I have a background as a Behavioral Therapist and soon realized that my formal schooling was not enough to help people gain full mental, spiritual, and physical health, so I went on to earn my certifications in Kinesiology (for physical well-being), Laughter Yoga (for mental well-being), and became an InterFaith Minister (for spiritual well-being).
I also come from a family in tourism and have an extensive background as a tour operator. After touring in Africa, I realized the benefits of travel for overall health and teamed up to create tours that facilitate transformative experiences in wellness. The combined skill sets provide a unique travel experience that lasts long after the tour.
If you could only take a visitor to one place in Morocco, where would you go?
The Sahara! It is purely majestic. There is nothing on earth like the vastness of the open space, the stars, and the peace you experience in the middle of the desert. Camel trekking into the Sahara and spending the night in a tent hotel is something everyone should experience at least once.
How would you describe your style as a guide?
We are adventurous and fun loving, so we carry that spirit into our tours. It is our deepest desire to create tours that feed the soul and cater to an adventurous spirit. As a laughter yoga instructor I know the importance of laughter, so I encourage it as often as possible. We are also lovers of diverse cultures, cuisine, and people, so it is an important aspect of our tours to incorporate local venues, artisans, performances, and heritage into every tour. We love to assist our clients to fully submerge themselves into the culture and experience of the tour destinations.
What is the best part of your job?
Traveling to new places, meeting new and interesting people, and learning about new cultures. Volunteerism and eco-consciousness are also passions of ours, so it is important for us to create tours that support local communities and economies, leave only a footprint of love and support, and lead to compassion and open-mindedness.
Luckily, we have not had a bizarre experience or request thus far.
Every job has its ups and downs. Are there any aspects of your job that you don’t like or aren’t that keen on?
It is always difficult when clients want 5 star accommodations on a 3 star budget. LOL. Living out of suitcases can get old fast and you start to miss the little things from home… a good latte, a hot bath with essential oils and salt, and family.
Your profile says that you are a laughter yoga instructor, what exactly is that?
A laughter yoga instructor incorporates yogic breathing into playful, laughter exercises. We provide a space for self expression and child like fun, so people can relax, laugh, and remember what it is like to be filled with the excitement of being carefree once again.
When you’re not busy guiding tours – what’s your favourite thing to do?
I enjoy reading, hiking, running, meditation, relaxing watching old movies with family, and finding new ways to make people laugh more. Said enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing football, walking in the sand dunes, and listening to relaxing music.
As an experienced guide yourself, can you explain to our readers what the benefits of hiring a guide are?
When you hire an experienced guide, you have access to the often hidden and most wondrous parts of a country. They know the best places and experiences for you to discover when you describe what you want out of your tour. They know the ins and outs of the countries you visit and have the expertise to keep you safe, create a tour that is within your budget, and have insider knowledge of the best places to stay, the best restaurants, and the most inspiring locations to visit.
In Morocco, Tagine is always a must try! It is taste-bud heaven with its mixture of local spices, vegetables, and meat. Another favorite is Moroccan tea. Locals will pour you glasses of it everywhere you go. It is a delightful mix of green tea and mint.
Tell us something about Morocco that only a guide would know.
One of the most amazing experiences you will have in Morocco is to visit the Nomads living in the desert. Some live in tents in the desert and some live in caves in the Atlas. Without a local guide it is nearly impossible to find them, but with a local you are welcomed into their homes for tea and conversation. It is a wonderful experience to learn about their lifestyle; seeing and learning about how they live is a humbling experience.
In your view, what makes a good tour guide?
Knowledge about the country and locations for a tour is always a must. Patience and organization are important for planning an amazing and flawless tour that meets the expectations of the clients. And lastly, I would say that it is important to have a guide with a sense of humor. If your guide has a sense of humor the tour will be informative, adventurous, and fun.
And finally, have you got any tips for people who are interested in booking a guide like yourself, but aren’t too sure what to look for?
It is important to look at the guide’s experience. How many years have they been in the industry? Do they have a background in the experience you want to have? What are you looking for in a travel adventure? Can they facilitate the experience you are looking for or are they just going to guide you from location to location? At SoulFull Adventure Travel we place as much importance on the experience as we do the locations. It is our desire to give people the experience of a lifetime, not just a vacation or tour. As such, it is important to ask yourself what you want out of the experience or tour so you can clearly communicate that with your guide when booking your adventure. If you are going to spend the time and money on travel and adventure, why not make it soul food?