It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through February! Last year at this time we were finishing up two months of traveling around Mexico and gearing up for some epic arctic adventures in Scandinavia. This year, things are a bit difference. We’re settling into the community of Dominical, Costa Rica. Casey’s teaching yoga. Dan’s building our online marketing company. We’re both spending too much time spoiling our puppy. But even though our travels have slowed down, that doesn’t mean we aren’t itching to start planning some new adventures for the year!
We have lots of thoughts on where we hope to venture this year. We’ve played with Nicaragua, South Africa, and a few other countries. But one place we keep coming back to is Turkey.
Despite traveling extensively through both Europe and Asia, we still haven’t managed to make it to the one country that lies in both. We’ve only heard amazing things about Turkey, and we’ve decided that it’s about time we stop wishing and start planning our dream holiday to Turkey.
Here are the top five reasons Turkey is hot on our radar:
1. The Food
Turkish delights, anyone? We love Turkish food outside of Turkey, so we can only imagine how delicious it will taste in the country, too! In between the kofte (meatballs), the borek (savory pastries) and the baklava, I better go on a serious diet before we head to the country. If you’re not familiar with Turkish food, this article from Buzzfeed actually does a pretty good job at providing a mouth-watering delicious preview.
2. The Markets
Local markets are one of our favorite places to gain insight to the local culture. There are over 200 markets in Istanbul each week, overflowing with fruits, vegetables, spices and textiles. The markets are a great opportunity to get a glimpse into the past while also mingling with locals and trying unique foods! These top five markets are definitely on our bucket list.
Besides the markets, there are plenty of reasons to love Istanbul. In between the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, the Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace, there is plenty to see and discover in this massive, diverse city. With a history dating back 300,000 years, it’s no wonder why travelers from around the world fall in love with the attractions of this city.
This unique world heritage site is an absolute must-visit on any trip to Turkey. The unique hills and boulders look absolutely otherworldly, an oddity of a geological landscape. Of course, Cappadocia is best viewed from above, making it the perfect spot to hop in a hot air balloon for exploring.
5. The Culture
Serving as the crossroads of the East and West, it’s only natural that Turkish culture has had numerous influences. From the Ottoman Empire to today, the arts, literature, religion and architecture of Turkey reflects a rich and diverse cultural past. We can’t wait to get to the country ourselves to learn more about its complexity and depth.
Have you been to Turkey before? Any suggestions for us?