Top Nav

Turkey, You Get Me


turkish rugsIstanbul put a little bit of a spell on me last time I was there in October, but it wasn’t until this trip to Turkey that I saw what sort of attractive forces could be at play.

To be honest, I was surprised I’d like Turkey so much. I think as soon as we left Istanbul, Turkish culture became real to me. I always feel that big cities are too worldly – there are generally too many cultures in one place, and too exposed to outside influences, not to mention too big and fast – to truly understand a country’s overall culture.

Istanbul isn’t Turkey, so I wasn’t sure.

sunset in Turkey on bus ride to Cappadocia

As seen from the bus going towards Cappadocia.

I wasn’t sure until we popped on that 11 hour bus ride to Cappadocia in central Turkey. Between rest stops with cafeterias, free tea and coffee served from a bus attendant, changing landscapes – pine trees to snow speckled mountains – I realized something: Turkish people do not know about vibrating ring tones on their cell phones.

Ok, so that’s not the point here.

After just a few days in Goreme, Turkey started to become somewhere I knew I’d like to spend more time in – even the type of place I’d like to be an expat in.

Turkish lamps

Colorful Turkey has reeled me in.

Now that’s a big realization. I love traveling, but there are so many places that I really couldn’t hack on a long-term scale. Spain is gorgeous, but I find the food culture and the overall vibe something I couldn’t mesh with on a bigger scale. Italy, my first love, has the history and the food that drives me wild, but again, it’s just not somewhere I see myself.

Turkey… gah.

Where to begin?

Turkish teaThe delicious food? The colorful pashminas? The jewelry that looks like it was handcrafted just for me? The ability to drink as many glasses of Turkish tea as possible in a single day without questioning if I’ve had too much? The friendly, helpful, humorous, and hard-working locals?

On one of those bus stops on a cold rainy drive, Pat and I ordered some stew with a side of Turkish rice topped with beans to recharge and warm up. It was so simple… and so good.

Turkish stew

Something a little like this - stew with rice and salad.


I paused to scoop up another greasy, buttery pile of rice mixed with my chicken stew.

“You get me.”


, ,

21 Responses to Turkey, You Get Me

  1. Ali May 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    I totally agree! I absolutely loved Turkey. Though I really enjoyed Istanbul & I could see myself living there more than other parts of the country. I’m a city person. I want to go back to Turkey already!

    • Brooke May 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

      I also enjoyed Istanbul, but I think I would be happier in a smaller big city somewhere in Turkey. Cool place, and the people there just rock.

  2. Petra May 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    Beautiful article, Brooke! I didn’t think that I’d love Turkey that much either. I rarely return to the places I have visited, because there are so many sites to discover and not so much time. Turkey got to me, too, and is a country to discover and rediscover!

    • Brooke May 4, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

      Thank you 🙂 Yes, I agree! It is a very large country, too, so I need to spend more time going around to all the regions.

  3. Natalie May 3, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    It has a certain vibe that is hard to figure out exactly what it is. I think it might be the people, so friendly. Then again nice landscape, variety of things to do etc etc. Everything combined 🙂

    • Brooke May 4, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

      I really really really enjoyed the people! I had always heard about the Turkish men being somewhat forward, so I kind of had a skewed perspective before arriving.

  4. Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) May 3, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    Maybe I’m just naive (ok, I’m certainly naive!), but part of me feels that the reason why at least some people travel for an extended period of time because they are searching for a place to call home. I admit, part of me is a bit nervous for my impending big trip, because I worry that I might fall head over heels for a place and think that not only could I live there, but I must!

    I’m definitely excited to visit Turkey… I’ve only heard good things, and the pictures! So colorful!

    • Brooke May 4, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

      Why are you nervous about finding a place that you would love to live in?! 🙂 Where are you planning to go on your big trip? Definitely add Turkey if you can!

      • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) May 5, 2012 at 5:29 am #

        I know it’s silly to be scared about finding a place to live, but I guess I’m worried I will fall in love with a place that will take me far away from my friends and family! I know it’s part of the adventure, but I suppose I never really thought I’d live outside of North America. The realization that I could is really staggering to me!

        As for our big trip, we’re planning to travel through Japan, China, South East Asia, India, Turkey, and then Eastern/Western Europe… Or at least that was our original plan. I just wrote a post about how we’re thinking of flipping this all on its head and starting in Iceland and working our way East… I’m very torn about what to do! Either way, we definitely want to make some time for Turkey!

        • Brooke May 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

          Wow, Steph, that is so interesting to hear. I was always the type of person that felt like I needed to be overseas. After my first trip abroad, I KNEW I wanted to be somewhere else. Not that North America isn’t bad (I actually love it more now that I’ve been away for so long), but I always expected to find somewhere else.

          Hope your trip is amazing — I’d love to get updates on how you feel about living abroad/North America as you go 🙂

  5. Kevin Post May 4, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    Turkey is one of the most diverse countries regarding climate, terrain and culture I’ve ever visited. Every town and city across the country has its own uniqueness which makes it a fantastic place to explore. You want to go mountaineering? You got it! The beach? Plenty of shoreline! You want ancient ruins? Of course! Friendly people? They’re everywhere!

    • Kevin Post May 4, 2012 at 10:39 am #

      I forgot to mention how effin delicious the cuisine is!

      • Brooke May 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

        I <3 Turkish cuisine! Although the desserts are hard to down at times because they put so much sugar syrup on everything!

        • Kevin Post December 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

          More reason to go for a trail run in the mountains so that afterwards the body craves those delicious syrupy calories 😛

  6. Andrea May 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    I’ve never been to Turkey, but I’d go this instant if it meant I could have the food in your pictures. You are making me so hungry!! 🙂

    • Brooke May 4, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

      Go, go gooo! 🙂 I loved the food there.

  7. Jeremy Branham May 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    Wow, that’s awesome to hear about Turkey. Like you, I couldn’t do Spain or Italy. I would try Portugal and Slovenia though.

    I’ve never been to Turkey. I’ve read lots of stuff on Turkey and seen the photos. However, your post really has me interested in it now. Experiencing what you have makes me want to experience that as well. I’m intrigued by the people, the culture, and the food.

  8. Sofia - As We Travel May 6, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    Sounds like you’ve found your perfect place! I really liked Turkey too, it’s such a colorful country, although I don’t think I could ever see myself living there. Like you said, it’s just one of those feelings. But I’d love to go there every once in a while to visit!

  9. Liv May 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    I’m glad you enjoyed Turkey so much Brooke. I loved living there and still feel very much at home whenever I visit. May you have many more wonderful trips!

  10. Chris May 10, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    Nice blog! I never even considered Turkey as a destination for me, funnily enough Im into my third week in Turkey, and it was originally only going to be a 10 day stop! The people (and prices) get better once you get out of Istanbul. The Mediterranean coastal towns are so relaxing and easy going. I’ve extended my stay at each location purely because i have no time limit and its so relaxing!

  11. Daniel Meloy May 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Wow, this looks so amazing. Turkey has been one of my top destinations for a little over two years now, and your blog only makes me desire it more. I would LOVE to get there and see it, it just seems so unique and different compared to what we’re used to in more western cultures. Thank you for this share and for resparking my thirst to travel! One question, where do you think is the best city to start in when traveling to Turkey?

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes