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Young Adventuress is going to Turkey!

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I have a secret, guys. Really, really big news. It’s been really, really hard not saying anything on my blog, but if you follow me on Twitter, I’ve let it slip out here and there.

I’m pregnant.

JUST KIDDING! I’m at that age now that whenever one of my close girlfriend’s says she has some big news for me, it’s either “I’m engaged” or “I’m gonna have a baby,” either one freaking me out and making me feel like a bad female. Does this ever happen to you guys (ladies)?

So what’s the equivalent of a young female solo travel blogger getting a bun in the oven? I’m going on a press trip to Turkey in two weeks!

turkey travel women alone

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In the midst of my January depression, aside from taking photos for my Sunset Project, I downloaded the Skyscanner App on my iPhone and would tool around on it between meetings at the office.

And do you know what destination kept popping up again and again as one of the cheapest places to fly to in February from Washington D.C.? Turkey. After a few weeks of back and forth, I finally got permission to take off President’s Day week from work (paid vacation, I love having a big person’s job). Go ahead, ask me how much the flight was. You will hate me.

After that it was just a question of planning where I wanted to go, what kind of trip I wanted, and organizing sponsors.

I really wanted this trip to be an opportunity to show the world that traveling to a country like Turkey is not only awesome, but totally safe for a solo female traveler. The Middle East gets a bad rep with the lady travelers, but after spending some time in Egypt and Morocco, I feel like I’ve learned a thing or two, and I wanted to put it into action by building my own trip to Turkey alone as a young woman.

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Then the US Embassy in Ankara was bombed on Friday. Damn. How was I going to explain that to my mom? She watches the news. Remember the train bombings in Madrid? And London? These things can happen anywhere, it just so happened that it was in Turkey. I’m also not planning to hit up Ankara while I’m there, and I’ll avoid any embassies and American flags. Then an American woman traveling along was found murdered in Istanbul today. Well crap. I am planning to spend a lot of time in Istanbul as a young woman alone. How was I going to explain that to mom?

Cancel my trip? Um, not going to happen. I’m the kind of weird person whose ultimate trip is to go to Iran and North Korea; Turkey doesn’t scare me in the slightest. And honestly? I feel like many cities in the US, places where I have spent a lot of time, are far more frightening that places in Turkey. Many cities in the US top the highest murder rate charts and 2,300 people go missing every day in the US. I’ve been to 25 countries, and I have no problem saying that the place where I feel the LEAST safe, is the United States, and I am so afraid of what this negative press is going to do to Turkey’s tourism. There is a big dearth of information about this case in Turkey, but I think one big point that sticks out was that this was this woman’s first trip outside of the US and she went to Turkey alone.

turkey travel women alone

From my Pinterest page

Not smart. That fact alone should raise eyebrows. Over the years I have learned to be a very cautious traveler, especially since I travel alone frequently. This will be country # 26 for me, I feel prepared. Of course anything can happen, but anything can happen anywhere, and I’m not going to let something like this keep me from a beautiful country and travel opportunity. I went to Egypt right after the revolution there, and it was one of the best trips of my lifetime.

Even more so, I am going to use this as an opportunity to document and show you how anyone can travel to Turkey, especially as a solo female traveler safely and with caution. My goal is to show you and as many people as possible that events like this shouldn’t keep you from traveling somewhere you dream about.

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Enough politics and female empowerment, let’s talk SWAG!

I’m getting the total hook-up on my trip to Turkey, let me give you a taste.

Istanbul

Or in my mind, Constantinople, since I’m the biggest history dork on the planet. Apart from living my dream and getting to walk around the famous Aya Sofya and the Blue Mosque, and seeing the artistic, bohemian side of the city, I will be getting to know Istanbul like a local, exploring lesser-known neighborhoods around town and getting to know the markets and getting naked in as many Turkish Hamman baths that will let me in.

