Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year from Italy!

This year we celebrated Christmas in our new home in the little Italian village Arpino. The weather has been amazing with sunny days (15-18c) and chilly nights (5-8c) and we had a great time with old and new friends exploring our town.
  Arpino Christmas style

Soon it is time to say good bye to 2016 and what a year it has been! So much suffering in the world, so many conflicts and so many crazy political happenings. And at the same time on a personal level we had another amazing year filled with adventures, new experiences, friends and lots of fun projects.

Some of the highlights of this year include finding Arpino and the renovation of our little town house Casa Colle, seeing our charity organization Project Soar grow and help more girls to stay in school and closing a really great first year for our communication firm Red City PR. We are now very established in our new lives, projects and businesses in Morocco and Italy.

Beautiful Arpino

A very charming, ancient and genuine Italian town with arches...

...and narrow streets - just like in our other home town Marrakech

Our neighbours put out this little Christmas tree in our street

Back in Casa Colle for an Italian Christmas

The stunning views from our terrace never gets old

Ah, and those magical sunsets!

A Christmas lunch with some new Italian friends on the main piazza

Our Swedish frienfs Anna and Andreas came to visit us, great fun!

Beautiful Christmas tree at the palazzo of Alison and Katherine 

Walking (and running) on the hills surrounding Arpino

Relaxing in the sun with our friends

Looking forward to an exciting 2017!

We had a very nice and calm Christmas here in Arpino and soon it is time to celebrate a new and hopefully more peaceful 2017. 


Thursday, 22 December 2016

A Merry Moroccan Christmas!

It's almost Christmas and even though Morocco is a muslim country a lot of people tend to go over the top with our Christmas decorations here. The bigger luxury hotels fly in star stylists to arrange their Christmas decorations and in most expat homes you find a cosy Christmas feeling.

Nobody does it better: Royal Mansour at Christmas time.

However, Christmas in Marrakech is sunny, around 20c and filled with blue skies and palm trees. You can still swim outside and enjoy sunny lunches on the roof terraces. But once the sun sets you and the lights go on you can get into the holiday spirit here as well.

Marrakech in December

A very stylish Christmas tree
A cosy log fire at our second home in Marrakech, Es Saadi Palace
The Es Saadi Christmas tree
And here is the Christmas tree at La Sultana
Christmas with a Moroccan twist

Holiday feeling at Villa Anouk in Essaouira.
Dinner by the fire at Palais Khum.


Christmas tree at beautiful Riad Idra

Oh, and some also decorate skulls for Christmas!


Some Christmas preparations at Riad Arabe!

Some Swedish elks running free in Stockholm this Christmas!
This year we will spend Christmas and New Year in Italy so we did not decorate our Riad Arabe that much, just a small tree and some ornaments. Honestly it's a bit hard to get into the traditional Christmas mood here in Northern Africa. We prefer to enjoy the weather and remember why we left the dark and cold North to settle down here.
Nothing but blue skies in December here in the red city.

Enjoy Christmas, wherever you are!

Holiday Greetings from Morocco

(Some of the amazing photos are from the website of Royal Mansour)

Saturday, 17 December 2016

The TEDx Road Trip

It was time for a new road trip. This time with our friends and TEDx partners Andrea and Abdelhamid. Together we organized the latest inspiring TED-event in Marrakech (read all about it HERE!). So we decided to take a working trip together to have some fun and start planning the 6th edition of TEDxMarrakesh that will hit the Red City on October 14, 2017. 

Back in Essaouira on the Atlantic coast.

We are lucky that our communications firm RED CITY PR has so many great clients. One of them is the stylish and beldi chic boutique hotel Villa Anouk in Essaouira, so we chose this stunning location for our TEDx workshop and could also combine the trip with some Red City PR meetings. And of course the Red City PR team does all the communication for TEDxMarrakesh.

Villa Anouk (and equally stylish cane corso dogs Balzac and Igor)

Welcome to beautiful Villa Anouk
A stylish sanctuary in Essaouira

We feel very privilliged to live and work in so many beautiful suroundings and with so many talented people and exciting projects. Morocco, Italy and occasionally Sweden - our days sure look different since we quit our traditional job careers and settled down in North Africa for a life less ordinary. 

The pool suite with a private courtyard and...
...the most stunning of bathrooms.

Oh, did we mention the cool pool?

Villa Anouk features 8 unique suites, 2 pools and so many lounges, terraces, fountains and secret gardens. It's the perfect spot for a luxury seaside getaway, retreats or creative workshops. More about Essaouira and Villa Anouk in THIS blog post.

Here we are: Patrick, Per, Andrea and Abdelhamid - the TEDxMarrakesh team

In this beautiful and creative environment we kicked off the planning for next year's TEDx event and we had great fun starting to map out the direction.

Somewhere here are clues for the theme of the next TEDxMarrakesh event
Balzac, a very stylish and cool cane corso dog.

