Why I Love Turkey (And You Should, Too!)
I remember telling my brother that I have just visited Turkey and his response was ‘wooooow that’s a hot country you went to’, and may I clarify that he was not talking about the weather but instead about safety. But where is truly safe? I made up my mind a long time ago that nowhere is safer than a place that God guides you to go and the fear of war is the last thing that will stop me from going to a place. No, I did not visit the Istanbul but instead went to a more holiday feel location called Marmaris. The question is, what was there not to like about Turkey? From the food to the people to the weather to the activities, every second I spent there I fell in love with Marmaris just a little bit more. I must admit it was a very short holiday packed full of activities; we spend a total of 45min by the poolside sunbathing (I definitely had to come back home with a tan!!!) and I did not even have enough time to go swimming in the hotel pool! I decided to trade that for a swim in the meditation sea. Talk about an UPGRADE!
So, I travelled with a very good friend and before leaving, we had all of our itinerary planned out and my mission was to tick as many things off my bucket list. As for the prices that they were offering, they were simply amazing which acted as an extra motivation to do it all.
We started the first night off with a bang by arriving in Turkey at 11 pm on a Friday evening. The transfer vehicle booked from the airport to the hotel provided us with a mini guide of the city. We had a stop over on our way to the hotel which acted as a brief welcome to the local food, people and a mini traditional market.
Our morning didn’t start out on a good note as the travel agency we booked our trip to Dalyan river tour with, disappointed with a no show. This was a lesson in itself teaching us that disappointments are inevitable but how you handle it, determines the vibe you set for your day.
We were able to book alternative activities (quad bikes) via the hotel booking service and within minutes we were on our way. This was really fun and my friend and I tried to race each other, which was hilarious. If you take up quad biking be warned; be totally prepared to be covered head to toe in mud!
I have long been told about the benefits of a Turkish bath but I never fully understood it until after I experienced it myself. We booked a spa package which started off with a couple of minutes in the sauna room to sweat it all out, then followed by a Turkish bath (yes I admit it was done by a male and it felt awesome). The whole point of the Turkish bath is to remove any dead skin from the body and revitalise the skin. The treatment ended with an oil massage. This was the best massage I have had in a long time. The lady was so skilled with her hands massaging muscles that I did not know they even existed, it was 30 minutes of blissful pleasure.
Turkey can sometimes be associated with the sale of fake designer handbags, about 80% of the shops in Marmaris sold designer bags so there was a lot to choose from. If you are nice you could gain a VIP access to the second floor in a lot of stores and trust me, it was a dream come true from designer bags and shoes ranging from Burberry, Prada to Gucci, you just name it and they have it.
Scuba diving. This was a big one for me since I don’t know how to swim, but it was on my bucket list so I had to do it. Again our morning started off at 9 am and we set sail through the clear Mediterranean Sea. I was privileged to be invited into the captain cabin and even sailed the boat myself for a couple of minutes. The mountains were breathtaking and I savoured every moment.
After an hour and a bit on the boat, we finally reached the location to do some scuba diving. But first, we had to go through all the safety procedures such as breathing through the oxygen tank we will be carrying making sure that we could constantly balance our ear pressure while diving and communicating effectively with the instructor when under water in case of any distress.
At that moment in which I was placed in the ocean, my panic level rose to infinity. I was petrified by what I had gotten myself into, but lucky I had a good experience scuba diving instructor, who was able to calm me down (this is why I would always recommending going with a certified company). Within minutes I was under water looking at fishes of many colours; I attracted them with a piece of bread.
I was able to go a second time and this time I was more confident about my newly acquired skills and I look forward to diving into deeper depths in the nearest future.
After swimming in the cold ocean I was overjoyed to warm myself up with some Turkish tea and delight, the taste of the tea was genuine and heart filling. The Turkish delight was perfect, fresh and bursting with flavour, I would have not asked of a better treat.
Relaxing with my newly made friends over dinner was perfect, I will recommend experiencing a Turkish night out. It involves a group of people dancing in a circle and just being generally jolly, it really brings out the spirit of the city.
The morning started with horse riding, I had never ridden a horse before so this was fairly new to me. This experience was amazing it allowed me to understand that animals are very aware of human emotion and my horse could scene my fear and became very aggressive. As soon as I relaxed we became a team, trotting along like best friends. I occasionally tapped his back to let him know I am a friendly rider and pulled on his lead to calm his speed. In response, he got me over the riverbed safely. Maybe in the future, I can enjoy another ride at a much faster pace.
I have never driven a speed boat before so I didn’t know what to expect. I can guarantee that the adrenaline rush from it is thrilling. It made you just want to keep going, my hair was windswept and I felt free. We stopped by a cave and our newly made friend decided to jump into the sea for a quick swim. Of course, I was not going to let this opportunity pass me by. I spontaneously wore my life jacket jumped into the sea fully clothed. It felt amazing in the water all my trouble went afloat for a few moments. I just wanted to lay in the middle of the ocean.
We certainly left the best for the last, I have always dreamt of parasailing, just floating above the city skyline. We were strapped in and within a matter of minutes we were up in the sky and overlooking the beautiful city. I had my phone even though parasailing instructor advised against it as that would be so sad if it fell in the ocean (even just thinking about it makes me so nervous). But I still took it along …The things we do for the gram! I was trying to record the view but once I stopped I was able to fully enjoy the experience, taking in such a breathtaking view. Parasailing is certainly a must do.
Our time in paradise was up and it was time to head back home.
Please adventure out of your comfort zone. I wish only that you take more risk, risk it all. You Only Live Once!
I leave you with this is quote….
“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign”
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