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Jan. 31, 2023

BONUS: You, Me and Morocco in 2023!

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It’s lethal.” – Paul Coelho

Have you always wanted to travel to Morocco, but not yet had the chance?

Well, you are invited to join a group of extraordinary humans and me on an active retreat in Morocco in November 2023. I have partnered with Natasha from The Voyagiste Travel to bring this trip to Magical Morocco to life.

In this bonus episode, you will meet Natasha, hear why we choose Morocco as our destination and what you can expect before and during our travels together.

We answer every possible question you might have and give you 783 reasons why joining us on this trip could be the best decision you make this year.

Imagine narrow alleyways in blushing pink stone, sprawling markets crammed with carpets and spices, and calls to prayer piped out from ancient minarets and you have Morocco, the location for this active retreat.

This trip will take us on an adventurous road trip from Marrakech through the Atlas Mountains and deep into the sand dunes of the Erg Chebbi desert and for those who opt to extend the trip, to the breezy coastal town of Essaouira. The journey will be an adventure to excite, inspire and remember.

Trip details and itinerary here
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[00:10] Sonya: Hello and welcome to a very special bonus episode of Dear Menopause. My name is Sonya Vol and I am the host of Dear Menopause, and I am also the host of a very special active retreat traveling to Morocco in November 2023. In this episode, you will meet Natasha from the Voyagiste Travel, who is the travel agent that I have partnered with to pull this retreat together. We will talk about why we chose Morocco, what you can expect when we are there, and we'll answer pretty much every question that you might have. If you are considering joining us in the show notes, you'll find all the information and links through to find out more about the trip and how you can join us. Hi, Natasha. Thank you so much for joining me today.

[01:15] Natasha: It's good to be here.

[01:17] Sonya: This is a little bit exciting. Today we are going to be talking about something that's kind of a little off topic for Dare Menopause listeners, but I think is really exciting. So let's go with how about you introduce yourself, tell the listeners who you are, and then we'll dive into why you're here.

[01:38] Natasha: Okay, well, my name is Natasha, and I have a business called The Voyagiste. I plan group trips for basically people in the whole menopause time of life. We go all around the world and we explore new places, learn new things, and basically connect with each other. Connect with each other and connect with the communities that we visit.

[02:04] Sonya: That's very cool. And I connected with you when I kind of landed on an idea last year that I wanted to also really work on that building of community adventure and travel has been a big part of my life, something that I seriously missed during the years recently where we've been unable to travel. And I started thinking about how can I combine these two huge passions of mine, my community of women and my desire to travel? And I put my feelers out and your name landed on my desk. We connected, and as a result, we have announced what I'm calling an active retreat, where together we are taking a very lucky group of people. I'm going to say people because we're going to cover that off in a second on a trip to Morocco in November of this year, 2023.

[03:06] Natasha: I like to call it Magical Morocco, because Morocco is incredible. Yeah, we will just say it's a trip to Morocco. I just feel like it deserves a lot of adjectives, but a little bit more magic.

[03:19] Sonya: I love that. Right, so we're off to Magical Morocco in November 2023 with an invite to anyone that would like to join us.

[03:29] Natasha: That's right. I think actually, to start off with, people will think that my trips are for women only, but actually most of them are open to anyone, including this one. Adults of any ages would like to come, were more than welcome, especially with the whole active component. People who want to go on a trip, connect with people and do it kind of in an active way because you are providing some kind of active bonus.

[04:00] Sonya: A bit of bonus. Sonia on the side. Exactly. So, as we've kind of talked about, I'm hosting the trip. So the trip is open to, obviously, my amazing community globally of stellar women, but not just the women that are invited. And as a part of my hosting, I will be providing some sort of session. We haven't landed exactly on what that will be composed of each day, but there'll be a little bit of movement, a little bit of exercise, some menopause talk, some perimenopause talk, and we'll do that's kind of how we'll kick our day off each day. So you'll get all lots of Sonya love as well as the magical Morocco on this trip.

[04:46] Natasha: Exactly.

