From the moment I saw a photo of this blue-painted town—when or where that was I have not the faintest idea—Morocco was added to my travel list. Chefchaouen, a name I couldn’t pronounce properly until a few weeks before our flight, is precisely what I visualized: streets of blue, in varying shades and tones, with curves, corners, and doors in every nook and cranny. It’s always a little surreal to finally arrive at a destination you have visualized for so long, with the expectations crafted from nothing more than a handful of photographs found online.

We finally made it to Chefchaouen after ten dizzying days in other parts of Morocco, and this trip is one that will never be forgotten. Not because of the beautiful sights (which it has) or the local cuisine (of which I am not entirely fond of), but due of the whirlwind of events we have made it through to get here. We’ve made our way through delayed flights and lost luggage (eventually recovered several days later), to the struggle of group travel, and then finally ending our last week with both me and Brian taking turns being hotel-bound for a string of days with some unknown variety of stomach virus. We both are ready to put this trip behind us and be home in our comfortable surroundings with our dogs cuddled up by our sides.

Photographically this experience has been what I expected, for the most part. In spite of what we have been through, and losing a full weekend of photographing due to a stomach bug, I know I’m coming home with some solid work. We booked this trip somewhat last-minute and chose to join a group, adding some extra days on our own in Chefchaouen, in order to simplify the planning and logistics. I don’t regret that decision, but to be honest, group travel—with the exception of photography workshops—is not easy for photographers, and this was no exception. There are ways to make it work (and I’ll share more on that in a future post) but it’s definitely challenging.

For now, in the last few days we have left, I expect to wander, photograph, and hopefully fit in some work as well, counting the days until we depart. Patience is something I’ve become much more skilled at as the years add up, and after this trip I will have added yet another feather in my cap.