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I promised myself I would write more about food in 2o13, and I shall! I am partnering with Turkish Flavours to experience all the smells and tastes Turkey has to offer. Not only will I be going on a day-long private tour of the spice markets in Istanbul, we will cross over the Bosphorus by ferry to the Asian side of Istanbul to explore more food markets and sit down to a 20+ course lunch (note to self: pack stretch pants). And if that’s not enough Turkish cuisine, I will also be spending one evening learning to cook with the company’s founder, Selin, so I can recreate my favorite dishes back home and for you all too!

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And where will I rest my head at night? At the boutique Hotel Empress Zoe right in the old quarter, Sultanahmet. After reading approximately 1,000 reviews of hotels, I decided if I could stay at this charming, charming, garden and flower-filled space, I would. I’m a big fan of staying at special little places filled with character, and Hotel Empress Zoe fits the bill. Just look at it! Don’t you want to stay here?

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Cappadocia

I first heard about Cappadocia listening to Adventurous Kate talk at the TBU travel blogging conference in Portugal last fall. A freaky lunar landscape spotted with caves paired with an ancient Byzantine history, I knew I had to check out this region in central Turkey.

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Source, Flickr Creative Commons

I will be getting up with the sun to take a hot air balloon ride at dawn over Cappadocia with Royal Balloon. I rode my first hot air balloon in Egypt last year over the Valley of the Kings, and I can’t wait to check out this eerie region in Turkey from the skies.

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After a glass of celebratory champagne, I will spend the next two days exploring as much of Cappadocia as possible, from snowshoeing and trekking around the region to hopping from one ancient village to another, Middle Earth Travel is giving me the total hook-up. Also, how excited am I to be working with a company called Middle Earth Travel? This much.

And where will I be sleeping? In a cave hotel. That’s right, I will be sleeping in a cave at the famous Kelebek Hotel. Dreams do come true.

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Ephesus and Pamukkale

For the last leg of my trip I am heading to the coast to visit the famous ruins of Ephesus (best preserved ancient ruins in the Mediterranean). Being a complete history dork, I am beyond excited.

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Source, Flickr Creative Commons

The next day I’ll head south to Pamukkale (how do you pronounce this?) to visit the weird blue “Cotton Castle” pools. I’ve never seen anything like these cave pools. They don’t look real. About Ephesus tours will be hosting me on both tours.

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Source, Flickr Creative Commons

I am doing a lot of other things that I am holding out on telling you guys just to maintain an air of suspense about this trip, but feel free to take a peek at my Turkey Pinterest board for some hints. I can’t give away all my secrets now, can I?

While I am in Turkey, I will be live tweeting and Instagramming my trip, so be sure to follow along with my adventures. I have also commandeered the following hashtag (I hate the word hashtag) for my trip: #LizInTurkey. Very creative I know. I wanted to use #GoTurkey but I thought that sounded fairly ridiculous. If you can think of a good hashtag for my trip, leave me a comment and I’ll use the best one.

Finally, for all you up and coming travel bloggers out there, this is my media trip I have organized all on my own. I would have never gotten here without the help from the BlogHouse I attended last fall before the big travel blogging conference TBEX. If you are interested in taking your blog to the next level and learn how to make travel blogging into a career, I suggest you apply ASAP! If you are interested in the business side of blogging or making your travel blog more successful, apply ASAP. They have just opened applications for the next TBEX in Toronto this June. All details here. If you have questions, I can point you in the right direction liz@youngadventuress.com

But most importantly, do you have any tips for Turkey for me? I want to hear them all!

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88 Responses to Young Adventuress is going to Turkey!

  1. Julia February 5, 2013 at 5:15 am #

    You go girl! I am so excited for you. Turkey, Iran and Israel are probably my top 3 dream destinations, so I’m very much looking forward to reading your posts and tips regarding your trip.
    Love that you are empowering women to be confident enough to travel to places that are deemed “dangerous,” often without much context or understanding. Places like this almost always prove to be the most enchanting, fascinating and eye-opening. That’s what traveling is all about, isn’t it? I say, never pass up an opportunity that promises to expand your worldview exponentially! Be safe and have a blast! xx

    • Liz February 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

      Exactly, could have said it better myself! Want to go to Iran together?

      • Julia February 6, 2013 at 3:10 am #

        Deal!

