The Sea NY tunic (left) was an exact replica of one I had purchased during my recent road trip across Morocco.
I found that clothing could be a doorway for two cultures to commune and communicate. When you travel, what you wear can be a sign of respect, ceremony and reverence to ancient religions and local customs.
Even shopping was a cultural decoder, thanks to the nuance of negotiations, casual conversation and commerce.
But it feels like the world is changing. Conflicts have already severed our connections to ancient wonders of the world: For many years, I could not afford a vacation to Egypt, but I took comfort in the fact that the pyramids would “always be there.” Now, it is too unpredictable to travel there (look at this chilling travel warning), and the closest I can get to the Pyramids of Giza is via Google map.
I sometimes worry that a peaceful, vibrant place like Morocco, which borders tumultuous places like Algeria, may one day be too dangerous to revisit. But I also know this fear is futile — and the best weapon to combat it is curiosity. Exploring new places without fear or preconceived notions creates cross-cultural exposure and breeds tolerance. The world needs both right now.
Today’s outfit is one of my favorites. Yes, it re-purposes a memento as the focal point of a work-appropriate outfit. But more importantly, it connects me to a place where different cultures and belief systems coexist in harmony.
That connection is stronger than fear, and I’ll hold onto it forever.