A lot of 90 Day Fiance stars get criticism. Some of them get exactly what they need to hear. Others just get trolled.
But we can't think of any of the stars who have been mom-shamed just for living their lives as much as Nicole Nafziger.
(And she's not even on the show anymore!)
Her two-week vacation to Morocco has now stretched out to a stay of nearly five months, due to forces beyond Nicole's control.
But now, she's actually talking about her plans to return, even setting up a timeframe for it.
Will a return home to her daughter silence her mom-shamers, or just force them to change tactics?
This is exciting!
For the first time since heading to Morocco, Nicole is talking not just about an eventual return home, but WHEN she will do it. Though, as we will explain, it may not be up to her in the end.
For context ...
Early this year, Nicole spent weeks building up hype as she announced a "big trip." Some fans figured that she just meant a trip to (very nearby) Disney World. It was only when Nicole flashed Moroccan currency that followers realized that she was not only going to see Azan, but going to Morocco to meet him.
Nicole had to leave her job
Nicole is a proud member of her local Starbucks team, but for a two week vacation, she had to step back from the job. At the time, no one knew how long she would be gone from Starbucks or from America ... least of all Nicole.
In early March, Nicole headed out
She drove to the airport with her mother, Robbalee, who would drive the car back.
This time, May didn't tag along
Instead, May would stay with her grandmother for the two-week vacation, like so many children lucky enough to have happy and loving relationships with their grandparents get to do.
It was a different time
Not only were airports still operating almost like normal, but Nicole didn't see anyone wearing masks. March of 2020 seemed to last for about a decade as the COVID-19 pandemic hit home, and remembering that this was just under 5 months ago is jarring.
Even then, things were changing
There were fewer passengers on the flight, to the point where Nicole had a whole row to herself -- something that she documented and shared with her followers on Instagram.
It was a moment of transition
Europe was just beginning to feel the brunt of the virus. Later, studies would conclude that it was wealthy European vacationers, not travelers from China, most responsible for spreading COVID-19 to North America and other parts of the world. At the time, Europe hadn't even fully shut down yet.
But first, a welcome reunion!
Nicole and Azan were reunited at last! It had been ages since they'd been together, especially since the Grenada trip didn't pan out after Azan had to cancel at the last minute due to a vague and never explained family emergency.
it's no wonder that Nicole was looking forward to this. She saved up -- not easy on a Starbucks salary, especially when you're a single mom -- for this two-week vacation with Azan, but all of her hard work had paid off.
They are SO cute together
We know that some fans have "issues" (to put it mildly) with them as a couple, but we couldn't help but feel happy for them as they got to see each other in person. Video chatting and calling regularly are great, but even long-distance relationships want to make contact sometimes.
They had romantic meals out
In addition to seeing Azan, one of the things that Nicole was most looking forward to -- having been there before -- was the local cuisine. She loves Moroccan tajine and Moroccan tea.
She had both!
Technically, a tajine is the name of the traditional Moroccan cooking vessel. The dish served within is technically called a Maghrebi (named for the region), but colloquially referred to as tajine. it is a delicious stew of meat, vegetables, and fruit.
Don't forget the tea!
Nicole also indulged in Moroccan tea, a treat for which she was very hyped.
Simple luxuries ...
Those of us who haven't had dinner out since early March are reeling at the idea of being in a crowded room, but at the time, it was just fine, and Nicole and Azan enjoyed their time together.
Nicole and Azan weren't exactly packing on the PDA in photos, for a number of reasons including local customs, but they did have their very cute moments.
But then ...
Everything changed when the COVID-19 pandemic worsened. Some countries shut down in stages, others not at all. Morocco, on the other hand, went from business as usual to shutting down restaurants, banning public gatherings, and grounding all regular air travel.
Nicole was stuck
Not just stuck inside -- the whole world was stuck inside -- but stuck in Morocco.
Still, she made it work
When life gives you lemons ... sometimes, you hang out in Morocco for well over four months while your daughter is safe at home with her grandma.
It's not like they were cut off
They could still talk on the phone and video chat, as they have been doing regularly. Because it's 2020. It's a hell year, but we still have internet.
But wait ... was Nicole really stuck?
Initially, there were not US flights evacuating Americans who were overseas, because of the same grotesque federal mismanagement that has now made the US the world's epicenter for the COVID-19 pandemic. (Seriously, I had a friend who was overseas at the time, and the US consulate was like "we haven't heard anything, you may know more than we do, sorry" because of malicious incompetence at the Federal level)
The UK did offer evacuation flights to their citizens and, as a sign of our longstanding alliance and basic humanitarian compassion, offered to at least evacuate Americans to London, though from there they would have to secure their own paths back to the US.
Nicole didn't take that
We don't blame her, especially since, at the time, the UK was worse off when it comes to COVID-19 than the US was.
But wait ...
There is an emergency evacuation program where the US will make sure that an American gets home (usually, this is only from places of unrest or disaster zones), and the American has to sign an agreement to pay them back. We looked into it, and right now, the cost ends up being about $1,500. We can understand how a Starbucks employee might balk at incurring such a debt.
Nicole has addressed this
Simply put, it's not a free flight. People who don't know her life, who have never met her, are demanding that she risk her life and her daughter's while incurring a four-figure debt so that she can take mother-daughter Instagram photos again. That's it.
There are very real safety concerns when it comes to returning. Florida is one of the worst places for the pandemic, and they are not properly shut down. If Nicole returned now, she would not only risk exposure during the flight and at the airport, but might end up having to go back to work -- endangering both herself and May.
Her whole family can't catch a break
Nicole's mom announced that her sister, Taylor, is pregnant. Instagram trolls gave her grief, with spiteful comments like "hope she won't abandon her child, unlike Nicole." People are so weird.
Time and time again ...
Robbalee has been in Nicole's corner, shooting down the bizarre rumors about Azan being "married" ... to a cousin, with kids ... pointing out that there's zero evidence that such a thing is true.
It's good that Robbalee is in her corner
Robbalee has written to fans and trolls alike that she cherishes this time with her granddaughter. So many people have spent months or even years with their grandparents as primary caregivers, because of life circumstances. Nicole didn't engineer this pandemic -- no one did.
But still ...
Sometimes it seems like every time that Nicole posts, no matter how sweet, haters use it as an opportunity to attack her.
Just look at this
Under that precious pic of May, worn out from playing at the beach all day, Nicole posted a sweet caption.
The haters spoke up
People trying to psychoanalyze a child's photo to show their "deep, lingering sadness" are always full of crap, and this is no exception.
Nicole is SO patient
She clearly gets it from her mom, as they are both so gentle with these hellclowns in their mentions.
Not all trolls are anonymous
90 Day Fiance villain Laura Jallali, whom many fans believe to be a troublemaker and a compulsive liar, even chimed in to do some mom-shaming of Nicole.
Nicole clapped back HARD
Laura lost her pension, her home, and her US residency because she was horny for Aladin. Nicole simply went on an unexpectedly extended vacation and will return home. They are not the same.
But what's this?
We've zoomed in on Nicole's words, from just days ago, as she says that her family knows that she will return home "soon."