  2. Cassandra February 5, 2013 at 5:49 am #

    Ha, I recently had that same I-have-big-news-and-no-I’m-not-getting-engaged conversation last week with a friend. Am I not allowed to have newsy updates related to my career?!

    Anyway, I noticed another travel blogger tweeting about how cheap D.C.–Turkey tickets were, and it was just as much as when I looked for Madrid–Turkey over Semana Santa!! You lucky gal! I’m looking forward to reading your Turkey diaries, especially the part about Cappadocia :)

    • Liz February 5, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

      Haha glad someone feels the same way!

  3. Ashley of Ashley Abroad February 5, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    Hey Liz, I was just in Turkey last week and I felt perfectly safe! Granted I was only in Istanbul but I’m sure you will be completely fine- I would suggest you bring some pocket-sized pepper spray (Sabre brand on Amazon) though, just in case. Have an amazing time on your trip, can’t wait to read about it!

    • Liz February 5, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      I thought about that but I’m not checking a bag, I have 3 flights to get to Istanbul and I don’t want to take risks with it. Got any Istanbul tips for me?

  4. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas February 5, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    I also felt extremely safe in Turkey (I was with a pack, but still). I went for Semana Santa last year and fell in love with the landscapes and people, and especially the baklava!!! Have a great time (and send me a postcard!)

    • Liz February 5, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      Will do :)

  5. Sara February 5, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    One thing I read about the woman who disappeared was that she may have been interacting with people she met via Instagram; so, lesson I guess would be: the internet is still not very safe.

    I can’t wait to see all your photos, especially from Cappadocia. I was basically only in Istanbul for the 6 weeks I was there (you should totally visit Sariyer and have a nice walk along the Bosphorus, that’s the neighborhood where we lived. They have the best balik ekmek–better than most of the ones down at Galata Bridge. Look for Nuri Baba, best grilled fish sandwich ever, confirmed by our Turkish friends).

    Also, yay for Turkish food. I had no idea how amazingly varied and frickin’ delicious it was until I got there. Definitely try the milk-based desserts, they are stellar (I loved them more than baklava).

    PS In Zagreb where I just was, there was both a Gandalf Tattoo Parlor, and Tolkien’s House Pub with Elvish on the sign. Just thought you should know for the next time you find yourself in Croatia… ;-)

    • Liz February 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

      Ong how did I not know about those places in Zagreb?! I have to go back!

      I heard the same thing, I definitely feel like the news has not reported some crucial points about that woman’s death, I’m worried about the negative impact it’ll have on turkey’s tourism.

      My mission is to show that it’s a safe place to visit :)

  6. Julika February 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    Liz, this trip sounds fabulous! I’m so excited for you! Can’t wait to hear all about it!!
    And my recommendation: Eat! From what I know, the Turkish cuisine is one of the best :)

    • Liz February 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

      I will eat all the Turkish food!

  7. Alex @ ifs ands & butts February 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    Safe travels friend, it’s amazing. Just ignore the creepy men (they’re unfortunately everywhere, but harmless, just annoying). If you have time to hit up Bodrum or Anatalya, the coasts are incredible!

    And the food, this is so random, but you have to try one of the hamburgers in the steamers in the Taksim area of Istanbul. They’re everywhere in that area and are the best late night food. My friends living in Istanbul introduced me.

    Also, gotta know, how much did you get the flight for?

    Can’t wait to hear about it!

    • Liz February 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

      Perfect! I’ll add it to my list! I’m sure the men can’t be any creepier than in Egypt where I was basically eye raped for 2 weeks straight haha. At least it’s winter in turkey!

      I have to save the coasts for another trip, i want to go sailing around there one day :)

      • Liz February 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

        Flight round trip Washington, D.C. To Istanbul = $400

        Boom.

