01/01/2014 at 06:55 PM EST
Call him Usher
of Arabia. Or the entertainment king of Casablanca.
As the New Year dawned, the singer
found himself not on a beach, but deep in the Sahara desert, visiting the North African nation of Morocco.
There, dressed in a camouflage hat, plenty of scarves and local garb, Usher posted photos of his sandy and faraway adventure
halfway around the world.
"Slept in the Sahara… Check," The Voice coach
, 35, wrote on Instagram, where he showed off photos of tents, a local family and a fire-lit night, including a native serenade video
of robe-clad Berber musicians performing under the stars.
"Azul means 'Welcome' in Berber," he wrote of his hosts. "They singin in their native language."
Usher noted that the locals had heard of his music and made him feel welcome as he rode a camel and braced for the heat of the day and the chill of the desert nights.
"Couldn't sleep, so I decided to go warm up
around the fire," Usher wrote.
He also urged his fans to spend some time this year learning about other cultures.
"You gotta explore a little bit more in 2014," Usher wrote. "This is just how U see it. So, we sleepin in the desert for the night… you can tell Game of Thrones
fans when you see 'em. Where the hell is Calise though?"