The owner of Villa Anouk, Anouk Beguery, is a former stylist from New York who has created a truly unique hotel experience here on the Atlantic coast. One of the evnings she arranged an intimite dinner prepared by the former star chef from the Ritz Hotel. 

Not every night you get a dinner prepared just for you by the chef from Ritz.
A beautiful dinner with great food, magical ambience and good discussions.

The weather was absoutley amazing with sun and 22-24c, Morocco has the best winters, we still enjoy both lunches, dinners and swims outside.
Ocean front lunches are great in Essaouira

After 3 days in Essaouira we have mapped out the direction, theme and overall planning for the next TEDxMarrakesh event. We all felt energized when we jumped into the car to head back to Marrakech. Make sure you stay tuned for more TEDx information, speakers and ticket sales by following TEDxMarrakesh on Facebook and Instagram and checking our TEDx-website , we promise, it will be a truly mind-blowing event!

Abdelhamid with Igor and Balzac

Now we face some crazy weeks with lots of Red City PR work as well as a marathon of board meetings for Per and after that it's Christmas (where did this fall go?) We will once again journey back to Italy to spend the holidays and January in our townhouse Casa Colle in Arpino.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!
Fasten your seat belts and save the date! October 14, 2017 the 6th edition of TEDxMarrakesh takes off!

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

A Blog about the Blog

We are going "meta", this is a blog post about our blog!

It all started with us wanting to take a year off and hang out in Morocco
Wow, time sure flies when you have fun and experience new things - it is now more than two years ago since we wrote our very first blog post. It all started out as most blogs do, we wrote to keep our friends and families up to date what was going on during what was supposed to be a one year off in Marrakech. What originally was a few hundred readers soon turned into several thousends and when Marie Claire magazine featured our little blog the number of readers sky-rocked.

Early days, talking to Marie Claire Magazine about our favorite spots in Marrakech

Our blog was originally called "A Year in Marrakech" and was all about our daily life and adventures in Morocco. It was basically the tale of two dudes settling down for a while in the crazy Marrakech medina. We gave our best insiders tips on where to go, what to do, where to stay, what to eat and where to party. All of a sudden we had some 35.000 followers and our blog was considered a great guide and source of inspiration.

This is what December in Marrakech looks like! A pretty good reason to live here!

We started our communications firm Red City PR, organized a highly successful TEDx event, worked to empower Moroccan girls in our charity organization Project Soar, continued with exciting board assignments back in Scandinavia, travelled Morocco and had a great time. Daily routines and exciting adventures all made it to the blog. We created a new life in Morocco and decided to stay on and quit our jobs. We re-named our blog from "A Year in Marrakech" to "A Life in Marrakech" since the first year was long gone.

"A Year in Marrakech" turned into "A Life in Marrakech"

We were thrilled that our blog was featured in several international lifestyle magazines. We received some awards and recently chic CoCo Morocco (check her out HERE) listed us as one of the five best blogs about Morocco and Epic Morocco named us as one of the nine best Moroccan blogs.

We love the text CoCo Morocco wrote about our blog! check it out above, pretty spot on!

We have created some concepts for our blog posts like "Insiders Guide", "Italian Project" and "Ocean Breaks" as well as top-lists for relevant topics and reviews of most places in town.

Thanks Epic Morocco for your support!

Unlike most bloggers we don't accept money in exchange for features. We write about things and places that we like and also about what to avoid. We write about what is going on in our lives and about where to go, what to do, where to eat, where to stay and where to party. We try to stay true and credible and it seems to be appreciated. Our blog is considered a reliable source for information about the red city and we keep meeting so many interesting people thanks to the blog (and our Instagram accounts).

Our very first blog post from October 25 back in 2014! Check it out HERE!

We have written 104 blog posts (including this one) and YOU, our amazing readers, come mainly from US, Sweden, UK, Morocco, Russia, Germany, France, Germany and Italy.

Our Top-5 most popular blog posts since the start:

Our Top-3 most popular blogs last month:
A life less ordinary in the Red City of Marrakech

Our lives continue to evolve in new directions and the blog reflect these changes. These days we have several projects going on in Morocco and consider Marrakech our main base but we also have a new home in Italy and our previous houses in Sweden. The blog therefore continues to have a main focus on Morocco but also features content from Italy and Sweden. We moved on from "A life less ordinary in the Marrakech medina" to "A life less ordinary in the Marrakech medina, Italian countryside and the Swedish archipelago".
Our own favorite blogs about Morocco:
CoCo Morocco (for lifestyle, travel and inspiration in Marrakech and Essaouira)
My Marrakesh (for everything bo-ho chic, stylish photos, interesting topics and a great web shop)
Bosworth Properties (excellent and insightful on buying properties and lots of beautiful houses)
Alice Out There (for adventure and excitment)
We hope you want to continue to follow our blog, the adventures have just started! The tale of a life less ordinary continues.

Enjoy the ride!

Ciao from Italy! Here we are in Naples, close to our new house in Italy