Hi guys! My name is Ebony Siovhan. In this Morocco expat article, I would like to tell you all about my life abroad in the fascinating country of Morocco. But before I do so, please allow me to introduce myself.
I grew up in between San Francisco and the Washington, D.C. area. I’m really lucky that art and creativity were fostered by my mother who allowed me to explore my love of photography at a young age. I was always using her and my friends for random creative shoots when I was in high school.
This translated to me studying Art Direction at Academy of Art University in San Francisco and starting my own photography company shortly after graduating – focusing on events, weddings and portraits. My wedding photography actually opened me up to travel! I had booked weddings all over the US and ended up having more in Switzerland, Italy and Morocco.
Three Years Living in Morocco
I first came to Marrakech in 2014 when I was backpacking through Europe with my best friend. We both fell in love with this vibrant city and decided to come back a couple of weeks later to explore different cities.
When I had hit a rut back in the United States, I was thinking about the last place I visited that made me feel truly alive. And without doubt, that was Marrakech! Because I have a job/skill that can be done anywhere, I was off
I have been living in Marrakech for almost three years. Pre-pandemic life was very busy. The city was full of people and I had multiple shoots a week. Things have cooled down now but I still have shoots, see friends and travel.
What is Expat Life Like in Morocco?
In the beginning, it was very difficult for me living in Morocco due to the language barrier. I am slowly learning Darija (Moroccan Arabic) – so it’s becoming easier to communicate and make more Moroccan friends. Also, this country is steeped in Islam and I’m not religious. Finding a balance of being respectful but true to myself has been a beautiful journey.
I come from a country that is prioritizes work and you always feel on the go. I’m learning to embrace more of the slow culture here and trying to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. It wasn’t an easy transition though!
One of the biggest pleasures of expat life in Morocco is the food. There are restaurants to satisfy every craving. In addition to Moroccan cuisine, you have Italian, Indian, Mexican and Asian. Some of my favorite places in Marrakech are: L’mida, Metou, Moro, Les Jardins Du Lotus and Clay Oven. My favorite local dish is Zaalouk – a delicious vegetable salad.
My Favorite Trips in Morocco
Traveling around Morocco has taken me to some amazing places: Tangier, Chefchaouen, Casablanca, Rabat, Oualidia, Fez, Meknes, Ifrane, Essaouira, Tghazout, Agadir, Ouarzazate, the Sahara Desert and towns in between.
My favorite trip was going to Ifrane and being in the snow. It felt like I was in Switzerland! Then I went 30 minutes to a little hotel/winery called Chateau Roslane where I felt like I was back home in Napa, California. This shows you how diverse Morocco is. I love this aspect about the country.
Another fantastic trip was when my mom came to visit and I took her on a journey into the Sahara. Just being able to share in her wonder at the night sky, the camel rides in the dunes and sleeping under the stars – it was epic!
Tips for Expat Life in Morocco
There are towns in Morocco for every lifestyle. Choosing the right place in Morocco to base yourself in as an expat is important. If you are looking for a more laid back place then you can choose the beach vibes of Essaouira or Taghazout. If you want more of a big city atmosphere, you may want to try Casablanca. If you want something in between then Marrakech is for you!