        • Laura R Segal February 10, 2013 at 12:08 am #

          I was actually scrolling down the comments to see if you answered that question, and HOLY SHIT WHAT. It’s not direct, I’m guessing? But still, it cost me double to do Montreal to Florida with inconvenient stopovers late December to visit my grandparents, UGH.
          Any idea if those prices are the same beginning March? Spring break is coming up… ;)

          Thanks! :)
          – Laura

  8. kami February 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    that’s such an awesome news! I’m so happy for you! I was only in Istanbul and I’m sure you’re gonna love it too! Be sure to go to the Asian part of the city and wander around there, or to one of the fortresses – these are great places with less tourists around and you can see the real life there!
    As for the solo femal travels – I’ve just returned from Morocco (exactly 2 hours ago), I was there on my own for a week and I must say that before I went I was slighlt worried as everyone told me so many bad stories about single girls there. but nothing bad happened, I had an awesome time and there were only maybe 5 situations in all these days when I wanted to slap Moroccan guy in the face. Also now Iran is very high on my bucket list, I was this close to booking flights there few days ago. some of my friends have already been there (including one girl travelling solo) and everyone said that it’s the best country to proove how media create our image of the place, Iran turned out to be extremely safe country with the most hospitable people…

    • Liz February 5, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

      I’ve heard the same thing about Iran, I really want to go there! I will definitely be checking out the Asian side of the city. Can’t wait!

  9. Ashlee D. [Polyglottony] February 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    I completely agree with you, on many points! First, about friends and their comments about their engagements/marriages/pregnancies/births. Is it bad my initial mental reaction is “Ooooh…. That sucks!” So don’t feel like a bad female. (Actually, it makes me feel slightly superior in a certain sense, I know I’m more independent and following what I really want to do, not what society says I should do haha)

    Second, Turkey would be amazing!! I also feel that I would love to go to places like Iran and North Korea. People have been fed so many messed-up stereotypes about safety and the rest of the world. I’m going to Cuba (tentatively this summer) and everyone thinks it’s such a dangerous place, when in reality, it’s one of the safest places you can go to, much safer than my hometown of Philadelphia!

    • Liz February 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

      The first time I went to Philly, we got out of the car and heard a gunshot.

      Totally agree with you ;) sounds like we’re the same person. Cuba is at the top of my travel list too!

  10. Season February 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    I’m so jealous as Istanbul is at the top of my travel list right now! I’ve been dying to go for a while now and begging my husband to let me book tickets. We’re hoping to make a trip this summer-ish so I’ll be looking forward to reading your blogs and getting all your tips. Buen viaje!

    • Liz February 5, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

      Thanks! I hope you make it out there! I really want to go In summer too and check out the aches and islands!

  11. steph February 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    I am currently feeling the weirdest mix of pride and jealousy. Take me with you?

    • Liz February 5, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

      Haha! I couldn’t have done this without you! Take me to Finland? I probably won’t be as cold as you guys though :)

  12. Melanie February 5, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    I am planning on going to Turkey or possibly South America this Spring. I have been leaning more towards Turkey even with the recent incidents there. I am so excited to see how your trip goes! If you ever need a travel partner to Iran that is high on my list! Although we wouldn’t be solo traveler’s then.

    • Liz February 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

      Sounds like a plan! Turkey is going to be amazing, I just know it :)

  13. Flora February 5, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    Congratulations my dear!! I’m so happy for you and seriously impressed :) definitely will be following in your footsteps once I get to Ecuador and see what trips I can build up :) Bloghouse love for ever!!

    • Liz February 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

      Can’t wait to hear more about your South America trip! Bloghouse forever :)

  14. Trevor Huxham February 5, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    1) How much were your tickets? I’ll bet you got a great deal since you’re going in February aka off-season. BTW it’s finally starting to warm up here in Spain so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s pleasant in Turkey when you’re there!

    2) You mentioned you’ve already been to two countries in the Muslim world—Egypt and Morocco. I’m planning on going to the latter during Semana Santa, and I noticed that you’ve only done a Photo Friday post about the country on your blog so far. Do you have anything in the queue on Marrakesh or Morocco as a whole? I’m a little intimidated about traveling since I don’t speak a lick of Arabic (apart from as-salaam alaykum, “hello!”) and was wondering if you had any opinions (heh) or tips on traveling there.