[04:47] Sonya: Awesome. All right, so what I thought we'd do today is actually, you know what? Before we jump into this, you have traveled in Morocco a number of times, which was one of the things when we talked about where we were going to take this trip and this amazing group of people, was the fact that you are a huge fan of Morocco. And as you just said, you referred to it as magical Morocco. Why don't we wet everyone's appetite by talking about why Morocco was so magical, why you love it so much, and some of the experiences that you've had there.

[05:20] Natasha: Oh, my God, I don't even know where to start with this question because there's just so much about Morocco. First of all, I think for most of the people who join me on these trips is they're coming from places like, you know, Australia. A lot of Canadians, Americans and Europeans, and in a lot of cases, they haven't been to a place like Morocco. It's just the sounds and the colors and the flavors are so different from what you would get at home in these places I talked about. So that's one of the reasons I love it so much, because it is so different from home. And it inspires me for when I get back home, because I think, wow, there's just so much here that I can take home with me. The food is incredible, and I cannot forget to mention the people because everyone there is just so welcoming and lovely, and they're proud to show off their country and their culture. And I just feel like every time I go, I discover something new. I learn something new about the place, the people and myself. And I mean, that's just like the beginning of why I think we could have multiple podcasts just about why Morocco is so great. But those are just some incredible reasons.

[06:35] Sonya: I think that's amazing. And Morocco. I'm yet to visit Morocco, so this will be my first visit to Morocco. Morocco has been on my bucket list for many years. And I have looked at it so many times with my husband and I, and we've priced it up and looked at if it will work into different itineraries that we've come up with and we've never quite got there yet. So I am beyond excited to know that I am finally going to be visiting magical Morocco and to have someone like you alongside us who has been there before and obviously has such a passion for the country, the food, the people. Oh, it's going to be so, so cool. All right, let's dive into the Q and A. I thought we'd run this like a little bit of a Q and A session, so I'm going to pose some questions to you. But we're both going on the trip, so we'll both have some input. But, yeah, I thought that would be a good way for us to kind of COVID off a whole hoop of questions that people may have, because I'll be honest, this is a little bit out of the box. When you say you're putting a retreat together, most people expect you to be going somewhere a little bit closer to home and somewhere more, I guess, on everyone's radar. Morocco, from an Australian's perspective, doesn't really fit that bill. So I think there'll be lots of questions. So let's start with how long is the trip that we are going on?

[07:59] Natasha: Our trip is well, it's in two parts, actually. The actual trip itself is ten days, so that's a ten day trip and it's going to take us from Marrakesh into the desert, and along the way we're going to be stopping. I mean, it's a long way between Marrakesh and the desert and so we're going to be seeing things and then we'll come back to Marrakesh and we're taking our time, so we're going to really enjoy it. And then afterwards, there's an add on tip to Essaouira, which is the coast. Coastal Morocco is a completely different vibe and it's a nice little break. And I'm kind of suggesting it's sort of a vacation from your vacation, how people are always like, oh, my gosh, I need a vacation from my vacation. Well, we've got one plan. I love that from Australia. It's a long trip, so if you're going to go all the way there to Morocco, then if you have that extra bit of time at the end, another four days, then you can do this. So we're add on. You've got a two week vacation trip.

[09:01] Sonya: Yeah, and I'm really excited about the sore. I mean, I'm excited about the whole trip, but the add on, which you and I kind of workshopped and landed on together, I think is going to be, like you say, that really beautiful. Little bit of active downtime at the end of our kind of more adventurous side of the trip. So that's going to be lots of fun. Okay, so we have already touched on this next question a little bit, but I thought we could expand on it. So who is this trip open to? So we've already said this is not a trip just for women. And I guess that's something I want to be really clear about, because obviously the name of my business is fellow women. My audience is predominantly women, but I want to be really clear that any person, any human, is invited on this trip. So if you're someone that loves traveling with your husband or your partner, then they are absolutely welcome to come along on this trip. Or even if you want to bring your bestie and they happen to be a man, then they are also welcome on this trip.

