Turkey holds a very special place in my heart.
It was the first place that increased my heart rate within minutes of arriving. I have always enjoyed travelling, of course, but it was just one of the many “leisure” activities to de-stress my busy works in school. Turkey showed me the endless possibilities of the world—and these possibilities have since become my personal life conquest.
Ironically, my visit to Turkey back in 2011 was meant to be about work.
It started off with a university research paper to develop a new marketing campaign model involving green behaviour. The project did well and somehow it got selected by IAMCR (International Association for Media and Communication Research) for a presentation on a global conference.
And so I embarked on the flight to Istanbul to represent my team.
The big feast at Istanbul Archaeology Museum after the day of my presentation
—and I hopped on a domestic flight to Izmir the next morning!
Clearly, what started off as “work” took a quick turn into a string of excursions around Turkey. Every excursion was better than the one before, and I silently cursed myself for having scheduled only 8 days in Turkey.
And the fact that it was my first solo travel helped.
Sure, it took some adjusting when I first arrived with a major jet lag—sleepy, confused and couldn’t speak Turkish to buy a bottle of clean water, or even find a store that sells one. Didn’t matter though, I still went out to explore the afternoon beauty of Istanbul after studying the map with panda eyes.
Solo travel was a really liberating experience. For once, I felt like I get to really see the world. I could go anywhere, do anything and eat everything I want. And you’ll get to read all of these soon in my upcoming posts. =)
Which country had the most profound impact in opening your eyes to the world? What was the first country that sparked your full interest in travelling?