What Marrakech’s Jardin Majorelle taught me about travel and living in the moment

After seeing hundreds of stunning pictures of Marrakech’s famous Jardin Majorelle on Instagram, I finally managed to visit back in June. While I couldn’t deny that the garden is beautiful, seeing it in real life gave me an uneasy feeling. What looked in pictures like an oasis of calm away from the madness of the city seemed more like a chaotic convergence of all of the ‘influencers’ in Marrakech (of which there are many!).

etheldacostaMarrakech has become a hotspot for Instagram influencers from around the world (image: Ethel Da Costa)

The garden is a magnet for Instagrammers for a number of reasons – its towering and oh-so-photogenic palm trees, the striking blue fountains, and the fact that it’s located next-door to the Yves Saint-Laurent museum.

YSL.jpgMany of French fashion designer, Yves Saint-Laurent’s designs were inspired by his time in Morocco (image: Grazia ME)

Everywhere you looked people were posing, trying to look casual after having elbowed six other people out of the way to get a prime spot in front of a fountain or a giant cactus while their friend / bored Instagram husband snapped away, hoping against hope that there would be one shot without somebody taking a selfie in the background. Everyone had a smart phone in their hand and I barely saw anyone just looking around and enjoying the garden.

influencerA blogger strikes a post in the Jardin Majorelle (image: Posh, Broke, & Bored)

It’s incredible how much easier it is to travel these days than it was a generation ago. But when did travelling become more about getting likes on Instagram than about exploring beautiful places, meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures, and informing our understanding of the world?

As amusing/terrifying as this experience was, it actually made my trip to Morocco ten times better. It reminded me to stop, put my phone down, and enjoy the moment. To appreciate the wonderful places I was visiting with my eyes instead of through my screen.

 

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS, YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

Why learning about other cultures is the best way to change the world

Morocco: Echoes of the Orient

Kasbah Bab Ourika: Paradise Found

Feynan Ecolodge: Setting the standard for eco-tourism in the Middle East

 

Hump Day cover

SUBSCRIBE TO THE HUMP DAY NEWSLETTER TO GET THE LATEST BLOG POSTS FROM PINK JINN, INSIGHTS INTO WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA, PLUS INFO ON EVENTS HAPPENING IN YOUR AREA – DELIVERED STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX ON THE FIRST WEDNESDAY OF EVERY MONTH!

 

Cover image: Lonely Planet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s