[10:10] Natasha: Totally. Yeah. Or your mother or father. I love having intergenerational trips. And you don't have to be a person in menopause. You could be someone who is a little bit younger or someone who's a bit older. I mean, the thing is that we all learn from each other anyway, and it kind of really enhances the trip. So it is for anyone. I would say anyone who's an adult, because yeah, that complicates things, but yes, it is open to anybody, really.

[10:37] Sonya: Yeah. And I agree with you. We did discuss this, whether we were going to make it a women's only trip or if we were going to open it up. And I agree with you, community is huge to me, but community to me is not one dimensional. It is always three dimensional. And I have traveled with my son, my eldest son in particular. He and I have done trips together. I love traveling with my husband. I've also done girls trips, and I love traveling with women. But there is something really rich that you add to a trip when you've got a real diverse group of people around the table at the end of the day or around breakfast and getting excited about what's coming ahead, and you just get really deep, amazing conversations, I think, that come out of having that diversity on the trip.

[11:26] Natasha: Absolutely. One of my favorite companions on a trip was I had this woman who had two new daughters in law, and she took them on a trip with me. And that was such a great mother in law and such a great trip, because here are two brides with their new mother in law on this trip, and it was incredible for everyone. Not just that, I hope it was incredible for them, but it was really incredible for the rest of us, too.

[11:54] Sonya: That is such a cool story. I love that idea. And yes, what a great mother in law I have. Okay, so we've talked about traveling with someone that you already know. What about for someone that wants to come alone or wants to come along, but they haven't traveled alone before, and maybe they're a little bit nervous about embarking on a trip with a group of people that they've never met before. What tips do you have for someone out there that's perhaps facing that kind of questioning?

[12:28] Natasha: Well, I don't really have any tips per se. I mean, the one thing is that with all my trips there is just built in a fair bit of downtime. If you just feel overwhelmed by the group, you have time to yourself that you can take if you need it. But having said that, I have found that while it does seem intimidating at first to travel with a group of complete strangers, you'll find that the types of people who do join these trips are already quite open as it is. And once you join that group and you meet each other face to face, it automatically. I've seen this in action so many times and I think it is one of the most beautiful things about traveling as a group is that you just have this whole group of new friends and that is basically just what ends up happening. And we also do kind of cultivate this a little bit in that before the trip happens, I create a private Facebook group where we can all just gather to first introduce each other ourselves to each other and get to know learn a little bit about each other, maybe also share information we found that we might find interesting or whatever. And those are kind of ways where by the time we land, even though we may not have met face to face, we do know a little bit.

[13:50] Sonya: And I have a personal experience of traveling on a group trip by myself. I went to I traveled to Nepal back when yeah, before when I was 39. It was just before I turned 40. It was a trip that I had promised myself I would do before I turned 40 and ended up in a scenario. I've talked about it in a few different spaces where nobody wanted to come with me. My girlfriends were not excited at all about the prospect that was going on that type of holiday. My husband was our primary carer for our children at that point, so he was staying home to look after the kids. And so I went off and did not have the luxury of having Facebook and WhatsApp and those sorts of connections prior and met a group of people at the airport in Kathmandu that I went on to travel with for the next three weeks. And yeah, I was nervous beforehand, but wow, what an incredible experience I had. Like you say, I made all these amazing new friends and I got to know them on a level that maybe I wouldn't have if I had been traveling with somebody else because you do tend to sometimes kind of stick to who you know and who you feel comfortable with in those scenarios. So I definitely recommend anyone that hasn't traveled by themselves before in a group scenario that they do definitely keep themselves open to the opportunity.

[15:16] Natasha: Oh, absolutely. And actually, this also touches a bit on the whole solo traveler thing. There might be people who just have never traveled. They want to travel, but they don't have anyone to travel with. These types of chests are really great because you don't really have to focus so much on safety or getting around or thinking too much about what's going to happen next. You can kind of just relax and enjoy yourself fully because there are people in the background who are taking care of things for you. Plus you have your new friends to hang out with and have a good laugh. So I think it just really is an ingredient and a really great trip.

[15:53] Sonya: Yeah, I agree. Okay, so I'm going to lead us into a question then, that becomes, I think, also one that I really want to clearly cover off, and that is, do you have to live in Australia to join a trip? And we're both shaking our heads.

