We first heard about the Munchin Mission on our Sisters Traveling Solo Facebook page, and of course we wanted to know more. Rebecca, the woman behind the Munchin Mission is on a journey to connect her growing following base to the world through food, drink, history, and people. We love how each stop in her journey inspires her to create new flavors of cupcakes. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Rebecca to discuss the 5th stop in her Munchin Mission, Morocco.
Tell us about your ‘Munchin Mission’. What is it, and how did the idea come about?
The Munchin Mission consists of me traveling to 12 countries in 12 months, in search of inspiration for 12 new culture-inspired cupcake flavors. The mission is to take my followers on a journey by connecting them to the world as I explore each culture through food, drink, history and people.
The idea for Munchin Mission came about in December 2015, I didn’t know what the next steps for me were, and that frustrated me. During a conversation I had on my birthday, I decided to tackle my frustration head on and travel more. I thought, how can I keep creating these global flavors if I’m not going global? For me, that was it. I wanted to bring another level of authenticity to my flavors, while taking my followers on a journey to connect us to the world through cultural exploration. From there, I said 2016 had to be my year for exactly that and from that, the Munchin Mission was born.
Being a follower on your IG, we get to see the finished cupcakes which look delicious by the way. Why did you choose to make cupcakes as opposed to another food/dessert?
Oh, thank you so much! Well I wish I could tell you some elaborate story about why I chose cupcakes but to be honest, I simply loved eating them! For me, I see cupcakes as a perfectly proportioned treat that you don’t have to feel bad about not sharing!
Do you have a favorite cupcake so far? What country inspired the flavor?
Yes, the, ‘Chin Chin cupcake’, inspired by Nigeria. For those who may not know, Chin Chin is a crunchy sweet Nigerian biscuit-like snack which is small and very delicious.
Morocco is the 5th stop in the Munchin Mission, can you share with us the other 4 stops?
Sure, before I started the mission I went back to the place where I found my original inspiration for travel, the USA. The official stops of the Munchin Mission have been:
1st (January) – Canada
2nd (February) – Belgium
3rd (March) – Spain
4th (April) – The Netherlands
Speaking of your travels, tell us about your most recent solo travel adventure to Morocco. Why did you choose Morocco?
I chose Morocco because of its diverse cultural influences of Sub-Saharan African, French, Arab and Spanish ancestry. Today, so much of these cultural traits remain through aspects of Moroccan food, architecture and tradition.
How long were you in Morocco?
Unfortunately, only one week. I say unfortunately because it’s such an amazing country, so rich in culture. I’d love to go back again soon!
Had you been to Morocco before? Do you speak French?
No, this was my first time. Luckily, I do speak French fairly well which was an advantage.
Do you speak any other languages besides French?
I speak Spanish, and I understand parts of Italian and Portuguese. Right now, I’m currently trying to learn Romanian.
How long did it take you to adapt to your surroundings in Morocco?
I adapted right way. Having lived abroad on my own (I previously lived in Mexico, The USA and France) I’m used to exploring unknown territory which is always exciting for me. I view adaptation as part of the adventure!
Did you find it difficult to get adjusted?
Not at all, but personal space, was the only thing I found interesting. In Morocco, this doesn’t really exist, so don’t be surprised if people come extremely close to you or walk in front of you to occupy ‘empty space’.
Did you feel unsafe as a solo traveler at any time during your trip? If so, what did you do to overcome that feeling?
Only when I was alone at night. Sometimes as a solo female traveler, nights can be the most awkward thing to deal with. One time while traveling, I was out until the early hours of the morning and I needed to get home. Waiting for a friend of a friend to reach me, I thought if I stayed close to the taxi rank that would help, that was an epic fail, especially when you clearly look like a foreigner. So I randomly decided to go and sit on the curb of the main road, talk to myself and rock back and forth. I can tell you, once I did this, not one single person bothered me. I guess to overcome anything, you got to learn how to improvise!
Did you make any friends on your journey?
Yes, I made many friends. This is the part I love most about traveling solo, it forces you to leave your comfort zone and meet new people. Many of those who I’ve met along the way, I still keep in touch with today.
What were your biggest takeaways from this trip as a black woman traveling solo?
- That it’s ok if you’re the only one! Many times I’m the only woman of color in a particular place or I’m one of very few. I’ve learned that it’s ok to just be me, by doing so it shows others that we travel and we also do it solo!
- I’ve learned not to be so easily offended by people staring, pointing or even taking pictures (I kind of got used to this when I lived in Mexico).
- To use being different to your advantage; many people are fascinated to see me pop up in a non-touristic place. More often than not, they have been welcoming and genuinely want to help, especially when they find out I’m alone.
- To embrace who you are. Depending on where you travel, for many people it may be their first time seeing someone from another culture and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve managed to get freebies, discounts or someone to be my guide, just based on who I am. Imagine their reactions I have when they hear me speak! I’m British by the way.
What would you say to those who want to travel solo in the future but are hesitant?
The moment you decide to do it; you’ve already taken the hardest step. If you’re worried about making friends, there are tons of ways to do so from joining walking tours, staying in or even just hanging out in hostels to even joining Facebook groups like Sisters Traveling Solo! I was once told, ‘It’s ok to be afraid, but do it anyway’, and each time, I’m never disappointed.
Do you have any safety tips for any woman wanting to travel to Morocco solo?
Try to see if you can make friends with someone from Morocco who speaks the local dialect if you don’t speak French (as a minimum). Many people do speak English, but you will get a better reception if you try at least, to speak French. If you happen to be in Marrakesh, I have a friend who’d be willing to guide you around! Also, do not have your phone out on display, I know this may be difficult for us ‘selfie stick’ lovers! Let someone know where you are, even if it’s just the staff/host at the accommodation you’re staying at.
Where can we follow your journey?
I’m on all main social media (IG,FB,Twitter, YouTube and Snap Chat). I normally only really Snap Chat when I’m travelling to bring you all on my journey as I’m on it.
Facebook: Miss Munchin’s Cupcakes
YouTube: Miss Munchin’s Cupcakes – The Travelling Foodie
How are you funding this mission?
At the moment, I’ve been funding everything myself. I am however open to sponsorship! I have a GoFundMe page where people can go to donate towards my mission.
The link to the GoFundMe account is https://www.gofundme.com/munchinmission