Hoboken resident and local real estate agent Michele Farrell has been going to Marrakech for over 10 years. Like many people after the pandemic, Michele did some soul-searching to determine what lights her up and brings her joy. For Michele, the answer was Marrakech, Morocco. In 2022, Michele decided to share her love for the city and the culture by starting Wanderlust Marrakech: Insider Retreats. Each trip is personally planned and curated by Michele. She selects the most experienced guides, luxurious accommodations, and excursions – all with comfort and safety in mind. If you’ve always wanted to explore Marrakech but don’t know where to start, The Hoboken Girl chatted with Michele to learn all about her, the trips, and the city she loves. Read on for more about Michele Farell of Wanderlust Marrakech: Insider Retreats.
The Hoboken Girl: How long have you lived in Hoboken + what is your favorite aspect of living and working in the area?
Michele Farrel: I’ve been a resident of Hoboken for over 30 years and consider it to be my home. My favorite aspect of living and working in Hoboken is the small neighborhood feel. You can easily walk to your favorite restaurants and boutiques. I also love the close proximity to New York City.
HG: What inspired you to get into this business? What were your first experiences with the travel industry? Specifically Marrakech?
MF: What inspired me to start this was I found a place that captivated me unlike any place I had been to before and it changed my life in an unexpected way. After returning many times, I realized I must share this amazing experience with others and introduce them to a culture that is so warm and welcoming.
HG: Tell us about Wanderlust Marrakech: Insider Retreats.
MF: Wanderlust Marrakech: Insider Retreats are individually planned and curated by me. I work with the most experienced guides, the most luxurious accommodations, and the most exciting adventures. The mission is to provide an immersive experience, giving guests an insider look into the people and the culture. Not only is it a passion of mine but there is also a purpose behind my trips.
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My guests will learn about a dynamic organization that helps empower teen girls to become leaders of today and prioritize their education. The program helps them know and understand their value, their voice, their body, their rights, and their path.
HG: What would you say makes your business special?
MF: I think one of the most surprising things about the trips for my guests is they realize some of their concerns about traveling there go away as soon as they arrive. They see it’s such a warm and welcoming culture. Also, many people are surprised how easy it is to travel there. The flight from New York to Casablanca is less than seven hours.
(Photo: Becky Drayton)
HG: Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration?
HG: What are your goals for this year?
MF: My goals for this year are to continue working locally in real estate, plan more Wanderlust Marrakech trips, and to surround myself with other empowering women. I am currently getting my Women Entrepreneurs Group up and running again (it took a hiatus after COVID).
HG: What has been the highlight in your career/life so far?
HG: What are some of your favorite local businesses?
HG: What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
MF: My advice would be if there is something tugging at your heart just go for it, set goals, and surround yourself with others who will support your vision. Starting a business isn’t easy but it’s a chance to make a difference and inspire others.
(Photo: Kelly Flannery)
HG: Anything else you want to share about Hoboken, Marrakech, your business, or yourself?
MF: I love the connections guests make with the people and the culture and also with each other on the trips. Some have found lifelong friends. The mission is to provide an immersive experience, giving guests an insider look into the culture and the people. Some of my guests have shared their favorite experiences on the trips have been riding sidecars through the streets of Marrakech and the luxury hammam treatments.
The small group trips are perfect to come alone or with friends. I can also customize trips for a private group or special celebration. There are two upcoming trips planned for February 2024.
HG: What is the best way for people to get in touch?
MF: You can visit my website at Wanderlustmarrakech.com, Instagram @wanderlust.marrakech, or even call me at (201) 310-4489.