Morocco Prep 2: The New ‘Do

Cork, Ireland

I let my hair get longer than usual because I was using it for insulation.  Despite the weather difference, more women in Ireland have short hair than women in Italy.  I prefer short, low-maintenance hair, but it had simply been too cold for that.  With longer days and warmer weather making itself apparent, it was finally safe to head to the weed wacke– erm, salon.

More importantly, I am still constantly thinking about camping and trekking in Morocco.  With my baby-fine hair and infrequent showering options, even shoulder length hair is destined to turn Medusa-like.  So without further ado, I present Morocco Prep 2: The New 'Do!


I look slightly evil.

Much more conducive to roughing it in the deserts and mountains, no?  And bedhead will not be nearly as traumatic.



What's next?  Figuring out what to pack.  And once again, I need your help.

Here's the deal:

  • 1 carry-on bag allowed
  • my warm weather clothes are in Italy
  • I need a sleeping bag
  • I'll be bringing my EEE mini-PC and my big camera (Canon Digital Rebel)
  • I'm a little obsessive about brushing my teeth, frequent application of chapstick, and doing my best not to stink, all while only purchasing cruelty-free products
  • I am very pale, so I will clearly need sunscreen, lots of sunscreen!


Dario has emailed the family back in Rome to see if they will be able to ship my sleeping bag, but I don't know if it will get here before my departure date.

Knowing that I have a very limited budget, what would you recommend?  Suffer under long-sleeved sweaters?  Wear t-shirts and jeans?  Knock people over and steal their clothing?  Buy a few pieces of clothing in Marrakech on my first day?  If the latter (which I suspect will be the popular answer), what do you recommend getting and how much do you think it will cost?  *biting fingernails*

Also, sunscreen question: buy here or in Morocco?  An Indian friend told me that since most people in India don't require sunscreen, it is sometimes difficult to find.  I could bring some from Ireland.  However, since I'm not checking any baggage, there is a limit to the size of liquid toiletry items I can take.

I feel like I'm forgetting some really important questions.  I confess, I'm just not used to being this concerned with money and space.  Most of my camping took place in the US where I had plenty of supplies I could bring from home, and most of my travel in Europe and Africa was not on such a tight budget.

Am I freaking out over nothing?


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  1. Love the hair!! I’ve been thinking of getting a similar do, but it will the first time ever that I’ll have a hair that short. It would come in so handy during travels. Bring just a little sunscreen (whatever amount is allowed) and get more locally if they’re available. Wearing light weight long sleeve shirt and a hat – or in general physical barrier1 – is always best though.

    1. Thanks for the feedback on the hair. I’m having mixed feelings about it right now from the vanity standpoint. With such fine hair, it’s really easy for it to become plastered to my scalp with any hint of conditioner, gel, or oil. Post-hat wearing hair is definitely not fit for a fashion shoot! Still, it’s MUCH easier to deal with!

      Next few days will be filled with packing, shopping, and prepping of posts. Must. Remember. Sunscreen! Thanks for the reminder. ;)

  2. Adria says:

    Hi Katrina. My 2 cents regarding clothes: light weight cotton cargo pants and/or shorts, a few t-shirts and a polar fleece jacket. I think jeans are t0o heavy and too slow to dry for adventure travel. Also, regarding the Ts, I buy some cheap t-shirts (thrift store or Walgreens 3-for-$10) and leave them behind (room for souvenirs or just the pleasure of lightening your load as you go). One pair of comfortable walking shoes and one pair of light sandals or flip-flops (to give your feet some relief!). If it’s going to hot, bring a hat to shade your eyes. Makes a huge difference! Will also protect your face from sunburn. Ciao!

    1. Thanks, Adria! Great suggestions.

      As with many of the ideas, there is the “however” of the fact that most of my clothes are in Italy. I’m not a big fan of traveling in jeans, it’s simply what I have right now. Hoping I can find something more suitable (and for very, very cheap) in Marrakech!

      As for a hat, I am covered (ba-dah-BING!). I have a Tilley hat. :D

  3. How about a good windbreaker? That could be very helpful in the desert.

    1. That’s a very good idea, Lisa. Unfortunately, mine is (you guessed it!) back in Rome. I might go by a discount/clearance store in town to see what I can find. Has to be cheap, though — any spending now is cutting into the already slim budget. ;)

  4. I like the “do”! As you know, I can’t help with any Morocco advice, but I will eagerly await your stories and tips when you return.

    1. Thanks, Cathy! With all this build-up, I’d better write something good! ;)

  5. Bring your own sunscreen! I find in non-Western countries people do not use it so its so expensive.

    Tip: I buy the spray stuff, it is more expensive but its so much lighter in the bag and easier to spray the hard to reach spaces.

    1. I find that, too, Ayngelina. What I don’t know, however, is whether or not I’d be allowed to take that in carry-on luggage. I have only seen large containers for the spray-on variety.

  6. Very cute haircut! Mine isn’t quite that short but I cut it ahead of our departure in December for the same reasons. Trying to grow it for warmth now, though!

    1. You know, it was getting so warm and nice here — even the daffodils were in bloom! — but today it snowed, lol. Hat time! ;)

  7. The hair looks great, and you’ll be happy to have less of it as you travel. Started out my trip with a short crop as well and I just chopped inches off of it because it was getting unwieldy again. Safe travels to Morocco!

    1. Thanks, Jodi! Did a test run of bedhead this morning and the results were… functional. I still have gel from the salon in, though. Tomorrow will be the real test! ;)

  8. “Also, sunscreen question: buy here or in Morocco? An Indian friend told me that since most people in India don’t require sunscreen, it is sometimes difficult to find. I could bring some from Ireland.

    1. That is my loving husband, folks. Thanks for the support, honey. :P

      I’ll have you know, I’m sitting here with Steven — a REAL, LIVE IRISH PERSON — and he assures me that sunscreen is sold in Ireland.


  9. Anonymous says:

    I would say between 5-8E max – look for cotton tops, they’ll try to rip you off and probably say 20E oryso…I would say 10E very max!

    1. Thanks again, Amanda. Rachid might meet me in Marrakech, so maybe we can work it a bit. ;)

  10. Anonymous says:

    I would recommend bringing a medium weight cardigan sweater – that way you can take it off if needed or leave it on. Also a polar fleece style zip up jacket. I’ve been in Morocco in December and a “fall” type jack was all I needed, overnight, in the Sahara. Sunscreen…hmm don’t try to buy in Morocco – I’ve never even seen it there and if it were I’m sure it would cost a fortune. This is hard since I’ve never worn short sleeves or shorts in Morocco so my face was the only thing to worry about. I would think a 3oz size used sparingly would suffice (I come from Nordic stock so I have the sunburn problem too!) Other clothes…loose tunics for tops, jeans and/or comfortable black/brown pants should suffice.

    1. Thank you so much, Amanda. I will get sunscreen here for sure! Any idea how much a couple of tops might cost?

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