[16:10] Natasha: Absolutely not. It's for adults, all people who are adults, who come from wherever. You don't have to be from Australia. And actually, Morocco is a very easy place to travel because for many, many people, I mean, anyone from Australia, New Zealand, the US. Canada, the EU, we don't need visas, so it's visa free if you're going there and staying for up to three months. So that's also one other thing. I mean, it just makes it easy to get in and out of.

[16:44] Sonya: Yeah. And my Dear Menopause podcast, my social media community, it is a global community and it is one of the reasons why I wanted to instigate an overseas retreat was because it gives me the opportunity to meet and connect with many of the women that are in my global community. And I would absolutely love if you're someone that's listening, like you say, from the UK or the EU, or that you're in Canada or the US. And you are interested in joining us on this trip, please consider it because it is going to be a real mix of people that we have on this. And I would love more than anything the opportunity to meet you and give you a great deep hug in person. Awesome. Okay, so how many will we be taking on this trip? How big will our group be?

[17:36] Natasha: Well, I like to keep the trips on the small side so that we really can connect with each other. I mean, it's not going to be one of these large bus trips that are just getting which are great, like that works for in some cases, but for a trip like this, where you're going to be a host, it's just nicer to keep it small. So we'll be like, I would say we'll max out at twelve or maybe 14 people.

[18:05] Sonya: Yeah, perfect. Great. Which I think is a really nice number, too. And I agree with you. I want to keep this group trip intimate and connected and bonded. And I think that finding a size where we can stay that way really is important to me as well as the hostess with the most desks. Okay, so food, let's talk about food. What will the food be like in Morocco? What can people expect?

[18:34] Natasha: So in one word, the food is going to be delicious. But in terms of what to expect, morocco is one of those places where it's pretty easy to travel for a variety of different diets. And people with certain food restrictions, they produce a lot of Mediterranean fruits and vegetables like, think your tomatoes and peppers and briggets and pomegranates and oranges and lemons and olives. So all those things add up to like, delicious and varied dishes. They use a lot of spices. You may have heard of the spice mix RASL Hanus. I don't know if you've heard of it, but it's like every cook has their own blend, but it would have a number of different spices like cinnamon and cloves and just warm spices. But the food isn't particularly spicy. I mean, you can add this pepper paste called Chariza to make things spicy, but it is just really delicious. And a typical meal would have a variety of salads and then the main dish would be a tajin. Not sure the tajin is like the dish that it's cooked in, but it's also what's inside and the state. You will always find bread on the table. I'm a carb heavy gravitate towards carbs. Some people don't, but I mean, I've even had travelers who are on gluten free diets and we've managed. I mean, it's not as easy, but it's totally possible. Okay, yeah, it's perfect for vegetarians, even vegans.

[20:20] Sonya: I'm literally celebrating at the thought of all the amazing foods that we're going to eat over there. Okay, so next question then, kind of leading off the back of that is what language is spoken in Morocco and is English easily spoken and understood?

[20:37] Natasha: Okay, well, in Morocco there are two official languages, and that's Arabic and Amazie. And Amazia is like what we would know is Berber, I guess Arabic language and Berber, but from colonial times, whatever. French is actually also quite dominant, but you will find that many people speak English as well as Spanish. I've heard people speak Japanese. Even so, you will not have any problems if English is your only language, right?

[21:19] Sonya: That's a good one to know, I think, because language can sometimes be something that does trip people up, a fear of not being able to be easily understood. And so I think it's really important to cover that one off. Okay, and currency, what currency are you best taking with you to spend?

[21:37] Natasha: Well, first of all, the Moroccan deerhum is their official currency, but you cannot acquire that outside of the country. It's a controlled currency. Many places will take cards, but many places are still cash only. Okay, but there are ATMs like bank machines where you can take out cash there. Money is not too difficult.

[22:03] Sonya: Okay, great. So they won't take us. Dollars. Like a lot of countries you can go to, they will take US. Dollars, it doesn't matter. Okay, so you have to be spending in their local currency, but you can withdraw that from the machines off your own cards. Exactly.

[22:21] Natasha: And that leads to a question about how much people are going to spend on this trip outside of the trip fee. Basically the trip covers most things, but you will have to pay for some meals and your gratuities. So there's still a lot of tipping in Morocco, so you're going to want to have some cash for that and also for purchases. It's hard not to shop in Morocco, and shop do have places where you're going to spend like large purchases. If you want to buy a rug or whatever, they'll take parts, but I mean, for other purchases you may need some deer. So your expenses will be your some meals, gratuities and shopping.

[23:21] Sonya: Well, they'll be in good company with me, so that will be completely fine. So what about safety in Morocco, particularly for any women that are considering joining as a solo traveler?

[23:38] Natasha: Yeah, I get this question a lot too, because people are intimidated by Morocco, but I would say that Morocco is safe to travel to, but just like anywhere in the world, there will be places or situations that you're going to want to avoid. That's the way it is, like in New York or Paris or wherever, just for people to know. Like, I've traveled there many times, of course, with groups, but I've also spent a fair bit of time as a solo female walking around the medinas of towns in Morocco. And I have never felt unsafe. And I'm a small like five foot two or 158 inches tall, but I feel completely safe there.

[24:29] Sonya: Okay, good. That's a really good one to cover off. And I can imagine that it is a question that you get asked a lot, so excellent, I'm glad we covered that off. Now it also does lead into another question that's kind of perhaps along similar lines for some people, and that is, will there be a need to cover up and dress conservatively when you're in Morocco?

[24:49] Natasha: This is also a very good question, and first off, there is no law that states that you have to cover up. Morocco is very actually quite open society, and Moroccan women can wear mini skirts if they want to, or tank top, just like me. You will find that there are Westerners who are traveling there wearing western type clothing. Having said that, I still very strongly recommend that people do wear more conservative clothes. We're talking like it's just good to cover your shoulders and your chest and your knees. I mean, I do it because.

[25:39] Sonya: I.

[25:39] Natasha: Just find that when you dress more conservatively, you're kind of opening yourself up to more connections because then people won't feel uncomfortable around you. And also personally, I feel more comfortable dressed like that, too.

[25:52] Sonya: And for me also, I think it also comes down to a matter of respect for the fact that you are traveling in a culture that is different to your culture and that they may have different values and beliefs. And as a world traveler, I think it's always important to be respectful to the culture that you are traveling in at the time.

[26:14] Natasha: Actually, maybe I'd say there's a reason why these clothing cultures have developed in a place like Morocco or in really warm places. It is actually more comfortable to wear loose, lightweight things because it does keep you cooler. But if your skin is not getting hit by all that sun and you're just like, covered in loose cotton, I just find a lot more comfortable.

[26:45] Sonya: Perfect. Which means we should talk about what will the weather and the climate be like when we are there in November.

[26:52] Natasha: November is kind of a perfect time to travel because it's not too hot, but it's also not too cold. Like the climate can vary. I don't have the exact numbers, but I would say November, we're looking at maybe 20 degrees of a high. In the evenings, it can get pretty cool, like seven or ten.

[27:15] Sonya: Especially when you're out in the desert, I would imagine.

[27:17] Natasha: In the desert, actually, before we leave, I always provide it. I have a little guidebook that I send off to everyone. It's just a PDF, and I'll have all kinds of information. Everything's covered from currency to dress, like, what to pack, all those things, and some Arabic words even, that you might want to learn.

[27:39] Sonya: Yeah, I've been doing a little bit of my own research into that and signing off some of my emails to those that have reached out to me already and expressed some interest and ask them questions. And I can't remember them off the top of my head, but I found a couple of nice little Arabic phrases to sign off my emails with.

[27:54] Natasha: What I would say is, I hope to see you in Morocco. In Shala. That just means I hope to see you, God willing.

[28:02] Sonya: God willing.

[28:03] Natasha: Yeah, god willing. I mean, in Shala, that's just a very commonly used phrase. I use it all the time.

