Rabat - In the time shortly after commencing adulthood one is expected to quickly assimilate to newfound freedom and establish their life path, be it marriage, work, or further studies. Young adults discern with intense societal pressure to please family regardless of their personal desires.
Rabat – In the time shortly after commencing adulthood one is expected to quickly assimilate to newfound freedom and establish their life path, be it marriage, work, or further studies. Young adults discern with intense societal pressure to please family regardless of their personal desires.
Sophia Laasiri, a 23-year old woman from Kenitra, is creating her own path, choosing to embark on a yearlong journey through Europe, Northern Africa, and Southeast Asia.
Her decision came after deep contemplation during Ramadan this past summer. “I spent all of Ramadan asking God to lead me in the right direction and one night I had a dream of traveling and living in 12 countries in 12 months. I could not shake it off for days and nights. I kept praying if this was the right thing to do and how would I even do it,” she told Morocco World News.
The concept of forgoing studies or work for a short time is not unheard of. In Europe, Australia, and occasionally in the United States, young adults take what is called a gap year to explore the world and have an enriching cultural experience. According to UCAS (Undergraduate Courses at University and College), in 2012, 5% of students in Europe deferred their acceptance to take a gap year and travel. Programs exist which can aid a student in teaching, volunteering, or traveling throughout different countries. Students often return from gap years with more life experience and a more focused idea of what they wish to do.
Laasiri’s goal is to spread the gifts she has been given, “to share love, the words of God, and to continue breaking the limitations we have placed on each other.” In her words, her work will span “from helping Moroccan immigrants in Spain learn how to pursue their dream and proper work, to helping struggling drug addicts in Paris overcome their demons, to helping women in the brothels of Amsterdam find freedom into a new lifestyle, let go of shame, and find their worth.”
Her journey will go as far as India “to help teach orphans English, to always follow their heart, and never give up.
I will help the women of Saudi Arabia know how important their voice is, to always speak up for themselves, and to push for equality even if it means risking their life so the next generation can rise,” she told Morocco World News.
“My mission will take to the streets of Egypt to help children emotionally empower themselves so they may bring peace and love to their country.”
International travel is not a new concept to Laasiri as she lived in the United States for the past 15 years. During the next year of her life, she will also be “writing a novel of the past five years of [her] life and of [her] travels. A novel of the struggles of an immigrant trying to fit in the USA, overcoming depression, learning from mistakes, taking risks.”
Laasiri’s travel experience is an exception, considering this sort of international travel is generally rare in Morocco and is particularly rare for women. However, Laasiri’s trip potentially points toward a general increase of foreign travel as a young adult.
Now, at the beginning of her travels she writes, “Is this dangerous? Yes. Am I scared? No for I have God on my side.”
© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission