One Moroccan couple is breaking records with a lifestyle of travel that will have you wanting to lace up your shoes and join in.
Rabat – Anass Yakine first made national headlines when he walked across Morocco. Travelling from Dakhla to Tangier on foot, including many zig-zags on the route, he covered over 5,000 kilometers during his 2-year adventure.
Driven by curiosity and wonder, people from around the world began following his journey, including dozens who actually joined his daily marches through rural Morocco. It was like a scene from Forrest Gump – Anass leading his band of followers to experience simple, slow-paced travel.
One of the frequent visitors during his long walk across Morocco was a young student from Rabat named Amal, who walked over 700 kilometers with him in various segments. They married in 2015 and have since expanded their adventurous vision to global proportions.
This year the Yakines completed the world’s longest train journey: 17,000 kilometers from Portugal to Vietnam—travelling through a dozen countries in a span of five months.
They spent time in Europe, watched Morocco compete at the World Cup in Russia, spent 54 hours straight on the train across Siberia, climbed the Great Wall of China, and enjoyed exploring their favourite country—Mongolia!
How do they afford to do all this?
The Yakines are not a rich family, and they do not work “normal jobs” to save a large sum of money before embarking on their adventures. Instead, they are digital nomads: Creating content like photos, blogs, and videos which companies can use for their social media and branding efforts.
They also live simply. They spend less than MAD 100 per night for accommodation and often stay with their fans and followers. They prepare most of their own food, and they only spent MAD 15,000 dirhams in total for the train tickets.
Is it just a phase before facing reality?
The Yakines often face negative comments and criticism about their chosen lifestyle. Many Moroccans cannot understand how and why they are travelling full-time and expect that they will soon quit and become part of “normal” society. The Yakines completely disagree.
Rather than settling down, the Yakines have big plans to continue their globe-trotting ways. Next on their list? Travelling across all of Africa by bicycle!
Even if they have children, they plan to continue their adventurous lifestyle and home-school the kids, believing, “Travel is the best school.” They recognize that the nomadic life is not for everyone, but they do spread the message that “everyone should be doing what they love.”
The Yakines are more focused on their emotional stability than their physical stability. Travelling makes them happy, and they are willing to sacrifice the comforts of a stable salary and a permanent home to make it happen.
They are also quick to point out that this is also a career. Though it is not easy to earn a living as a digital nomad from Morocco it is possible, and they are blazing a trail for a new generation that looks up to them, and admires their passion for adventure.
With over 230,000 followers on Facebook and a new YouTube series ready to be released soon, surely more Moroccans will follow in their (many) footsteps around the globe.