[28:10] Sonya: Yeah. Okay, cool. That's good to know. I will definitely be brushing up on my Arabic before we go because I am someone that likes to be able to say thank you, please, hello, goodbye, all of those things.

[28:21] Natasha: Those are the four key words I tell everyone.

[28:24] Sonya: There you go.

[28:25] Natasha: Yeah, exactly. Hello, goodbye. Please and thank you. Those are very good, very useful.

[28:31] Sonya: Cool. Well, we'll be practicing those before we go. Okay, so we talked about visas. Obviously, advice is always, whatever country you are in, go and check with your local government to be 100% certain on what the visa can tell you and they can change. Yeah, of course. Vaccinations. Is that something outside of COVID We talk about vaccinations now. Everybody's mind goes straight to COVID, but outside of COVID are there any vaccination requirements to get into Morocco?

[29:01] Natasha: No, you just need to have routine vaccinations that you would have had anyway, probably in your home country. Like, I can't even think of them. Like rubella, varicella, whatever. MMR, that stuff. But high school is the one that's also recommended. Okay, cool. Recommended, but not a must have. You and me and all your listeners. I have not had it.

[29:23] Sonya: Okay. Suppose when it comes to things like that, the best advice, I suppose would always be to perhaps go and talk to your GP, your medical professional, that you see primary carer before you go and just go, hey, this is where I'm traveling to. What do you recommend?

[29:43] Natasha: And if there's a travel clinic near you, you can talk to them as well or just look at. Yeah, perfect.

[29:50] Sonya: Okay, so we've talked about the fact that obviously we'll all be traveling there regardless of which corner of the globe you might be coming from. This question is going to sound really silly, but I think it was the best way to phrase it, and that was what is the best way to get to Morocco? Obviously the best way is by aeroplane, particularly for us. Yeah. What's the best route? Route to get to Morocco? I mean, obviously that's going to depend on where you're from. For Australia, I'm going to say it would be to go through the Middle East, probably through Dubai or Qatar or something like that. From your experience, having probably booked plenty of flights there, what's your recommendation?

[30:36] Natasha: It really does depend on where you're coming from, but because I expect that there might be more Australians on this trip than I've ever had on previous trips, I have set it up so that we will be picking up from Casablanca as well as Marrakesh. So if you find that it makes much more sense to fly into Casablanca, that is perfect. But if you find that it's much easier, like, say, if you're flying in from Paris, if you're already going to be in Paris or whatever, if it's easy for you to fly into Marrakesh, then that can be done as well. So the trip actually doesn't spend any time in Casablanca. So it is really like a Marrakesh to Marrakesh trip.

[31:23] Sonya: Yes. That transit option is there.

[31:28] Natasha: If you can arrive and depart from Marrakesh, that would be great because it saves you the transfer from Blanca. But if that's not possible, then it's not a problem, too. I think many people will probably fly into Casablanca because it is really the easiest in a lot of cases.

[31:46] Sonya: Okay, cool. That's good to know. Awesome. And that's one thing I suppose to bring up. Too. Is that the trip that we are putting together? You can head over to the site. Not yet. All the links at the end of this, which will give you the pricing for our trip within Morocco. But you will be responsible for organizing your own flights?

[32:07] Natasha: Yes, but I will also say that I don't book flights, but I'm happy to help anyone kind of talk anyone through their route or route. I don't know how. It's Australian, Canadian, whatever. And I'll also note that the price is in Canadian dollars. That's simply because I'm based in Canada. But your credit card company will work that out and it's actually quite a candidate.

[32:36] Sonya: The Canadian dollar for us as Australians is actually quite a nice one to work against because the difference isn't really very much.

[32:45] Natasha: Okay, that's great. And I'm totally available. You'll see my email, my contact on the website. You can reach out to me anytime if you have any questions. I'm always happy to talk to people or if you want to set up a call, I'd be happy to talk to you because sometimes, if you have any more questions, I'm really happy to talk it through.

[33:08] Sonya: Yeah, perfect. And I think that's the beauty of this trip is that with you and I kind of being everybody's points of contact, we can really answer any question that you might have about the trip. With your experience of Morocco, my vision of what I want to bring for the trip, how I want the trip to unfold, and the experience that I want everyone to have, you're going to have to really be really prepared for this trip. I think probably more so than you could be for any other trip that you might be thinking about taking.

