There are so many travellers in this world that inspire me every single day and amaze me with their vision and courage. They ought to live the lives they want freely, embracing who they are and let’s face it: isn’t that what we all want? So they’re a high figure, a true inspiration and a reason for us to know that is it possible to undertake such an adventure. So today, I’m gonna talk to you guys about two Moroccan travellers that inspired me a lot, and that i think more people should know about.
I remember my mom handing me a book from her own collection one day called ‘Song’. It has an autograph signed : “To the Farahate family, I wish you find true happiness. 23.06.1999.” That was 15 years ago at a book signing in Kenitra. Reading Driss Kadiri’s book “Song” for the first time two years ago gave me goose pumps at the beauty of it. It’s one of the most touching, inspiring and lyrical book I ever read, and the simpler. It’s an ode to beauty, peace, whole-brother and love. Driss Kadiri is a moroccan cyclist struck by polio at a young age who decided to travel the world on his bike aiming towards highlighting the plight of handicapped people, almost no one believed in his dream back then but guess what: he proved them wrong and became the first arab and muslim to undertake such a tour and be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records!
But he got very few support and recognition, he almost passed unseen. Moroccan people barely know his name nowadays, and I feel so sad whenever I realize how ungrateful we are sometimes towards some of our brightest individuals, more than that: heroes. Heroe indeed, for impersonating peace and sorority around the world, for showing to so many handicapped people that their condition shouldn’t hinder their happiness, that “disabled people should be treated equally to normal people regardless of their disability”. And that my friends, is why I wanted to give him an internet shout out, a very late one probably but maybe he’ll read this article someday and realise that he did have an impact on me, and I’m sure that there are many other people out there that heard of his incredible story, struggles and achievements and who would like to salute him as well. So to Driss Kadiri, I say thank you, and to everybody else I highly recommend his book : “Song”.
The second moroccan inspiration I’d like to talk to you about is Anass Yakine, a young traveller who just ended a Moroccan tour on foot this year. At a young age, Anass discovered Theodore Monod, free-thinker and world traveller, and that completely changed how he perceives life. At the age of 25, he said goodbye to the safe harbours, took Super Nounours with him (a wink to childhood dreams and naivety) and just took the road. “I lose myself in order to find it” he says. With charm, determination and nothing but wisdom, he proves that everyone can achieve his craziest goals as long as he has passion and enough patience. He intends to write a travel book with the help of the one and only Reda Allali (damn, I’m a huge Hoba Hoba spirit fan, one of the brightest, craziest moroccan bands) who is also a great, but very very sarcastic journalist for Telquel magazine (Zakaria Boualem anyone?). And I can’t wait for it to get published already. BBC also plans on making a documentary about his incredible travel from the Sahara desert to the mountains of Northern Morocco.
But what really hooks me up is knowing that he might be planning on having another trip, a little bit crazier this time :”Europe tour on skateboard”. Anass Yakine is definitely my biggest Moroccan crush of the year, and no it’s not the beard (but seen from another side…), nor the common perception of life we share, nor the fact he likes travelling and Hoba Hoba Spirit as much as i do… No, not even that, but for the simple reason of being the courageous and dauntless person we all wish we were. So once again, I’d like to thank Anass Yakine for the sagacity he shares with us during his life changing travel, for the role model he plays in this materialistic world we live in where happiness is most of the time sacrificed for money, and where some people are afraid to chase their dreams thinking that they’ll never be able to achieve them. I’m sure that the only advice he’ll have for such people, is not only to chase your dreams, but hunt them down with no mercy until they become reality. Because life only happens once, so let’s not die with regrets thinking of all the things we could’ve done and all the dreams we never had the courage to follow. We’re all Kadiri and Yakine on the inside, we all have that spark of passion and life inside of us: let’s keep it enlightened.
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowline. Sail away from the safe harbour.Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover.” Marc Twain