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Moving to and Life in Morocco

In late 2012 MarocBaba and I decided we were ready to make the move to Morocco. This was something we had always planned to do but it took many years until it became a viable option. Our plan was to move for one year beginning in August of 2013. Our goal for this move was that our kids would learn Arabic in one year.

(If you’d like to read our moving announcement and early information you can find it in this post: New Category – Expat.)

We put all of our belongings into storage in the US and had every intention to come back after one year. However, halfway into our first year we realized it was going to take longer for them to learn Arabic and we extended our plan by a year.

2022 marks our 9th year in Marrakech and our journey has taken a lot of changes along the way. As time passes I get more and more messages and emails from people who are considering a move to Marrakech.

Whether this is you or you just are wondering what it’s like to live like a local in the red city I’ve put together all the information I’ve shared here. I will try to keep this as updated as possible but you can also search the archives in case something has slipped by! I hope on this page you’ll find our story of moving and also ideas and inspiration if you’re living overseas or considering it.

Planning an International Move

Choose luggage that you love

Your Top Questions about Moving to Morocco answered

I asked readers what their big questions were about moving to Morocco and did my best to answer them in this post.

Things You Should Consider Before Moving Overseas

If moving overseas to Morocco or elsewhere is something on your radar, you may want to read through this post and consider a few things before making the leap.

5 Tips to Organize for an International Move

Buying the tickets was the easy part. Organizing our lives to prepare for an international move was a completely different ball game. I walk through the things that I had to take care of to get our lives in order for the move. Did I mention I’m a project manager by training? This might have been my biggest project ever.

A Practical Guide on How to Relocate to A New Country

Insights from a fellow mom who made a big international move with her family – she shares some ideas to make your dream of international relocation a reality.

4 Tips to Start Planning an International Relocation

So many people have told me how lucky we are, how they too wish they could make the big move. Guess what? You can! There’s nothing special about us – honestly. If you’re thinking of making this big step then start here. If you wish you could do it but think you can’t – start here.

4 Final Thoughts on Moving Overseas

This is where I sum up all those last minute thoughts and feelings before we prepared to leave. Things I wished I would have done differently and how I would have scheduled my time in the weeks leading up to our departure. Heed my advice!

Our Moving Story

MarocMama - Family Travel

Our First Week in Marrakech

Just a few quick thoughts on the realizations I made right after our move; what I struggled with and where my head was after such a big change.

This Week in Marrakech – Two month mark

At almost two months into our new life I offer another update on life and adjusting. In this installment we get our boxes from the US. You’ll find advice here about how to retrieve items from the Casablanca port if you ship them ahead, and how to change your residency with the American consulate. Also, I had to make a somewhat emergency trip back to the US.

Life in Marrakech: December Update

The four month update! Our boys adjustment to school in Morocco and trust me it’s not the sugar coated version. There’s a healthy dose of restaurants and food options because well that’s my favorite thing to do! Also Christmas in Morocco?

6 Month Update of Living in Marrakech
We hit the half year mark! This update really focuses on my own struggle with my surroundings and finding peace with life around me and from within. Looking back I also see this is where the real culture shock was going to hit me very soon. It’s also where I allude to starting our business

9 Months in Marrakech
Towards the end of our first full year in Morocco there was a lot going on! Travel, writing, and new opportunities filled up the days until we were counting down for our summer vacation to the US.

Life in Marrakech – Month 19

Then I went an entire 10 months without a general update on our life in Marrakech! We returned from the US and got back to life as usual. Our second year in Morocco wasn’t planned. We thought we’d only be here for one year but that turned into two and now we’re up in the air about how long we’ll be here. If you’ve read the other installments you’ll immediately see how this update is different from the rest – and no I’m not having a baby!

Month 30: An Update
With almost a full year between my last update on life in Marrakech, and a lot has changed. We’re closing our third year in Marrakech and things are much different. In some good and bad ways. Find out what’s happening in this post.

40 Months Living in Morocco

This was the last update I made (we’ve now been living here 6 1/2 years as of January 2020) about our life in Morocco. It may be time to do another update!

