Remona Aly
Friday 05 February 2016 Pause for Thought, BBC Radio 2

It’s not what happens to you..

It’s not what happens to you…Pause for Thought, BBC Radio 2 Vanessa Feltz Breakfast Show


It’s not what happens to you…It’s the surprise that comes after.

Let me set the scene: I was on holiday in the gorgeous north African country of Morocco, and it’s there that I ventured out on a little road trip from the ancient city of Fez to the bustle of Marrakech. It was a journey that covered around 300 miles of rolling scenery, but I hardly got to see any of it, as I’d eaten a dodgy pigeon pie the night before, so I was in and out of delirium from loss of body fluids.

It was in this state of semi-consciousness that something, suddenly, happened. Someone shrieked and the car swerved, but it was too late – we’d rammed into a big bump in the road and the tyre burst open. We were in the middle of the Atlas mountains with no spare tyre, and night was falling like a heavy curtain. We were hours away from Marrakech and there was not a soul to be seen. Could it get any worse, I thought. It was then that I heard the howls of wild animals. My eyes darted from side to side. “We’re going to be eaten alive!” – I reassured my friends.

After a panicked 60 minutes, a rickety old car emerged from the darkness like a second hand Excalibur. And our knight in shining armour leapt out of his rusty steed with a spare tyre to hand. With his help, we managed to roll towards a dimly lit hotel where we would stay the night before continuing our journey. It was pitch black outside, but I could hear the sound of rushing water.

“Where are we?” I asked my Moroccan guide who smiled and said, “You’ll see in the morning.” Sure enough, after sunrise, I woke to see an unexpected sight that I’ll never forget in my lifetime. My eyes gazed at a series of gushing waterfalls that cascaded down into crystal pools amid the deep red earth.

Even though I’d panicked when our car broke down the night before, I was so glad that it had. What happened because of that bump in the road, led me to where I was now, standing awestruck in front of one of the most magical sights in the country.

The famous Moroccan explorer, Ibn Battuta who covered three times the distance of Marco Polo, remarked: “Travelling: it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”.

Well, I’m no storyteller, but boy do I have stories to tell. Sometimes you have to let things happen – let your journey take you through unexpected bends because you don’t know what surprises are around the corner. They could be good. they could be bad, but life is so much more intriguing, complicated, exciting, when it’s.. unpredictable.