    3) I just want to say I am so very excited to follow your globetrotting and *ahem* Turkey-trotting (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun!) this month, but even more excited that you are being an Independent Woman and Doing What You Want. Stay safe—I want to hear all about the country on your blog when you come back :D

    • Liz February 6, 2013 at 1:59 am #

      Yeah I got a great deal, $400 roundtrip Washington DC to Istanbul on Lufthansa. I was in Morocco back in 2007, I need to write more about it. You’ll be fine, people speak English decently and I even got by in Spanish. Marrakesh is where it’s at, along with the Atlas mountains and maybe a desert excursion :)

  15. Kevin February 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

    Liz, I’m so happy that you’re going to Turkey! I’m heading there at the end of March too, so I’ll definitely be keeping up with your adventure. I’m still wondering whether I should do a hamam though. For food recommendations, I saw this lamb kebab place on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations called Durumzade and he said it’s very good. I’m definitely going to try that on my trip.

    Regarding the flight, you’re one very lucky girl. When I found about the DC-Istanbul deal several days ago and learned that it’s only for February, I was demoralized.

    • Liz February 6, 2013 at 2:00 am #

      Bummer! Yeah I bought the flight a few weeks ago, so cheap! I’ll add that lamb kebab to my list! Definitely do a Hamam if you can, I’m going to try several :D

      Can’t wait to hear about your trip!

  16. Jennifer February 5, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    Great job putting this trip together, Liz! It sounds fabulous and I can’t wait to follow along.

    • Liz February 6, 2013 at 2:00 am #

      Thanks!!!

  17. Lisa February 5, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    Congratulations, it’s a great opportunity and sounds like a wonderful trip.

    • Liz February 6, 2013 at 2:00 am #

      Thanks Lisa, I worked like crazy planning it, I think it’ll come along splendidly :D

  18. Sarita February 5, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    How about following the age old Lonely Planet advice of wearing a wedding ring, one more weapon in the armoury of fighting off dodgy men! Sounds amazing, and sponsored too, even better!

    • Liz February 6, 2013 at 2:01 am #

      I’ve heard that but I don’t know if it makes much difference. We’ll see :D

  19. Elizabeth Bostick February 5, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    I thought I was crazy for thinking I felt safer in other countries, rather than the USA. Maybe it is the bars on the windows here in Spain, or the fact that all the news in the US has been about armed gunmen lately, but seriously when I go home and sleep in my first story bedroom, I often convince myself a serial killer is going to climb through my window and do me in during the night.

    Or maybe I’m just paranoid.

    Have a great time in Turkey, and take some stunning pics so the rest of us can live vicariously!

    • Liz February 6, 2013 at 2:02 am #

      Thanks! I have felt safer in just about every other country than when I’m in the US. But maybe that’s just me

      I’ll definitely take about a million photos!

      Follow me on Instagram for the latest though @YoungAdventuress

  20. Jory February 5, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

    You are in for some more awesome glimpses of history, I am envious. Ephesus is fascinating, I especially like the library, with the double walls and the very cool front face. And the necropolis in Pamukkale is cool, it looks like it is being swallowed by a slow marshmallow swamp. (If I remember right, it’s Pa-mook-a-lay). And the bread! Ah. I look forward to seeing your photos and comments. I hope you have a lot of fun there.

    • Liz February 6, 2013 at 2:02 am #

      Thanks Jory! I can’t wait eeeeeep :D

  21. Pan February 6, 2013 at 12:15 am #

    Leaving the same day as you to Istanbul via dca and ewr!
    Staying at the grand Hyatt! Fourt time in Istanbul can’t wait

    • Liz February 6, 2013 at 2:02 am #

      Have fun Pan xx

  22. David Huter February 6, 2013 at 1:47 am #

    Sounds like a wonderful trip! My daughter is living in Zaragoza teaching English to Spanish children. She found your blog and forwarded it to me. We are meeting in Venice in late March and heading to Lake Bled then through Croatia. Do you have any suggestions on how to get from Dubrovnik to Istanbul or Cappadocia? Safe Travels!