[33:45] Natasha: Yeah. Because in one way, you really don't have all you have to do once you've booked your flight and the trip is pack your bags because we're going to take care of everything.

[33:55] Sonya: Everything else. That's exactly that is very true.

[33:58] Natasha: Yeah. So one thing that you talked to me about was I guess people might have asked if the workouts or whatever physical activity was, like, if they had compulsory and you asked, we'll exercise. Yeah. I don't know if we have different answers, but my answer to that question is I haven't experienced this, but I think that working out with you is going to be amazing. I haven't met Sonia in real life, but I get the feeling that she'd be an awesome personal trainer. And I'm already looking forward to the workouts. But if you're just not into it, you should not feel bad because this is your time, it's your trip, you've paid for this. So if you just don't feel like going, you shouldn't feel if you don't feel like exercising or whatever it is we're doing, you do not need to feel bad about it.

[34:56] Sonya: And we are definitely on the same page with that.

[34:59] Natasha: Okay, cool.

[35:00] Sonya: Yeah. My vision for that component of the trip is very much you can dip in and out of that as you feel you would like to. I'm by no means will these workouts be super intensive and super hardcore. They will be fun. They will be with the intention of literally just getting the body moving, getting a set up for the day. Some days they may feel a little bit more yoga and mobility based, as opposed to let's get the heart rate up and that sort of thing. So, yeah, look, they are definitely not compulsory, and but they will be a really nice way, I feel, for us to kind of come together, get moving, get the adventurous juices flowing before we head off for the day.

[35:58] Natasha: Kind of like it's a positive peer pressure. But I just realized there's one thing that we forgot to talk about, and that is the camels. You guys, we're going to Morocco, and we're riding camels. Okay, maybe it's not so special for Australians. I don't know what the camel situation is there.

[36:14] Sonya: Yeah, like, they're just walking down the street here. Ubers. We have camel. Ubers now. I'm joking.

[36:20] Natasha: They're like, oh, my God. I'm so embarrassed to ask, but will there be camels? Because it sounds kind of dorky, but if I'm going to go all the way to Morocco, I would like to ride a camel.

[36:33] Sonya: I want to ride a camel.

[36:34] Natasha: Yes, of course. So, yes, there will be camels. And they're not that comfortable.

[36:40] Sonya: No, I did not.

[36:42] Natasha: So after the camel ride, if you really don't feel like working out because you're camel itself in the workout exactly.

[36:50] Sonya: You definitely will not be needing to do any glute work after riding a camel. That is short.

[36:56] Natasha: If you want to run up and down the Doom, you can do that, too.

[37:02] Sonya: Oh, man. I have all sorts of ideas now in my head of things that we can do when we're in the desert. That is not a good place to go. So, yeah, the camels is really exciting. I think. I've ridden the camel once, and there's really only certain parts within Australia where you would ride a camel. And there's a place in the north of Western Australia called Broom, which is the most commonplace, that people, I think, have probably ridden camels, which is where I did that. And it's a really romantic thing to do. I find it is a magical thing to do. It's not something we do every day, but I'm excited at the prospect of doing that in the Moroccan desert. That is just the imagery that comes to mind with that is just amazing.

[37:52] Natasha: Yeah. And I've done it I don't know how many times now, and really still every time. It's just incredible to be out there. It's just the quiet of the desert, the romance. I mean, it's just beautiful.

[38:08] Sonya: Pretty special. And the other thing that I can imagine is pretty special out there as well. It would be the nighttime sky.

[38:17] Natasha: There are stars, you guys. So many stars. It's a blanket of stars. And you just lie out there looking at the stars. In the evenings after dinner, they put on some of the guys will play drums and sing and will have a big bonfire and you're there and you really feel transported to some are completely different. And then when that's over and if you still want to hang out, you can go up into the dunes and just lie there and just look at these stars. I mean, when I said that you have to use like I say, it's not just Morocco, it's like magical Morocco or whatever. This is what I mean. It's incredible. It's just incredible.

