Lori: USA -> Morocco

Lori moved to Marrakesh at 50 and is now running the Marrakesh Henna Art Cafe.

Lori moved to Marrakesh at 55 and is now running the Marrakesh Henna Art Cafe with her business partner Rashid.

Country of origin: USA

Current Country: Morocco

Cool, random fact about you: I spent years of my life and thousands of dollars getting two degrees, a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Religious Studies. When I was looking for PhD programs, I decided that I don’t want to do any of that. I didn’t want to teach at a university like I thought I did. All I wanted to do was my art, so I started taking my art seriously. And it took me another 25 years to get to the point where I could make a living at it.

Bucket list item: Travel to India and SE Asia countries.

How old were you when you left your home country? 55.

Why did you leave your home country? I always wanted to travel and – I’ve traveled all over the United States for years and years and years, lived all over the United States, but as an artist, I never had the money for international travel. And also I got married when I was 19, had a baby when I was 21, you know, work, job, family… I just let life get in the way and keep me from doing what I wanted to do. So, for my 50th birthday that same little brother gave me a plane ticket to Cypress, where our niece was living. And that did it. At that point, I said, yeah, I’m 50 years old and I’ve always wanted to travel. It’s time. And I have a credit card! Laughs. And I’m still working on paying off that credit card but it’s been worth every minute!

What made you choose the country you currently live in? There’s something about Islamic culture – they’re so warm, so welcoming. And that’s what I think strikes most people. And also – just as an artist, My God – not only the sites here, the colors, the clothing, I mean it’s so exotic to a Westerner, but the smells. Just everything about it.

What do you not like about your current country? There’s one thing that drive me crazy. This guy said to me: “Can I borrow 50 Dirhams from you? I’ll pay you back. Tomorrow or after tomorrow.” And it’s like – that means – maybe, maybe not. Probably never. It’s a thing that comes with hot countries I guess. I’m trying to live with it.

Are you going to stay in your current country? Why is that? As far as I can see, I am. I know I’m done with the States. At some point, if I have health issues, I might have to go back, but I seem to last about 20 years in any given location, so we’ll see. I’m happy here for now.

What has your move taught you? That the world is such a big place. And life is so short. Do what you want to do as soon as you can.

What do you miss about your home country? Bratwurst. Italian sausage. That’s  about it. I just miss certain foods.

Where is home for you? Right here. In my little apartment in the medina right down the street.

Would you move back? Under which circumstances? Do you want to move back? No. Only if I have medical issues.

If you could do your move again, what would you do differently? I would have done it 30 years ago!


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