    • Liz February 6, 2013 at 2:04 am #

      I would try to fly, Dubrovnik is far south from Croatia and they don’t have the best or most efficient transport system in place. Istanbul to Cappodocia has super cheap flights on Turkish Airlines, I’m talking $40.

      Check sites liks skyscanner and kayak for deals. if you aren’t in a hurry, I would say take a ferry up to northern Croatia like Pula and then catch a train but that would be quite a journey :D

      • David Huter February 6, 2013 at 3:18 am #

        Thank you so much! I had no idea Turkish Air would be so cheap to get to Cappodocia. The ferry is a great idea, we might be able to work that out. Thanks again , looking forward to reading about your travels!

  23. Miriam February 6, 2013 at 2:06 am #

    Can’t wait to hear about your Turkish travels! As a woman, traveling solo involves a lot of common sense and it’s pretty obvious you’ve got that and more. Good luck with the preparations! Istanbul is on my travel “to-do” list :)

    • Liz February 6, 2013 at 2:09 am #

      Thanks Miriam! I couldn’t agree more. Bad things happen but a lot can be prevented with common sense

    • Turkey Tours February 20, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

      Awesome! what attracted me more is turkish culture.How could i join you in the next tour.

  24. Jess February 6, 2013 at 2:19 am #

    This literally sounds like the coolest trip ever. Turkey is on my “let’s get there soon” list, so I’m excited for these posts. And good for you for getting all of these hook-ups– you should be proud!

    • Liz February 7, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

      Thanks Jess! I’m really happy!!

  25. Alana - Paper Planes February 6, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    How exciting – congrats! Turkey is high on my list…don’t really know or have a reason why but it’s gotten stuck in my head. Will be looking forward to reading more!

    • Liz February 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

      There will be lots of great posts coming soon :)

  26. islam mustafa February 6, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    i want to go to turkey to work any thing .. i can go alone .. i am from Egypt and hope to go to Turkey .. can u help me ?

  27. Josh February 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Sounds immense! I wish you all the best :)

    • Liz February 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

      Thanks Josh!

  28. santi cahyaningrum February 7, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    i’ve been dreaming for coming there. stories about turkey always makes me wanna go there.
    the way you wrote your travel, so naturally :D

    http://www.jakpost.travel

    • Liz February 9, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

      Thank you Santi :)

  29. Adventurous Kate February 7, 2013 at 3:10 am #

    I am so happy for you, and I am so PROUD of you. This trip looks BEYOND fabulous, and it looks like you’ve got a nice mix of activities and sponsors. Super jealous about the cave hotel.

    Don’t forget to bundle up in Cappadocia! It’ll be chilly but beautiful!

    • Liz February 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

      I know! It’s going to be frigid! I’m so excited and I can’t thank you enough!!! You tbu speech was so helpful and inspiring, and it was actually when I first started to really think about Cappadocia :) you rock! Thank you :)

  30. Natalie February 7, 2013 at 8:17 am #

    Welcome to Turkiye! Loads of tips for you but don’t want to take up a whole page on your blog! lol Look at my blog if you want to know more.

    On a somber note, I don’t think the negative press will do anything to Turkey’s tourism. It is an unfortunate and sad incident but I think anyone who is now getting concerned about traveling independently will just turn to the tour companies instead so they have all arrangements made for them and are accompanied by a guide as well.

  31. Liz February 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    I hope you’re right. Turkey is getting a lot of negative press right now in the US.

  32. Crazy sexy fun traveler February 7, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    I am so happy about your trip, Liz! I am planning on visiting Turkey finally this September so will check out your blog for some tips later on ;)

    • Liz February 9, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

      Yay! Thanks chica! I can’t wait to write about my trip, where will you be going in Turkey? I look forward to hearing about it!

