Growing up in the Philippines, I have only been accustomed to two seasons only. The dry and wet season. So I only experienced either heavy rains or a humid summer. It has always been a dream of mine to have a winter escapade in Turkey.
Winter escapade in Turkey
December is always the best time for holidays
My wish came true way back in 2017. Before I head on to my home country, the Philippines, I spent a couple of weeks in Turkey. Turkey is my favorite country. You can never go wrong for your holiday if you choose Turkey. Be it summer or winter, this country is just perfect.
I do not know what to expect since I haven’t seen nor experienced snow. So I just pack the usual winter clothes I am using in Kuwait. I was loaded with excitement, which is why I did not sleep the night before. The day has finally arrived. I headed to the airport and traveled four hours to Istanbul.
Christmas in Turkey. What is it like?
Though it was not my first time in Turkey, my eyes are still filled with awe. Excited about everything. The food, the destination, the whole holiday. This December vacation was a special one. It is because I will be ticking out two items from my bucket list. The first is to finally experience legit snow and second was to go to Cappadocia.
Spending a couple of days in Istanbul, I can feel the holiday vibes. Even though it is a Muslim-dominant country, Turkey is so diverse. Christmas decors were all around. The streets were busy and packed with people. I can feel that it is the best place to spend your holidays.
Ticking off Cappadocia from my bucket list
After having a good time in Istanbul, my friend and I flew to Cappadocia. It was my first time to see a ski resort in Kayseri. It was freezing. I didn’t expect it to be like that. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed it. Cappadocia is also a wonderland. I have written a separate blog for my Cappadocia trip and you can check my itinerary there.
Also read: Cappadocia, The Land Of Fairy Tales
Good days in Cappadocia are over. We need to fly back to Istanbul and head to the next destination, Bolu. For me, Bolu is completely different from Istanbul and Cappadocia. We stayed in a nice place by the Abant lake. The place is just so quiet. I found the inner peace that everyone is looking for. Before the trip, I already did some research about Abant lake. The place was beautiful during fall and spring. And so is winter.
I almost had an accident
By that time, the fog by the lake was so thick that it dropped to almost zero visibility. So we have to drive slowly. It was total relaxation. The next morning we decided to go to a ski mountain. Again I was so happy. So from Abant lake, we drove off to Dorukkaya Ski resort. I will be telling you one secret I had on this trip. I almost got into an accident that will result in death.
Yes! You read it right.
The snow was thick and the wheels got stuck. So my friend decided to put the chain while I am on the wheels. I do not have a driving license and never hold a wheel in my life. I got a mixed-up of the pedals. Instead of the brake, I had stepped on the accelerator. Good thing my friend was able to pull the handbrake or else I will be dead. At least I am safe though I made a few scratches in the car.
But bad things don’t justify the whole situation. It is just one small event and life has to go on. We can’t be stagnant. We need to move forward. It does not need to ruin my winter escapade in Turkey.
The child in me
Finally, we reached the ski resort. I can only see white and it hurt my eyes. Just like a kid, I ran and rolled over the snow. Formed a snowman. That moment was one of the happiest days of my life. See! Even when we were adults we can still enjoy simple things. The world is already complicated. Let us make our life a less tangled one.
Also read: Reasons Why I Didn’t Enjoy Vienna
I had hot chocolate in one of the ski restaurants there. Inside the cafe were holiday decorations and Christmas carols playing. I was so grateful. Though I did not see snowfall I had experienced my first ever snow and I crossed out Cappadocia. It was already a dream come true.
How do you define happiness?
The next day, we were early to wake up because we had to drive back to Istanbul. I was out in the backyard of the hotel. In front of Abant lake. Cold as it is. But just taking the quiet time to enjoy one last moment of scenery. And all of a sudden, A snowflake fell. It was snowing! My first ever snowfall. I got to see in reality.
Happiness was overflowing. For me, happiness is defined by small things that create a big impact.
Who says paradise needs to be the white sand beaches or lush greeneries? Ski resorts and frozen lakes and winter escapade in Turkey could be too.
And you see! Life’s most surprising moments come when we least expect it. Either we are already at the point of giving up or we are already satisfied. What we are looking for comes when we are not looking anymore.
How about you? What makes you happy? What is your definition of paradise? Let me know.