As a Scot and a geographer, I have always loved the thrill of travel and encountering the sights and activities of the real world. In my career as a High School Geography Teacher, I enjoyed not only introducing and educating students on many varied aspects of geography but also engendering inquisitiveness in order that they gained a true depth of understanding and appreciation of what was all around them.

Leading my students on many educational trips was always the “icing on the cake” of each school year. These were times when realisation truly dawned and all the classroom learning came fully “alive” for the students; this was very professionally fulfilling.

I learned that travel needs to have a purpose, an aim, an end result; travel is not simply going away and coming back home! Look, see, interpret, evaluate, consider, understand and thus become more educated, more considered in opinions and viewpoints. Travel should indeed broaden the mind.


As well as spending over 30 continuous years in high school teaching, I also worked as a Geography Tour Development Manager for a large UK School Tours Operator. This was initially part time but became a full-time job in 2004).

My work involved visiting many areas around the globe (Europe, Asia, North America and North Africa). I met wonderful people and was able to develop Study Materials and Teacher Guides for a wide range of country itineraries (as well as preparing Risk Management documentation).


I am now retired and “giving back to others” is very important to me.

I now freely assist two tour companies, one in Morocco and the other in Iceland. These fabulous countries and the people I know there (who have all “opened doors” for me in so many wonderful ways) are very dear to me.

Specifically thinking of Morocco, this is a country with so much to offer the visitor. The landscapes, the people, the activities (traditional and modern), the cultures; what a kaleidoscopic mix!

My first visit to Morocco (in 2007) was a total eye and mind opener. It was a remarkable experience, a thrill that continues as I now frequently visit the country each year (but not in July or August – too hot!).

Morocco offers such contrasts, from the Mediterranean north, the Imperial Cities, the High Atlas, the Atlantic Seaboard and the Sahara in the south. The people encountered on any travels in Morocco are so colourful, so active, so interesting, so welcoming and so very kind.

I now thoroughly enjoy freely assisting Larbi Anzal in the development of tailor-made itineraries for Anzal Tours’s (ATS’s) clients, first listening to the travellers’ ideas and needs and then suggesting additions/alternatives so that ATS can finalise an ideal tour. I also assist Larbi with the ATS website, its design, content and updating.


It was late May and the day began with a drive towards the foothills of the High Atlas. My friend and I had no particular itinerary in mind, just simply to follow our noses. But once into the foothills around Amizmiz, something was drawing us inwards and upwards, further and deeper into this astonishing mountain massif. 

As we gained height, the rocky, beautiful mountain slopes were seen to be alive, alive with people, adults and children … and many donkeys! It was harvest time in the High Atlas and the barley was being hand gathered. Many cheery waves were received and reciprocated as we drove ever upwards to our unknown goal. 

We were amongst Berber communities, wresting a living from the hard land through strong and fervent endeavour. It was magical, we were in another world, a world apart, a world very far from the life in Marrakech, the city we had left that morning. 

By now the road had become piste (unsurfaced), winding and steep. But we were drawn in; let’s see where this takes us, this is an adventure, destination unknown. We could only imagine the hard labour of the farmers and their families; it was hot, very hot, it was dusty and their small fields were very many; there was much to do to be able to survive until the next year’s harvest. 

Eventually we came to the end of the road. We parked and within moments of leaving the car to take a stroll in the most beautiful of surroundings we had glasses of hot sweet mint tea thrust into our hands; no curious looks, no suspicions, only instant inclusion by the Berbers. How humbling, how warming. 

After some chat we were advised to walk a little further into the valley ahead, not far, only a few hundred metres, and there we would see a natural wonder, the “Mouth at the Entrance to the World”. 

We followed a stream, the “river of life” for this community, and there it was, a water cut canyon, stained red rocks with vertical, fretted walls; indeed it did look like the mouth to another world. And coming through the narrowest of gaps was an old Berber man, on his donkey, coming towards us. 

My friend, a Moroccan (yes, it was Larbi!), engaged in easy conversation with him (in a mix of Berber and Arabic languages); again, we felt immediate inclusion, we were welcome, very welcome. They were proud of their land, of their community, of their ability to live in such a demanding environment that did give rewards to those who endeavoured and persevered. 

On returning to the village there was more mint tea proffered, more conversation and then we left but with a good deal of hesitation. So we did hesitate, met some more kindly and gentle Berbers who then invited us to drink yet more tea (with delicious cake), under the canopy of an apple tree orchard with the sound of rushing river water on the steep valley floor below as a backdrop. 

We had seen, learned and experienced so much on a day that was completely unplanned, just following our noses, going where we were invisibly led. Morocco once again had shown itself to be magical, entrancing and a sheer delight for all the senses. “