Resources for Expats and Long Term Visitors to Marrakech

A list of resources for those who are calling Marrakech home (doctors/dentists/shops etc)

Dear Wanderess

A letter I wrote to myself and others who have dreams of living and traveling far away.

Language and Schooling

Raising Bilingual Children: Should We Go Overseas?

If you’re raising, or considering raising bilingual children a major question you might ask is if you should move overseas or not. Our answer is yes, you should consider it but there’s much more to take into consideration than just that.

A Guide to Learning Arabic in Morocco

Planning to live in Morocco to learn Arabic? I put together several resources to make your language journey a bit easier – or at least get you started with where to look.

14 Ways to Help Kids Learn Vocabulary in a New Language

Practical tips if you’re teaching your kids a new language – and it works for adults too!

How We Continue English Learning in a non-English Speaking Country

My children are in an environment where English is the third or fourth language. Here’s how we keep English language learning alive.

Speaking Multiple Languages at Home

Do you worry that speaking several languages at home could become too much or are just not sure how it all works? This is for you.

How to Learn Moroccan Darija when You’re Not in Morocco

Want to learn darija but you’re not living in Morocco? Discover this great tutoring resource I’ve tried.

Introductions and Useful Expressions in Moroccan Arabic

Gain the basics of Moroccan Arabic and familiarize yourself with expressions that you’ll find useful in Morocco.

Learning Darija: Chores and Daily Routines

Practical language information for you on chores and daily routines.

Schools Around the World: Morocco

We moved to Morocco for the primary reason that we wanted our children to learn Arabic and French, the two languages taught here. I share about the struggles of putting older children into Moroccan school, how the school system works, and what to expect

Learning Arabic for Beginners; from your phone

Beginning learning the basics of Arabic with the help of your phone.

Paperwork and Employment

Humans of Marrakech: The Office

Applying for a Carte Sejour {Residency} in Morocco

As an American I am able to stay in Morocco on a 3 month tourist visa. However, with the intention to live here I needed to apply for a residency permit to make life easier. Without this I would need to leave the country and return every 3 months. Here’s how it works when you’re married to a Moroccan citizen.

How Moving to Morocco is like a Carnival Fun House

My very unfiltered insights and frustrations on the process of moving to Morocco and getting around the systems that need to be navigated.

How to Transfer Money to a Moroccan Bank Account

Wondering how you can send money from a foreign account into a Moroccan account. This is the easiest and least expensive way we’ve found to date.

Living in Morocco: Income

Maybe the number one question that people have is about income and life in Morocco. I provide a budget breakdown for our family of four as well as some other estimates from expats who live in other Moroccan cities. I also answer some commonly asked questions.

Driving in Morocco and Being Illiterate

Driving in a foreign country can be a challenge but what if you can’t even read the street signs?

Adjusting to Life in a New Country

15 Tips to Help Fit in While Living Abroad

It’s not easy to fit in when you live in a new place. This post shares some ways you can try to make new friends and adjust to your new home.

Culture Shock, Depression, and the Not-So-Nice Side of Expat Life

The dark side of moving abroad – when the depression hits. It took a long time for mine to surface, so long that I thought it wouldn’t happen. But then it did and it was just as terrible as I was afraid it would be.

Celebrating Thanksgiving as an Expat

My reflections on American Thanksgiving while living in Morocco.

My Muslim Christmas Story

My reflections on Christmas, being Muslim and being away from family during this time of year.

Defining Home When You’re an Expat

It’s not always easy -here are my thoughts.

Giving and Accepting Gifts and Compliments in Morocco

Practical advice and insights to the gift giving and compliment giving practices in Morocco.

How Can You Afford a Global Lifestyle? 10 Bloggers Share Their Story.

It might seem virtually impossible but you could also be surprised to learn it’s more attainable than you think.

Making Friends in Morocco

How hard is it? My thoughts on this topic.

Tips for Decorating Your Expat Home

Basic, practical insight and tips to decorating and making your temporary home, more comfortable.

