Every time we move to a new country, the first and most important thing we hunt for is a cheap place to live—key word being cheap. Lowering our cost of living abroad allows us to travel the world and keep reinvesting the money that we save back into the business, so finding a place within our very tight budget is always a bit of a process. Luckily, we had done this several times in many places—our process of finding a house in Nicaragua was even documented on HGTV’s House Hunter’s International—so we were confident we’d find a place in Marrakech.
Another important factor in finding a new place, along with low cost, was the location. We wanted to be where the action was and where most of the local artisans worked in the Medina. There were tons of options around, but some were either way above what we were willing to pay for or just didn’t have the smaller essentials that we needed like Wifi. We searched for hours through the tiny back alleyways until we finally found a place off the beaten path near the square. The apartments were filled with locals, fit our budget at under $10/night and had relatively fast internet—it was perfect.
The building was a traditional Moroccan style riad that had an open rooftop above and a small garden & fountain below. The walls were covered with beautiful blue and purple tiles all around.
We threw our stuff down and headed up to the rooftop to check out the scene around our new place. We were surrounded by other local burnt orange colored homes, unfinished rooftops, cats sleeping in the sun and the sounds of the loud drums from Jamaa el Fna getting ready for the evening.
The third floor, just below the rooftop, is where laundry is done and where some of the locals pray each evening.
Our bedroom, on the second floor, is a tiny pink square with just a sink, table, a bed and two big windows that let in lots of fresh air and light. It’s simple and has everything thatwe really need. The only thing we wish we had sometimes is a kitchen, but by not having one we are able to experience all of the cheap street food that Marrakech has to offer.
We share a bathroom and shower with the entire floor, which is something we’re quite used to at this point in our travels. What we weren’t used to initially though was the toilet, but we knew that would change as time went on.
The people who work here and live here are all very nice locals. Our favorite places to stay wherever we live is where the locals are because the best way to find out what life is really like in a foreign place is to be around those who have lived there all of their lives. We learned everything we did from living with locals in Central America and knew it would be the same here.
We don’t have a lot here because we don’t need a lot—this is a life changing lesson we’ve learned by living out of the box in other developing countries. We’ve found that simplifying life, whether it’s by living in a small home or having just a backpack of clothes, has made us appreciate everything around us and the new experiences we have that much more. With our new little place in the heart of the medina, we will be collecting memories rather than things and, for that, we couldn’t be happier.