Wow, how time flies! This blog has been up and running for almost four years now. In October 2014 we started this little blog, back then called "A Year in Marrakech", to reflect what was supposed to be a one year break from the rat race of being executives in Sweden. The main purpose of it was to act as our travel blog and keep friends and family up to speed with our new life in the Red City.
The very first blog post talked about "a change is gonna come" and we were both filled with anticipation for the one year break ahead of us. We already owned our Riad in Marrakech and had used this little Medina palace as a more exotic second home spending long weekends and vacations there for some years. After careful planning we decided to take one year off from our roles as CEO of Fiskars (Per) and Communications Director for the Royal Dramatic Theatre (Patrick) and invest in the ultimate luxury: having time and spending it in an exotic city we really love to see what would happen when we broke free from daily routines and had time to say yes to whatever would come our way. It was the adventure of a lifetime to be totally free of obligations for one year and a well deserved break mid careers we thought.
But sometimes things don't turn out as you plan. In the beginning we stuck to our original vision: we traveled all over the beautiful Kingdom of Morocco, we studied Arabic and French, we met so many interesting people and went to so many amazing parties and we made the maze of the Marrakech Medina our home. We had the time of our lives, all the time in the world and we loved it. New acquaintances turned dear friends, sunny days in one of the most exotic places in the world became normal everyday and the foreign became the familiar. And before we knew it Morocco was the new normal.
After a while we found ourselves involved in several new projects. We founded a communications agency Red City PR since no one in Marrakech seemed to do PR on the same level as in Europe. We arranged highly successful TEDx events with our new friend Andrea. We became board members and driving forces of the charity organization Project Soar working to empower Moroccan girls together with our new best pals Maryam and Chris. We made so many great new friends and were really established as a part of the inner Marrakech circle. We had so much fun and so much we still wanted to do so we couldn’t really go back home after only one year, could we?
When that first year in Marrakech came to an end in the beginning of 2016 we decided to stay. We quit our jobs in Sweden for good and made Marrakech our permanent base. We subsequently re-named our blog to "A Life in Marrakech" to reflect this change and now our life in the Red City really took off! In the following year Red City PR became one of the leading communications agencies in Morocco working with both local and global brands serving clients in Morocco, UK, Scandinavia and Italy. Project Soar grew from supporting girls in one village to empowering girls on 23 sites all over Morocco. TEDxMarrakesh exploded from being a small expat happening to be one of the great events in Marrakech attracting world class speakers and international guests as well as involving the local Moroccan community. Per got involved in more board work back in the Nordics and is now the chairman of three boards and board member of additional four board of directors.
Now we find ourselves being deeply involved in the local community and the crazy, buzzing and exotic Medina of Marrakech is really our home. We have managed to make the transition and had become true "Marrakchis". We are global nomads with an international lifestyle based in Marrakech. Marrakech for sure is an amazing place to call home but after a long time in the middle of the Medina you start to feel the urge to leave for a while, to put some distance between you and all the exotic magic so you can start to miss it and long to return again. We of course continued to spend some time in Sweden and to do trips outside Morocco and suddenly an idea took form: maybe we needed a third base to complement our homes in Marrakech and Stockholm? Wouldn’t it be perfect to rotate between the well organized and minimalistic Sweden and the over the top colorful, chaotic and chic Marrakech and one more location? Maybe some place between Scandinavia and Africa?
There was never really any doubt about where our third home should be, Italy of course! We love the Italian food, wine, culture, art, fashion and way of living. Italy is also the perfect middle-way between hedonistic Morocco and strict Sweden, both from a cultural and geographical point of view. Leaping to action we bought a cute 18th century townhouse in the divine medieval hill-top town of Arpino just south of Rome (more about Arpino HERE and HERE). Once our townhouse was renovated and we moved in we realised how much we loved Arpino and how great it was to work from there. We started to also spend more time in Italy. And history repeats itself. We met many cool new friends, found lots of new projects and now in 2018 our tales are not only about Morocco and Marrakech, we also make new tales in Italy and Sweden.
A pretty good view from the Italian office.
This year we invested in the German fair-trade lifestyle luxury brand ABURY, where we also became board members and advisors. So exciting! We have made lots of new friends from all walks of life, encountered many new situation, adapted to different cultures, learned new languages and ways of living, fought bureaucracy in two new countries and learned a lot on the way. It’s been a great journey and so much fun. Almost every day for 3,5 years the sun has been shining from a clear blue sky and the bougainvillea has been blooming. We feel very fortunate to have been able to create a lifestyle and work situation that enable us to rotate between our homes in three very different countries, each with it’s own charm and challenges. Of course there have been downs, disappointments, some thunderstorm and tough days as well but overall a very positive experience. A life less ordinary you might say and a life full of adventures for sure!
We hope you have enjoyed the ride so far and will continue to follow our adventures in Italy, Morocco, Sweden and around the globe!
Thanks for following us from Sweden to Morocco to Italy! Stay tuned for the next phase!