Turkey backpack trip 2022 – Intro (1)

I’m writing this from a very comfortable bus (an autocar to be exact). I thought I’d document my trip to remember the places I’ve been to and faces I’ve seen. Today is Day 3 out of Day 12 so you can say that we’re at the beginning of our trip.

Hubby and I usually look for a good balance between comfort, local-living, and adventure. So, if you are into that as well, continue reading.

PS. This is my second attempt at writing this as I lost my first draft. So, here goes nothing…

Before I get into the deeds of how the past 2 days went. Let me give you a little bit of context. We are a young couple based in Paris, who decided to come to Turkey for 12 days (and 11 nights). Our dates are 25 May to 05 June, so you can say that we are traveling off-season during a period where the Turkish Lira roughly amounts to 17.5 TL per 1 EUR.

Several people have told us that we’ve got a good deal but deep down something didn’t sit right with us. Enjoying services that should have been doubled in price for what they are worth doesn’t seem fair somehow.

Having said that, we’ve decided to travel differently; by being less of a tourist, supporting small local businesses & using public transportation.

We’ve decided to be fully immersed in day-to-day Turkish living during these times.

On a positive note, Turkey is as beautiful as it has always been, if not more. And we can’t wait to follow through with our schedule.

Trip Overview

Hubby planned a closed-loop trip with a couple of stopovers starting with a day in Istanbul:

  • Paris to Istanbul (by air) – 1 night
  • Istanbul to Ankara (by train) – 1 night
  • Ankara to Gorëme/Capadocia (by bus) – 2 nights
  • Gorëme to Konya (by bus) – 1 night
  • Konya to Antalya (by bus) – 1 night
  • Antalya to Pamukkale (by bus) – 1 night
  • Pamukkale to Istanbul (by air) – 4 nights
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Twenty nine years of age

Before getting into the heart of the subject, let me apologize for my unplanned break. My husband and I recently moved to a new city and only now can I confidently say that we have settled in and are comfortable in our new environment; so, I’m officially back! back to blogging every other Sunday.

I am officially 29 and kinda emotional that my twenties are coming to an end. And with that being said, I thought it’s only fitting that I’d share some highlights (lessons learned) from my 20s.

Age without context is meaningless

My husband always tells me that age is just a number; that being young in spirit is enough; that every time we achieve a certain milestone, we are considered beginners in that particular stage, and therefore, still young. While his words were comforting to a certain extent; they weren’t enough, until he told me this: age without context is meaningless. As we age, we evolve, and achieve new milestones. Do I prefer my life in my early 20s to my life today? No, I love my actual context. Hence, I came to terms with my age and learned to be content with whatever God brings my way.

Paralyzing fear of starting

A new activity regardless of its complexity can be scary. It is like jumping into the unknown, splashing paint on a blank canvas while hoping for an abstract look. It is paralyzing but when properly thought out, not insurmountable. It is like what Franklin D. Roosevelt once said:

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

From the moment we are born, the fear of falling is instilled within us. And as we grow older, the more fears we accumulate. Fear is a part of being human and learning how to control it is the only way to overcome it. I learned not to take fear as an enemy but rather as an emotion that is shamelessly a part of me.

Boxing in my fear in order to find the logic behind it is how I constantly overcome it.

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2021: the year of intention

“The power of intention is the power to manifest, to create, to live a life of unlimited abundance, and to attract into your life the right people at the right moments.” – Wayne Dyer

This is not your typical new year’s post filled with resolutions and checklists. Last year was a challenging year for most of us; but with challenges come opportunities and as a person, I feel like I’ve become more sympathetic, empathetic, and communitarian and less individualistic. The 2020 pandemic taught me the importance of being intentional in everything I do and aspire to do/be.

I touched on being intentional in an earlier post without really addressing the concept behind it. Intentional living in simple words means, living according to your values and beliefs; focusing on the “why” and challenging status quo when needed. I used to live on autopilot, going with the flow, doing what everybody else was doing, not really giving anything a second thought. Everything has changed however, once I identified with minimalism and decided to question my values.

Having core values is important because they become the center of all the decisions that you will make on a daily basis. For example, if self-care is important to you, then you will work-out regularly; if you care about the environment, then you will consume less and recycle more; etc.

Reflecting back

Before I changed my way of living, I went down memory lane to pinpoint critical moments; moments that shaped me and had an impact on me (both, positively and negatively). Once that was done, I focused on the why behind each moment and identified some important questions, such as:

  • What am I doing on a regular basis to make me happy?
  • What am I doing now to work on my current goal?
  • Is there room for improvement on subject XXX? If yes, how?
  • How to progress on goal XXX slowly but steadily?

Continue reading “2021: the year of intention”