Thomas Stanley

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Reason 12 Why I Love Angola: Nearly everyone is consistently, impressively, immaculately dressed. Seriously, these are some of the most stylish people I’ve ever seen and they don’t shy from vibrant colors.

Around Luanda

Quiçama National Park

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Reason 1,242 Why I Love Morocco:

The Marrakech medina is actually just many little medinas within one enclosure

Most neighborhoods, whether in a big city or small town, still adhere to a medina mentality, meaning most daily needs are within only a few blocks. Each small area typically has a butcher, a green grocer, a dry cleaner, a hammam, a baker (or community oven), a barber/hairdresser, at least four cafés, a pharmacy, hardware store, tailor, a dry goods shop, and endless small convenience stores. What’s not in a shop, is usually at a nomadic stand that shows up every morning. Often, there are also shops for clothing and shoes, doctors’ offices, gyms, and small restaurants.

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Ubiquitous and endlessly useful.

Reason 1,233 Why I Love Morocco: Everything is possible with WhatsApp—doctor’s appointments, car repair, hotel reservations, fish mongers, taxi pick-ups, you name it. Of course, one must obtain the numbers first, but there’s always a friend of a friend of a friend whose brother knows just the man you need.

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Isli Lake near Imilchil

Reason 1,200 Why I Love Morocco: When you’re in a tiny mountain village that’s so small it doesn’t have an ATM (the nearest one is an hour away), and you also want to buy a beautiful, handwoven carpet, but don’t have the funds for both that and the room, the hotel proprietor suggests you just send him the money for both when you get home.

Dover

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My first tajine, which I made to mark the start of Ramadan 2015. It had potatoes, zucchini, onions, tomatoes and olives.

Reason 1,049 Why Love Morocco: The tajine. Not the meal, but the cookware. I’m so integrated at this point that I don’t know how I’ve live my adult years without one. I use it every day. It’s a pressure cooker, a crock-pot, a deep-fryer, popcorn maker, and “microwave” all in one. It’s truly a wonder.

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A fairly typical entry changing area

Reason 1,037 Why I Love Morocco: For $8 I can have a day at the spa (hammam) complete with a man who washes me, scrubs me, then gives me a soap massage.

Ouzoud Falls, Reservoir Bin El Ouidane, and the Beni Mellal Region.