[39:08] Sonya: Oh, I have goosebumps thinking about how much fun this is going to be and how many of my bucket lists this is going to take. This is unbelievable. Okay, so is there anything else that we haven't covered off? Is there anything else that springs to mind for you that might be a question that someone would have?

[39:29] Natasha: I can't think of anything. I can't think of anything. But if anyone does have any questions, please get in touch with me and I'm happy to answer. And I think the two of us were talking about potentially doing an Instagram live later, so we can cover other questions that haven't been absolutely.

[39:50] Sonya: And I am going to link through in the show notes to oh, gosh, everything I can think of. So the website where you can read all the information, the itinerary is there, the pricing is there. Actually, if it's cool, we might just touch on that just for a little minute. So from a pricing aspect, there is a deposit that's paid to secure your spot and then it's a final payment after that. That's made how long before we actually depart?

[40:22] Natasha: It's a few months before. I don't have the exact date, but it's a few months before the departure.

[40:27] Sonya: Yeah. But it's certainly not a matter of paying for everything upfront at this point. Like not having to pay everything up front and right now.

[40:35] Natasha: No, actually. So I have it divided into two payments. It was one deposit and then the balance later. But if some people would prefer to break it up into multiple payments just because that's how they operate, I can set that up as well.

[40:50] Sonya: Perfect.

[40:51] Natasha: You have maybe like you want in four payments or whatever it is.

[40:55] Sonya: Yeah. Amazing. So much flexibility. That's wonderful. And we are landing in Casablanca or Marrakesh, depending on where you are flying into on the 13 November. And our ten days sees us finishing up on the 22 November and then we have the additional four days that you can add on to come and spend some time in Essaouira on the coast with us. And we have some really cool activities planned. Not a super amount of activities we really want this extra time to be about unwinding, relaxing, recharging, letting everything that you've experienced in those ten days really soak in and marinate. But we do have a couple of special little things planned for whilst we're there, so that would then take you through till about the 26 November finishing up. So, yeah, they're the dates if you need to go check your schedule and see if you're free and obviously allow for your travel time either side of that. All right. Linking through to your website, which has all the trip and tour information on it. My website for anybody that is not familiar with who I am, who Stellar Women is, and so they can read a little bit more about me and get to know me. There my Instagram, your Instagram, our email addresses so that if anybody has any questions outside of what we've covered off on here, you can contact us and ask questions. Gosh. I think that will be everything.

[42:32] Natasha: I think that sounds like everything for now. And just bring on the questions. I'm ready to answer them.

[42:39] Sonya: Yeah, we're definitely here for questions. Okay, Natasha. I am super excited. The more that we talk about this, the more excited I get. And I cannot wait for November.

[42:51] Natasha: I know. What month are we now? Oh, my goodness, it is only January. And yes, we have filled a few spots already. Something that you're thinking of you might want to because it is not like it's an unlimited number of places. We're going to cap it.

[43:14] Sonya: Yeah, we will cap it. We do want to be sure that we keep that small group, intimate, bonded community. And we have already filled some spots. So if this is something that you are interested in do, and also you might be listening to this three, four months down the track from when we recorded it as well, which will mean that potentially more spots have been filled. So don't sit and hesitate. If you've got that gut hit that this could be something that you want to do, then at least reach out and take some steps to find out some more about it and reach out to one of us.

[43:50] Natasha: Yes.

[43:51] Sonya: Amazing, Natasha. Thank you.

[43:54] Natasha: You're welcome. Thank you. It was great talking to you, and.

[43:57] Sonya: We look forward to seeing all of you in Morocco. Thank you for listening today. I am so grateful to have these conversations with incredible women and experts, and I'm grateful that you chose to hit play on this episode of Dear Menopause. If you have a minute of time today, please leave a rating or a review. I would love to hear from you because you are my biggest driver for doing this work. If this chat went way too fast for you and you want more, head over to Dot au podcast for the show Notes. And while you're there, take my midlife quiz to see why it feels like midlife is messing with your head.