence I really am now living a life of Being Joyous. 

6 thoughts on “Winding Down (Sort Of…)

  1. Kay says:

    Thanks Beautiful for the wonderful Mothers Day wake up call 🙂 (even though it was 6am).
    So lovely to hear your voice and hear of all your adventures and now read them too. Wow…. how did you become so adventurous and crazy?? Must be a chip of the ‘old’ block! (That’s Dad you know.)

    We love you. Take care honey.


    • naomimowbray says:

      Ohhhh Mum, you’d better be careful – Dad might read this one day and see what you’re posting about him over the internet 😉
      Glad I managed to figure out time zones hey! Next time I’ll double check haha. Hope you are having a brilliant Mother’s Day still Mumma. Love you so so much!


  2. Grace says:

    Wow Joy thanks for sharing. Pretty full on. You are amazing and so happy to hear your having the time of your life/ enduring hardship along the way. Miss you and I will continue to pray for you. Cya in 11 weeks. Lots of love x


    • naomimowbray says:

      Miss you loads too. Still a bit sad of all the changes I’m missing back at home – is Jade huge yet?!
      Hate not even being able to keep up on Facebook, but at least I’ll have that back next week haha.

      Love you a bunch. You are brilliant, and I can’t wait to give you a huge huge hug when I see you again!!


  3. bronty says:

    Soooooooo happy to wake up this morning and find this post from YOU!

    Sounds like you are experiencing things that I wouldn’t even DREAM of! You are one amazing girl Joy!

    I laughed at your Sarah story! I can really hear her saying “nup, suck it up & sort it out yourself!” Bahahahaha!

    So good that you are ending this chapter in a beautiful house! With wifi!! More frequent updates expected please!!!

    Savour every second of this next week!

    Love you loads beautiful!

    I emailed you too the other week – hope it came through!

    Mwah mwah mwah!
    Kazz xx


    • naomimowbray says:

      Let’s be honest… I had never dreamed of these things for my life either!!
      just seems to have unravelled in this crazy magical way that I couldn’t have put together in my own mind, and it is brilliant 🙂

      Sarah is great. I really really mean that.
      At one point, I told her, “People here think I’M tough – they should meet YOU!”.
      I’m still incredulous how she did all this herself. It makes me get myself together a little better, because I’ve got such high standards to live up to!

      Love you guys so much!
      And I promise I’m staying safe, as always.

      PS. Tell your boys that their favourite cousin is coming to visit AGAIN! Yep, come October I’ll be slapping on some sunscreen for the Townsville sun. The adventure never ends hey! 😉

      PPS. I totally apologise for not replying to your email yet; life has just flown by! I’ll get onto that ASAP for you.



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