The Selfhood Narrative: Writing Our Lives Into Existence

Marrakesh, Morocco

T Barnes Global Lifestyle
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Jun 4 - 18, 2023
Group size: 12 - 12
The Selfhood Narrative: Writing Our Lives Into Existence
Marrakesh, Morocco

T Barnes Global Lifestyle
  • Facebook verified
  • LinkedIn verified

Jun 4 - 18, 2023
Group size: 12 - 12

About this trip

The Selfhood Narrative: Writing Our Lives into Existence

In the words of Maya Angelou, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” It follows then, that self-expression is a generative process—literally and figuratively giving birth to something that can live fully and richly on its own. In this sense, successful personal writing doesn’t simply just recap or reveal something that happened to us; rather, it brings an untold existence to life for audiences in ways that can help them navigate their own untold stories.

The power of such narratives is incontestable. Frederick Douglass, in re-telling his own life, described the hardships he endured—the untold stories he bore. While growing up in durance vile and planning his self-emancipation, he declaimed, “Meanwhile, I will write.” In doing so, he created what some critics describe as the only truly indigenous American written literature: the African American escape narrative. In essence, his story became the most critically American of stories.

In this two-week workshop, we will nurture the critical stories of our own lives—fiction or non-fiction, essay or narrative—with vivid and active language, imagery, and sound to lift our personal voices and let them sing. We will examine the elements that give stories full lives of their own via a series of workshops and exercises that will include reflections on our experiences in Morocco as reflections of our cultural understandings and re-births. We will provide constructive feedback to each other, acknowledging the importance of communal learning and the critical value of “lifting as we rise.” We will, as the title of Ntozake Shange’s book states, become “lost in language and sound.” Through the process of drafting, feedback, and revision and with the guidance of a university writing and English professor, students will come away with at least one completed, polished project and the tools to continue writing themselves more fully into existence. 

This course is open to all levels, whether you’re a new writer, accomplished in another genre but unfamiliar with writing about yourself, or simply looking for an opportunity in a safe, unique cultural setting to raise your written communication skills. Class takeaways will include a greater understanding of techniques to make your personal stories more evocative; draw the reader in with compelling scene, language, and sound; and leave the reader with a powerful awareness of the critical value of your newly told stories.

About this Retreat Leader

The workshop will be led by Donald P. Gagnon, Ph.D., Professor of Writing and Literature at Western Connecticut State University. Dr. Gagnon is also a professor in the university’s Kathwari Honors program and was the inaugural recipient of the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Teaching. His research and publications focus primarily on African American literature and theatre, and he has presented at national and international conferences such as those for the Modern Language Association, the College Language Association, and the American Culture Association, most recently on the women of August Wilson’s Century Cycle and the blues structure of George C. Wolfe’s signifyin’ on Shuffle Along. 

Terms and Conditions 

Travel Intake Form

This Travel Intake form is signed once. It is listed here for your review and will be sent again by your Retreat Leader. Please review this form, and the terms and conditions before booking. There will be no exceptions to our booking policy. 

What’s included

  • R/T Flights
    from NYC direct to Casablanca then to Marrakech
  • Airport Transfers
    In Morocco
  • Lady Sessions
  • 4 Nights Marrakesh
  • 2 Meals Per day
    Lunch is on your own
  • Hammam and Spa
    A traditional spa experience
  • Tour of Marrakech/ Souk
    including a visit to Morocco's largest traditional marketplace
  • 2 nights in Merzouga
    Luxury Desert Camp
  • Tour of Merzouga
  • Camel Trekking
    In the Sahara Desert
  • Star gazing and drumming
  • Ground Transportation
    Luxury ground transportation is included. Mercedes Vans will transport you to/from the airport and a road trip to Merzouga, Sahara Desert
  • Covid Test
    Typically cost about $70USD

Your Organizer

T Barnes Global Lifestyle
T. Barnes. Solana's Mama. Global Lifestyle Entrepreneur. Lover of Black People. Pan-Africanist. Humanitarian. Esthetician. Thinker. Speaker. Educator. Global Citizen.


