Vitality Culinary Retreat : An Ancestral Culinary Awakening

Marrakesh, Morocco

T Barnes Global Lifestyle
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38 reviews
Nov 20 - 28, 2022
Group size: 12 - 24
Vitality Culinary Retreat : An Ancestral Culinary Awakening
Marrakesh, Morocco

T Barnes Global Lifestyle
  • Facebook verified
  • LinkedIn verified
38 reviews

Nov 20 - 28, 2022
Group size: 12 - 24

About this trip

The goal of every Vitality Culinary Retreat: An Ancestral Awakening curated by Zella Palmer is to create a sacred community with those who, like you, crave evolutionary and healing experiences.

Join us in 2022 for Thanksgiving in Morocco! November 20-28, 2022 for a powerful life-enriching, restorative retreat that blends relaxation, gratitude, yoga, spiritual healing, soulful dining and manifestation practices in the most serene environment with new and lifelong friends.

Something powerful happens when we break bread together and we give thanks. You are a LIGHT BEARER! It is time to rejuvenate in seclusion, sanctity, and in the safety of the Sahara desert in Morocco. 

WHY I am curating this experience!

 Here is my WHY I am curating this experience to Morocco?

2020 COVID hit. I was like many of you worried about my parents who were quarantined without me, feeling deep sadness for the state of our world and an overwhelming sense of gratitude that we survived. It was March 2020 when my best friend Comfort and I were in Atlanta for a much-needed girls' trip to catch up since she repatriated back to Abuja, Nigeria. We just knew that the media was overexaggerating and we promised to see each other soon before I headed back to New Orleans and she headed back to Canada to see her Dad. I called my parents to make sure they were alright in Chicago. EVERYTHING shut down real quick. 

During our daily COVID calls, Comfort told me about this amazing goddess she met in Bali. Comfort said enthusiastically, “Zella you and Tanesha will hit it off, I know you both will have great synergy!” Comfort introduced me to this trailblazer in travel, Tanesha Barnes, Founder of Mwasi Global Community. You ever met someone that you know you have met in a previous life? 

Tanesha invited me to come to Morocco and to test the waters before I curated my own trip. I usually hate group trips because I am a nomad by birth. I have lived and traveled to so many destinations thanks to the OG global alchemists, my parents! Besides, I usually hate group trips, you know those touristy, low vibrational energy travelers and Lawd Jesus somebody get me off of this charter bus? But I took a chance and got on that plane to Marrakesh! PCR Negative!!!!! Won’t he do it! I was still holding on to my anti-group trip and stayed at my girl who is Moroccan but lives in New Orleans family home in Marakkesh. Pride and ego, smh. Sis let it goooooo. Tanesha said, “Ok suit yourself. You could be at this luxurious riad with us.”  

I finally relented and met up with all of the Mwasi Global Community. Babyyyy when I tell you, I found my soul tribe in this grown womban 40+ body. The most magical trip of my life! Mwasi Global Community, I didn’t know I needed you but my ancestors knew. There I was cooking, dancing, chopping it up with a fellow Chef Ashley from Philly and sharing a universal language with Moroccans that people of African & Indigenous origin understand anywhere in the world. And then….I found out that my Dad was sick. It’s strange because I was feeling something wasn’t right in my womb but I thought it was the anxiety from COVID and traveling. I couldn’t get a flight back, flights were scarce and limited. Europe was even closing their border. My whole body and mind was tense. Tanesha and my new friend and Sister in Spirit and Christ Reverend Tisha Williams who was in Morocco with me did what we as black women do, we pray and we lay hands on each other. 

The next day we went to the Sahara Desert, rode a camel to the camp (remind me to ask you ladies how was your camel ride after our trek to the Sahara. Inside joke). Here we were, the Mwasi Global Community-5 African Americans, 1 Nigerian, 1 Russian, rolling deep with Moroccan + Afro-Nomadic Tuareg extended family of our host Tanesha. That night under the most beautiful stars my human eyes have ever seen, we sang, laughed, danced, drummed, ate traditional Tuareg cuisine, cooked in the sand under the brightest stars and galaxy I have ever seen in this lifetime. I was filled with gratitude for this experience. I knew that no matter what was awaiting me at home, I had released the weight I had been carrying during COVID and even before that.

The next morning I realized, I woke up in the SAHARA DESERT!!! The sand felt like soft powdered sugar that blew in the wind. I woke up with a peace I hadn’t felt since my Daddy would tuck me in at night and ask me, “Are you warm enough baby?” The stars were my grandmother’s quilt and I was reminded that my ancestors always walk with me! Maferefun Olodumare, Maferefun Oshun, Maferefun Chango! 

They knew I needed to sit in the Sahara Desert and have the calm that I needed to return to my father’s bedside and spend the next few months by his bedside until he passed. I learned so many lessons in the Sahara from the Mwasi Global Community about life, to remove worries and put it in God’s hands. Inshallah! My Daddy’s final words before he left this earth was to LIVE and to remember him, so I invite you to LIVE and join me on this curated ancestral culinary experience to Morocco during the week of Thanksgiving, November 20-28, 2022. If COVID taught us anything it taught us that life is precious and a gift. We MUST enjoy the moments, heal and travel to destinations that allow us the capacity to release and BE! 

We Nourish You

We Feed You 

Healing Your Body & Soul

Herbs, Warming Spices and Ancestral Rituals

See you soon! Inshallah

Zella Palmer

Who is Zella Palmer


Who is Zella Palmer?

Zella Palmer, author, professor, filmmaker, curator and scholar is the Chair and Director of the Dillard University Ray Charles Program in African-American Material Culture in New Orleans, Louisiana. Palmer is committed to documenting and preserving the legacy African American, Latinx, Creole, and Indigenous culinary history. As the Chair of the Dillard University Ray Charles Program, Palmer filmed and produced the Story of New Orleans Creole Cooking: The Black Hand in the Pot documentary and the Legacies of American Slavery: Food, Music & Tourism film series. In 2014, Palmer launched the Dr. Rudy Joseph Lombard: Black Hand in the Pot Lecture Series that invited guest speakers such as Dr. Howard Conyers, a NASA rocket scientist, barbecue pitmaster from South Carolina and Kingsford Charcoal ‘Preserve the Pit’ ambassador. In 2020, under Palmer’s leadership, Dillard University launched a Food Studies Minor, 1 of 2 accredited academic Food Studies programs at a (HBCU) Historically Black College & University.

In the fall of 2016, Palmer and her students filmed and produced the documentary The Story of New Orleans Creole Cooking: The Black Hand in the Pot about the history and contributions of the world-famous New Orleans Creole Cuisine. She also is the author of three books and many articles. Her latest publication, Recipes and Remembrances of Fair Dillard: 1869-2019 shares archival recipes and stories from Dillard University. In 2016, she was guest speaker for NYU Food Studies, Nicholls State University, and Maryville University. Palmer serves on the board of Hermann Grima +Gallier Historic Houses, James Beard Black & Indigenous Fund Committee and she is a judge for the 2022 James Beard Restaurant & Chef Awards. 

Palmer’s research and articles appeared in the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, Cultural Vistas (64 Parishes), Essence Magazine and For the Culture magazine. In 2019, Palmer performed as Nellie Murray, a 19th century New Orleans Creole caterer for La Cocina in San Francisco, California. Nellie Murray was the most sought after caterer in nineteenth century New Orleans, the Leah Chase of the era. Palmer and a group of prestigious New Orleans women curated the Nellie Murray Feast in 2016 which raised funds for the Leah Chase documentary and the Dillard University Ray Charles Program. Palmer received the 2018 ‘Cultural Bearer Award’ from the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame, 2020 New Orleans Magazine ‘People To Watch’ and 2022 Dine Diaspora Black Women in Food ‘Trailblazer’ Honoree.. 




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
    New York to Marrakesh
  • Airport Transfers
    In Morocco
  • 4 Nights Marrakesh
  • 2 Meals Per day
    Lunch is on your own
  • Hammam and Spa
  • Tour of Marrakech/ Souk
  • Cooking Class
    Moroccan Spice and Cooking Class
  • 2 nights in Merzouga
    Luxury Desert Camp
  • Thanksgiving Dinner
    Children of the Sun Decolonized Thanksgiving Dinner
  • Yoga
    Sacral Ancestral Healing and Awakening
  • Meditation /Breathwork
  • Oshun Dance Therapy
  • Scared Rituals
    Traditional Sacred Rituals
  • Tour of Merzouga
  • Herbal Bath Products
    Spiritual Herbal Bath Products
  • Camel Trekking
    In the Sahara Desert
  • Star Gazing
  • Covid Test
    Typically cost about $70USD

Available Packages

Single Room
Deposit: $250
Double Room
Deposit: $250

Your Organizer

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


The trip was an amazing experience despite the pitfalls that we encountered; however, T. Barnes and team worked effortlessly to resolve the unexpected issues with excellency. The riad was so soothing, the staff and service was impeccable, the food was incredible and delicious. I cannot say enough about being treated as members of the family. The workshops were informative regarding the use of natural oils and herbs for healing and skincare. The Sahara desert was simply indescribable, this is where I would have enjoyed an additional day to just sit on the dunes and meditate on the creation of God's beauty. I look forward to the time when I will be able to return to enjoy more of what Morocco/Africa has to offer.
By Krishna C for Heal From Crown to Sole on Nov 08, 2023
My trip was unbelievable. The food was amazing and the atmosphere was extremely comfortable. I enjoyed learning the culture and shopping in the Souk. T. Barnes and S. Thurston you are the best travel planners ever. You made my first time in Morocco superb.
By Kimberly P for Souking is a Verb 2023 on Nov 06, 2023
Over the years I've been to many places with many people. I think this was one of the most fun experiences I've ever had. Everything wasn't perfect. When you travel in third world countries keep an open mind. When the few glitches arose, they were dealt with. Every effort was made to keep us safe and comfortable. Our base at Mwasi was amazing - beautiful, comfortable, great staff and convenient to the city. Food was absolutely fantastic. The trip "glamping" in the Sahara was mind blowing. I think it's a bit much to do for a week trip considering the overland travel. You need at least 10 days to do this comfortably. You also need more hours or two days to do justice to a visit to the Souk. Tanesha, it was uplifting meeting you and Jalaal. Good luck in expanding your community.
By Leslie M. W for Heal From Crown to Sole on Nov 01, 2023
We had a wonderful trip. The accommodations were beautiful along with the grounds. My pictures of the property look like a postcard. The staff were exceptionally friendly as was the owner. It made me feel like I was apart of their family. The food was delicious, I can honestly say that there was not one bad meal, whether it was lamb, chicken or just vegetables every morsel was delicious. The owners made sure to equip our group with guided shopping tours to ensure we got the best possibly price and best quality for items we intended to buy. I could go on and on from the spa treatment where we were oiled, scrubbed and massaged., that would be my very first stop when I return. Until we meet again T Barnes Global Lifestyle.
By Beatrice M for Heal From Crown to Sole on Nov 01, 2023
This was a an amazing trip. It was a smooth transition from transportation to lodging to activities. The driver was kind, friendly and timely. The hotel staff was welcoming and helpful. Every activity was carefully curated and enjoyed to the fullest. When flexibility was needed, it happened transparently. The way that I travel is forever transformed.
By Galanda Annette B for Galanda's 50th Birthday in Bali! on Oct 27, 2023
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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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