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Traveller Profiles

Ashley - Making Memories

My name is Ashley and I am from Northern Ireland. I have always loved adventure, and challenging myself. My hobbies include, snowboarding, surfing, wake boarding, hiking, paddle boarding, and volunteering for different charities. I have hiked a few of the Mourne mountains here in Northern Ireland and I always wanted to travel the world. 

Location

Morocco

Date

September 2022

Group

Women only charity group.

Terrain

Mountain

Difficulty

Less Challenging

I would highly recommend everyone to ditch the summer beach holiday and get out and explore the amazing world we live in. There is so much to see and do! Personally I thought these trips were always out of my reach financially, but that's not the case! I was scared about going away somewhere new, and especially hiking 50km in a foreign country in case something happened me, but from the minute I met the TT team, I felt safe and excited for the adventure to come.

Ashley - Making Memories
Ashley

When the opportunity to travel and hike came up, I thought this was the best way to combine two of my loves. I have a small blog raising awareness for Huntingtons Disease as I live at risk of inheriting the disease. My goal in life is to have no regrets, take all the opportunities, to make memories, explore and have an adventure.

The Trek

I chose to do the High Atlas 50km which, as its name suggests, was a 50km hike through the High Atlas Mountains. We had guides with us the whole time and even got to camp two nights in the mountains, which honestly was my favourite part! I am by no means fit! And probably should have trained more, but I survived and would do it all again!

My Reasons for Taking Part

My step sister found Tribal Tracks.  She came over one night and told my family and I that she had booked on the High Atlas 50km. The next day I paid my deposit! I was so excited, not only for this new adventure, but the fact that I was doing it with my step sister. I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I would have the support of the team and my family there.

Four weeks before I was due to leave, I lost my dad to Huntingtons Disease after caring for him for 15 years. I reached out to Gaynor to tell her of this and we both agreed the mountains would be healing for me. This trip came at the perfect time. On my dad's one month anniversary I was walking amidst the High Atlas Mountains with some of the most empowering women I have ever met. My phone was out of service for three days, I lived a very simple life and I just took a step back. I walked along the mountain tracks, taking in the beautiful views and breathtaking sunsets.

The Trek Itself

The team were so incredibly helpful, they had our camp set up for us every evening; tents, mattresses, bowls of water and soap and a dining tent. It was so weird to be up a mountain sitting in a tent with a table, and a table cloth, but the team did everything to bring us simple luxuries. I was that annoying person with so many dietary requirements, and the cooks did everything they could to accommodate. I appreciated this so much, as I'm sure cooking for a large group up a mountain isn't easy three times a day, ensuring you are at the next stop and have things set up.

The local guides were kind, chatty, friendly and mostly funny! They kept our spirits up! When we were struggling they would burst out into song, they would laugh with us, talk with us, and help us with our bags. And when I wasn't able to carry my bag any more, the mule (which we named Frank) kindly carried it. At one point the guide saw me struggling, and as Frank had to take a safer route for his 4 legs and couldn't carry my bag any longer, the guide took my pack along with his own. I felt terrible and didn't want to give it over, but he said, 'No! You must finish!'

The Best Thing?

Everything about this trip was life changing. I know that sounds dramatic, but it truly was. The people I got to meet, the views I thought only appeared on postcards and the wonderful culture we got to experience both in the mountains and back in Marrakesh. If I had to choose one memory, that has always stuck with me since this trip, it would be the healing qualities of being in the mountains, seeing the locals, and how simple a life they live. Our guides were so helpful, and keen to please us, working so hard and always cheerful. They truly are an inspiration, and during a very difficult time in my life, the whole experience grounded me.

Would you do another one?

Yes, yes, yes 100%!! I can't wait to book my next adventure with Tribal Tracks. From the minute I contacted TT interested in the trek, to the day I got home, I was supported. Everything was so simple and Gaynor was incredibly friendly! The pre-departure Zoom just made me even more excited for the whole thing, and Kate our guide from TT, was amazing! We connected on Facebook and I love keeping up with her adventures since. Tribal Tracks went above and beyond to make sure we would have what we needed and felt supported! They even made sure that our families felt at ease by providing contact numbers and processes, in case anyone at home needed to get in contact with us while we were out of mobile reception the mountains. 

Ashley - Making Memories Case Study and Profile
I would highly recommend everyone to ditch the summer beach holiday and get out and explore the amazing world we live in. There is so much to see and do! Personally I thought these trips were always out of my reach financially, but that's not the case! I was scared about going away somewhere new, and especially hiking 50km in a foreign country in case something happened me, but from the minute I met the TT team, I felt safe and excited for the adventure to come.
Ashley
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