Marrakesh, Morocco: and a tale of playing with fire

Someone recently told me that a study was done comparing non risk takers with risk takers. The non risk takers played it safe, of course. 

Meanwhile, the risk takers played with fire.  Of course.

But here's the thing.....guess how many times the play-it-safers failed a year?  


Guess how many times the risk takers failed a year?  


I don't know about you but I am throwing my lot in with the risk takers.....

and playing with a little fire.  

What do you think...........? Are you joining me?

Fire breather at Peacock Pavilions.

Marrakech Morocco: and a tale of my stint on CNN Go

Dear Friends,

In exciting news I am on CNN Go's travel show this month, which airs TODAY on CNN (and will repeat over the course of the month).  It was so fun being part of the crazy cast of characters who love the Red City of Marrakech and want to share it with you.  

Take a peek at the promo (those are my henna'd hands and that's me in the hot air balloon!:-)): 

Let me know if you catch the episode.  It's airing on CNN International.

Many many thanks to adorable CNN Producer Gisella Deputato for including me!


    Maryam in Marrakech

Mirleft Morocco: and a tale of New Years Eve

We left it all behind: Marrakesh and its hustle. The restaurants, the clubs, the bars. The fancy cocktails and sometimes fancy people. The beds with their down blankets and the trickling fountain with their roses.

We took only the necessary:  books, music, the odd change of clothes.

Hour after hour we drove until we arrived in Mirleft. One main street of bohemian cafes and lopsided hotels, and a beach vacant with the exception of surfers in wetsuits.

With our friends, we settled into a converted goat shed. {The goats were now next door.} Shade was provided by an argane tree.

Mirleft New Year 1

On floors covered in reed mats, we slept on mattresses piled high with handmade woolen blankets.  No microwave and no oven, only a  circa 1975 stereo and refrigerator.  

With the husbands and children sleeping in their beds, every morning we climbed a rickety wood ladder to the roof.  There we meditated, said affirmations, journaled and read.  We spent afternoons on the beach bundled up in scarves, reading memoirs of religious leaders and Patty Smith (but not the two together).  

We dressed like gypsies. We drank bottles of good Moroccan red wine to keep warm.

Mirleft New Year 4

And so it was that far from the Red City's lights that we celebrated New Year's Eve.

Fishermen in small blue boats caught our dinner.

Mirleft New Year 2

Mirleft New Year 6

We marinated tiny salmon filets as hor d'oevres.  We braised artchokes and fennel.

Mirleft New Year 3

The children set  a long wooden table with vintage china.  They made a centerpiece of rocks and shells collected from the beach, lit by lanterns made from old jam jars and painted tomato cans.

Mirleft New Year 5

We ate and ate and told bad French jokes.  Aftewards the boys smoked their Cuban cigars.

Mirleft New Year 7

DJ Delphine was in rare form with an all 1970s playlist.  There was dancing, really for hours.  

Mirleft New Year

At midnight we drank champagne and gave kisses .   


It was sort of perfect.

Here's hoping you had the happiest of New Years eves, whether spent in a goat shed, a yurt, a bar, or cozy in your own home.  Happy New Year, lovely people.


PS Excited to be starting off the New Year featured in the National!  Many thanks to writer Sarah Gilbert!