If I could describe Morrocco in one word, it would be…hot. Of course, it is, it’s the height of summer and just north of the equator so you should expect that when you go. Forty-seven degrees was the highest temperature we endured when we were there. Let me tell you my friends, if you aren’t used to the heat then you are in for a shock. However, I seemed to cope pretty well with it. I have been to Dubai, Turkey and other hot places so maybe I knew what I was letting myself in for. The weather did not detract away from the experience of the holiday which was excellent. Slight issue coming home and getting through Manchester Airport but other than that, it was a perfect trip. A little tip, you have no doubt seen the stories coming out of Manny Airport. They are true. I think we have this idea in our heads that it won’t happen to us or if we are flying with a decent airline nothing will go wrong. Avoid that place this summer if you can. I don’t intend to rush back if I can help it. I have nothing but sympathy for the working staff there who are clearly lacking in support from their employers who are desperately trying to recoup some of the money lost during COVID.

I have been on holiday just in case you didn’t read my last blog and wondering what I am wittering on about. We had a great time, stayed in a lovely hotel with great staff, facilities, and the best thing ever… a family of cats living in the hotel looked after by the staff and guests which included us for the week we were there. I had never experienced a holiday abroad and not drank. I had never not been one of the first people lining up at the all-inclusive bar when it opened, that is if I was up from the previous nights heavy sesh. I woke up fresh every single day. Maybe skipped a few breakfasts but that was because I was enjoying good quality sleep. When you next plan a summer holiday or any trip away whether it be home or abroad, why not try a few days not drinking or maybe even the whole holiday? I think you would be surprised how much more you benefit from the experience. I always laugh at people saying “they need another holiday” when they get back from their official one. That is possibly the case if you are hammering the booze when you are away. Your sleep pattern will be shot, and you won’t actually recuperate at all. I am not sure I would have been able to handle a hangover in forty degrees heat. I think that would have been too much. At the hotel we stayed in, there didn’t appear to be what I would call heavy drinking. Yes, people enjoyed themselves but there wasn’t any drunken escapades, that I can recall seeing anyway.

Marrakech is a vibrant city, with lots of dodgy little markets you can go and buy cheap tat from if that is your thing. If you like haggling with street sellers then this is the place for you. The main square comes alive in the evening with more street traders, performers, and cool places to sit with a drink to watch the world go by. Thousands of people are visiting this area in the evening making it the go to place in the city. It is definitely somewhere I recommend visiting, no matter what your usual choice of destination is. We did a couple of lovely excursions whilst we were there including an amazing hot air balloon ride watching the sunrise over the Atlas Mountains. That was absolutely mesmeric. We also did some quad biking around the desert which was a lot of fun, and something that I had not tried before.

One of the main things I wanted to get from the experience was to completely switch off and remove myself from the day to day realities of home life. Exactly what you want to achieve from a holiday. In the past, I have sometimes brought my home troubles along with me or pressures from work. I left my phone up in our room during the day and only would use it at night to check for any messages, not to look at work emails. If you don’t do this when you are away, I highly recommend it. One of the other things I wanted to do whilst being away was get stuck into a few good books. Ross very kindly lent me five or six to keep me going and I flew through this fascinating book on psychology called ‘The Courage To Be Disliked’. I won’t do a full book review on it but it was a really thought provoking read. Check it out if you are into that kind of thing, you won’t be disappointed. I also started a couple of others which I am flying through at the moment. I really must read more. I read a little now, but it is far too easy of an evening to get lost in some rubbish tv series for a few hours rather than something more worthwhile. I am not saying don’t watch tv though don’t worry. We all need to unwind and sometimes watching some trash is the only way…. is Essex.

I guess to summarise this blog, I wanted to make clear that you can enjoy any holiday without alcohol. Reading these blogs, you may get the misconception that I am anti-booze. In some ways, that maybe true now. However, I accept it is embedded in our culture and society, it isn’t going anywhere soon. The message I have taken from this experience is that you can enjoy your time with or without it.  I hope you can too.

Oh and I did manage to train a few times in the gym at the hotel. I actually really enjoyed it and it was a great addition to the day’s activities. Only do this if you genuinely want to of course. If you want to relax and give yourself a break from training than that is ok too. Only you can make that decision. For me, it was all part of keeping my head in check whilst being away from home and my normal routine.

As always, if you are here thanks for reading. It means a lot.

Nick Denton

Sobering Thoughts