Have you ever experienced seeing someone for the first time and felt that instant connection? Like love at first sight. Well in my case, YES! Not with a person but with a country. This is the story of my beloved Turkey.
Turkey made me fall in love four times. And every time I am leaving the country I always look forward to the next visit.
I clearly remember back in 2017, summertime, I decided to book a flight to this unfamiliar country for me. Checking on the map, it is situated in the middle of Europe and Asia, a gem that connects 2 different worlds. Where east meets west. It was my first ever solo trip. Packed with 2 bags I landed at Ataturk airport. From that time, I knew that Turkey will hold a special place in my heart.
I am not exaggerating. Ever wonder why? Just like the hundreds and thousands of seabirds in Bosphorus, Turkey has a hundred reasons for you to fall in love with her. I can’t enumerate all but I can summarize it into 3.
Culture, History, and People
Turkey has a diverse culture. From their customs, expressions, food, and hospitality, the country was culturally rich.
Wherever you go, there is always a feeling of festivity. They like to socialize, to interact. They love to kiss like how Asians love noodles. I got a funny story about a kiss. It was my first time to be kissed on the cheeks by a stranger while walking at the park, from an Asian’s perspective where we were accustomed to conservative I was a bit shocked but I think that’s how they show their hospitality and that’s how they expressed their joy to meet you. I was fascinated by how colorful the country is.
From their handmade rags which were impressive to the evil eye. To the blue sky and calm seas up until the ottoman inspired architecture. Your eyes will feast on every little thing. It is that blue sky that first marked to me. Every time I will set my foot to this country I made sure that I will look up to it and just appreciate simple things, thank God for all the creations. Its serenity gave me that peace you are looking for when having a vacation. That sense of calmness is all you need to be relax and refresh.
If you will be going to Turkey, prepare yourself to gain some pounds as their food is so appetizing, not just by the taste but even by the looks. They said you missed half of your Turkish trip if you will not taste the Kokorech. I was not that hesitant to taste it as we got almost the same thing in the Philippines. Kokorech is sheep intestine when I first tasted it, I was like I am in heaven. I can’t describe the taste but with every crunch, it will be made you crave more. And of course, this unlimited simit and chestnut were being sold along the street.
Aside from the food, please do not forget their drinks and booze. They got this Turkish signature drink called Raki, not my personal favorite ( I know my Turkish friends will get mad at me by saying this) but you must give it a try. I will just settle for my unlimited shots, not tequila shots but Turkish tea. Never-ending Turkish tea. I made sure if I have 7kg hand carry baggage,5kg will be clothes and 2 kg will be for Turkish tea.
Also read: What to eat in Turkey
If you are a fan of history, archaeology, museums then Turkey is a haven for you. Spanning from the Seljuk empire until the present-day Republic of Turkey. You will not get bored looking at their churches and mosques, crawling their underground cities, and climbing their mountain topped town. That is why I forgot my count of hills and mountains I climbed in Turkey.
I think this is the main reason why Turkey is my beloved, the people. Turkish are naturally friendly. It runs in their blood, coming from the Philippines where we boast our unique hospitality, I think Turkey is competing in their way. I always felt secure even with strangers. They have this charisma that will make you captivated, a different kind of charm. Yes, Turkish people are good looking but it is what’s inside that made them even better.
They can make you say yes even you are holding a no from deep inside. I can’t forget how a bunch of strangers made me dance in a bar which I never did before. Mind you, I am not yet under the alcohol at that time. They just made me feel that it is okay. It is normal. Well, that thing is in my bucket list to party in a foreign country with strangers.
A deep love for their country
They are naturally a comedian too. A different kind of sense of humor. There will be no dull moments with them, they like to talk and talk a lot. Turkish people have this sense of patriotism too. A burning desire within them, a love for their beloved crescent moon and star. A passion for their beloved Turkey.
I have been in Turkey for four times and will keep on coming back. If these reasons are not yet enough for me to convince you to visit this country, do like what I did. Book that ticket and feel the same way I felt. Experience love at first sight. Witness the beauty from east to west. Indulge yourself with the rich culture. Equipped yourself with a long history and be in love with the people.
How about you? What’s the best thing you love about my beloved Turkey? Share your thoughts below.