TV and the Expat Experience

TV bridges that big gulf sometimes – my story of how TV helped me get through the difficult times.

Show Me Your Neighborhood: Marrakech, Morocco

Want to see my neighborhood? I took part in a global blogger hop to share neighborhoods around the world.

Staying in Touch with Family when You Live Faraway

It’s so important! Find out how-to strategies!

US Expats Share the Biggest Misconceptions about Safety in their Adopted Homes

There are a lot of misconceptions people around the world have when it comes to living in a foreign country. American expats share what they’ve heard about their adopted countries from other Americans.

Handling Medical Emergencies and Healthcare in Morocco

Worst travel nightmare? Getting sick. So what happens when you live in a foreign country and are faced with a potentially serious illness or surgery? In this post I talk about our experience with the medical system in Morocco and our son having surgery here. I also discuss how things work so that if you are in need of medical services you might have a general idea of the procedures.

Family, Kids and Relationships

Moroccan brides always have henna done for their wedding!

Dating in Morocco: Total Taboo or Totally Typical?

Do Moroccans date? Can you date in Morocco? Guest author Brenda shares her experiences in this post.

So you Wanna Marry a Moroccan Man?

I get asked this question a lot so I decided I would put down some of my thoughts and experiences on the subject.

To Understand, Adopt, or Reject Your Spouses Culture

Challenges and tips to navigate through this rough topic.

How to Get Married in Morocco

Practical steps of how to go through the process in Morocco when one partner is a foreign citizen.

6 Assumptions People Make When They Hear Your Husband is Arab

Not entirely expat related but an important topic that is brought up when at home or abroad.

6 Assumptions People Make When You Tell Them Your Wife is American

The reverse of the above post!

Living with Your In-Laws: The Honest Truth

It’s common in Morocco for extended families to live together- like we do. But, is it all peaches and cream? No holds bar on this one!

Get Out of my Things: Privacy and Personal Space

Your ideas of privacy may be very different than your Moroccan family. Discover what some of these issues are.

Pregnancy and Childbirth in Morocco

An in-depth article walking through my process of pregnancy, child birth, and the newborn phase in Morocco.

Raising Global Kids: Cultural Norms and Discipline of Children

A look at discipline of children in Morocco – what’s considered a norm and how to deal with it if it falls outside what you believe in.

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Friday 16th of April 2021

Hello Marocmama, thank you for your site, I am single Muslim male investigating a MOVE to North Africa, Morocco is my first choice, but I am looking at housing prices and internally weeping for Moroccan people because I will have(inshAllah)access to a remote coding job making *ABSOLUTE MINIMUM* (before taxes) 4000USD (more likely 6000USD minimum) and I am wondering how the heck a Moroccan making 500/1000MAD (teacher/doctor salary according to google) is suppose to afford a house? The prices are insane (do they have 50 year mortgages??) I am seeing (granted it's online) 3 bedroom 1500 sq ft (about 150m2) fixer-uppers (I am VERY handy) *for the same if not more money than it costs in the US*... I posted a topic on a Moroccan facebook group and didn't get many responses other than a few "ugh I know", but seriously, are online prices THAT ridiculous? How could someone making my money own a house and afford a stay at home wife with two kids there without living in an apartment on 6000USD? I dont even want a "convenient" location I want to at least 45 minutes away from any major city. I can get that in Tunisia for 65,000USD.. Is that possible within reason?

Amanda Mouttaki

Friday 16th of April 2021

It's because you're looking online at online listings and few if any Moroccans ever doing that. They work with someone local and get local prices - the prices online are generally targeting international buyers. That being said many many Moroccans live in family homes, in an extended family situation. There are also many apartments for example that are offered through a government program at a discounted price for Moroccan nationals. But yes housing is an issue. Also --- ownership is still something not super accessible. A lot of people rent.

A High Atlas Mountains Christmas

Wednesday 14th of September 2016

[…] I wondered what was perfect but it didn’t take long to figure it out. He jokes that I moved here for the mountains not for him, he just might be right. For two hours we drove around Marrakech and […]