All I can say is stellar! That is the word that comes to mind when I think about T Barnes and her global travel experiences. I had the extreme pleasure of having my first T. Barnes experience in 2018 to Indonesia and have since curated a series of retreats with her to Morocco and soon Senegal. Imagine, taking six of the most prolific pastors in the world to Morocco for a T Barnes experience and it being everything you thought it would be and more! From class to expertise, Tanesha never fails. As a global retreat leader, professionalism is my utmost concern and she always executes with full working knowledge, honesty and care. While honoring the wishes of each retreat leader for a customized and unique experience. In fact, when stuck in Morocco due to border closures recently, she transformed my business trip into a fully immersive Moroccan experience! It was the best vacation I never had! Lol! I’m looking forward to 2022 and the 5 retreats I have booked with many more to come in 2023! Trust T.Barnes with your global travel experience today! Tisha Dixon -Williams
By Tisha D on 06 Jan, 2022
I have traveled with TaNesha Barnes. This sentence holds so much power, let me tell you why. TaNesha is NOT a travel agent, she literally curates an experience for your a group, based on where you are going. She arranges for the travel, the accomodations, the excursions but not touristy stuff, oh no...that would be too pedestrian, too ordinary, not SPECIAL, not intentional. Not only is TaNesha a brilliant organizer that cares for the safety, well being, and satisfaction of her guest, she does so as a consummate professional with an amazing price point. Always. All the time. Consistently. And without consideration of how "others" do it. She is communicates and is responsive. Provides receipts and payment plans. Let's face it, trusting someone with your money, to do the right thing, who gives you more than your money's worth...practically unheard of. Our 2021 New Year's Eve trip to Ghana was unfortunately postponed due to COVID-19 related issues. It was a Group trip so all decisions were made corporately. Leading up to the trip, we had emails and zoom calls and were so very excited, but then the outbreaks and shutdowns started up again. TaNesha gave us the information on what was going on with the airlines, the hotel, the climate of traveling during a pandemic. Some persons were feeling apprehensive (who wants to be stuck, for an indeterminate amount of time in another country if there is a lock-down?) and some were not concerned and were willing to go. Some people had jobs to come back to, some had children to care was alot, but, TaNesha laid out the facts and had the group to make the decision. It was ours to make, we decided to postpone, which was for the best. Times are too uncertain to not know if you will be able to enter or leave a foreign country!! We are all paid up so when we do go, we just need to go to the airport and get on the plane!! The most difficult thing you will have to deal with, when dealing with TaNesha, is deciding which trip/experience you are going to take with her. TaNesha cares for you the way a concierge at a 5 diamond hotel, with your own personal butler would...except, she has developed relationships with people and organizations in ALL of the locales in which she travels and plans trips, before you get there so there are no mishaps. Even down to the meals and the T. Barnes Dinner Party (an amazing dinner for the trip participants). And if there does happen to be a situation, like Olivia Pope..."it's handled". Because TaNesha is not a travel agent and her name is on everything and her reputation on the line, she goes above and beyond, always, to make sure you are good. If I could, I would travel on a TaNesha Barnes experience everytime, she does it right!
By Antonietta W on 06 Jan, 2022
I have been traveling with Tbarnes Global Lifestyle Retreats since 2018. As a single traveler, Tbarnes is a great communicator, detailed oriented and transparent. These are all of the qualities that I needed to feel secure. In 2021, I was supposed to celebrate New Years in Ghana. As a result of the new variant Omicron, Tbarnes immediately scheduled a zoom meeting to provide updates concerning flight cancellation, Covid protocols in Ghana and the what ifs scenarios. As a group, we collectively agreed to reschedule the trip to Ghana to 2022 in hopes that the pandemic will be under control and that we can enjoy the Motherland. As of today, Tbarnes continues to keep the group updated on the trip and any additional itinerary ideas. If you are single and is looking to travel the world, Tbarnes Global Lifestyle Retreats will suit your needs.
By Eboni D on 06 Jan, 2022
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