With his rugged good looks, Michael is definitely one of those people who is as beautiful inside as he is outside. His sweet demeanor and sense of humor made him so much fun to travel with. Fortunately for us, he took a break from the gym to talk with Zoom about his experience on Zoom Vacations' recent tour of Morocco.
Zoom: What was your highlight from the trip?
Michael: Definitely the trek to the Sahara desert. Everything about this experience was amazing: riding a camel, drinking champagne on a pristine sand dune while watching the sun set, and seeing the stars undisturbed by civilization was something that will always stick with me. I feel so lucky to have been able to experience something so amazing.
Zoom: How were the hotels?
Michael: The hotels were as much a part of the experience as the tours and the treks. Each hotel reflected the local culture while still offering every modern and luxurious amenity you could want. I loved every single hotel, however the very last hotel in Marrakech was by far my favorite. Every room was so unique and the architecture and location of the hotel made me feel like I was in the middle of an oasis.
Zoom: Did you feel comfortable to be traveling as part of a gay group through Morocco?
Michael: I felt 100% comfortable. There wasn’t a single moment where I felt out of place or fearful. All of our excursions, tours, and restaurants were perfectly picked and every person we met along the way welcomed us with open arms.
Zoom: What were the benefits of traveling as part of a group?
Michael: I was able to meet so many new people with different backgrounds, jobs, and experiences. Everyone added their own flare to the group and it made meals, down time, and the travel days much more exciting. I also walked away from this trip making new lifelong friends.
Zoom: How do you think things would have been different had you organized this on your own?
Michael: For one, it would not have been as extravagant, relaxing, or as thorough. From the moment I landed in Casablanca to the moment I was dropped off at the airport in Marrakech , every aspect of the trip was well thought out and organized. As a result, I was able to focus on making memories and enjoy all of the experiences instead of worrying about the boring logistics.
Zoom: What do you think your friends would appreciate from the Zoom Vacations experience?
Michael: I have to say that every single one of my friends was extremely excited (and probably a little jealous) to hear about my trip. My friends would appreciate how the entire trip was equal parts luxury and adventure. I know I appreciated the fact that I learned and experienced so much, yet still felt like I was on a nice relaxing vacation.
Zoom: Did this trip give you the opportunity to expand your comfort zone?
Michael: Yes, very much so. This trip really changed my perspective on northern Africa and the Middle East. Given the current political climate and the images of the Middle East that we are bombarded with on TV, I couldn’t help but have some misconceptions about Morocco. This trip definitely taught me a lot and changed my view of the entire region. I will go back!
Zoom: During the trip, you took a lot of photos. Are you the type who always takes a lot of pictures, or was there something special about the scenery or lighting?
Michael: On my past trips, I have been very bad about taking photos. I knew this trip was going to be particularly spectacular so I made sure to take as many pictures and videos as possible. However, I had no idea the scenery would be so diverse and breathtaking, which made my photos turn out even better than I could have wished. Morocco’s landscape is so diverse, we went from mountains and trees to deserts and sand to oceans and cities. My pictures reflected all of these landscapes.
Zoom: How do you think our group was received by local people we met?
Michael: Every local that we encountered was extremely friendly and welcoming. I really cannot think of a single bad experience that we had with any locals in Morocco.
Zoom: You were the youngest guy on this particular tour. Did you feel you had things in common with your fellow travelers? Did you make any new friendships?
Michael: I did not feel out of place once on this trip. Every single person was extremely welcoming and fun to be around. I definitely made some new lifelong friendships and now I have new people to visit across the country!
Zoom: What is on your next Zoom bucket list
Michael: Well you definitely will not have to twist my arm to get me to go on another Zoom Vacation. To be honest, every single Zoom trip that I have learned about seems to be unique and special in its own way. But if I had to narrow it down, South Africa, Brazil, and the Maldives would definitely be at the top of my list!