  33. Huseyin Bircan February 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    I don’t even know Turkey is that beautiful.Great trip……

    • Liz February 9, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

      Turkey looks surprisingly beautiful, I can’t wait to show it off on here :D

  34. Vicky February 8, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    Sounds as if you are excited about your trip, and quite rightly so! You made a good choice in deciding to come to Cappadocia – I live here and love it. And honestly I have had much more hassle in Rome, London, Paris or even in Winchester (VA) than anything I have experienced in Turkey. Having said that, sensible precautions should be taken by anybody, anywhere – but you sound as if you have your feet firmly on the ground! Enjoy your trip and I look forward to reading about what you enjoyed most in my adoptive country.

  35. Liz February 9, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Vicky, are you from Winchester? Because I am from there, no joke! I went to Handley high school! I feel the same way, I’m sure this is just drama overplayed by the press against women travelers in non-traditional destinations and it really pisses me off.

    We should have a coffee when I’m there! Or at least can you give me some good tips for Cappadocia?

    thanks :)

  36. Laura R Segal February 10, 2013 at 1:56 am #

    Oh my goodness, that trip sounds AMAZING, Liz! Honestly, you should obviously take precautions, but I think you’ll be absolutely fine there considering you’re a seasoned traveler. Your itinerary sounds awesome – especially the hot balloon ride!
    Question – were you in art history in university or something? For half of the activities where you said “…I’m such a dork”, I was saying that exact same thing upon seeing the picture and pretty much gasping at how jealous I am. I learned all about Hagia Sophia in one of my art history classes last semester, my Medieval Art and Architecture class, and apparently the clerestory windows circling the base of the dome make the dome seem like it’s resting on a halo when there’s a lot of sunshine! (UGH I’m a nerd, I know, but I don’t care!) I wonder why people call it Hagia Sophia instead of Aya Sophia, and vice versa? (Waiiiit, are Aya and Hagia Sophia different monuments? I don’t seem to remember Hagia Sophia having the 4 towers at the extremities…hmm.)
    The Empress Zoe Hotel looks ADORABLE! Is it expensive?

    Congrats on your trip, you must be so excited! :)
    – Laura

  37. Jessica February 10, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    So cool! Your trip looks amazing (especially that hotel). I was just in Istanbul, and the day I got back that news about the American woman came out. My mom FREAKED out, of course!

    But my Turkish friends kept stressing that it was big news because stuff like that just doesn’t happen there. I thought the Turks were very generous and friendly – not at all how the negative press is portraying them at the moment.

    Have a great trip!

  38. Petite Adventures February 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Congratulations!! Sounds like you have an absolutely amazing trip planned. I can’t wait to read all about it when you get back!

    Kate xo petite-adventures.blogspot.ca

  39. Corinne February 10, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    Liz, you will love Turkey. I have plenty of info on my website, so check it out, but here is a couple of things I think you should do.
    1. Eat at the Dibek Restaurant in Goreme – say hi to Mehmet and have him take you on a tour of the building.
    2. Go into some mosques. The Turks are some of the only Muslims that allow anyone to go in mosques. You will learn a lot. Don’t miss the Rustem Pasa mosque behind the spice market in Istanbul.
    3. Eat a fish sandwich by the Galata bridge. Splash lemon juice on it. Many peopel are drinking turnip juice…not my favorite, but perhaps worth a try.
    4. If you plan on shopping for a rug, do it in Cappadocia, NOT at the big shop in Goreme, but in Avanos!! Email me and I can give you specific directions.
    Have soooo much fun!

  40. Victoria | Bridges and Balloons February 11, 2013 at 2:10 am #

    Wow. That trip looks awesome. Steve and I are desperate to ride in a hot air balloon – especially considering the name of our blog! Have an awesome time , and congrats on all the arranging!

  41. Jackson March 3, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Amazing and breathtaking. How brave you are! I just started following you on twitter. Your pairing of photos and text is exquisite. Do you have any publications to your credit? If so, do tell. I have longed to see the world for decades, but always find myself tethered to a desk, or several. Some friends of mine quit their desk jobs two years ago, bought an RV and drove across America. They were inspired in part by Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charlie”. They emailed me photos and journal entries every step of their way. I’d like to see Italy first, though Spain and Persia are close seconds.

  42. Just Some Guy June 21, 2013 at 6:53 am #

    Hi. I’m Turkish and I just felt inclined to point something out: Turkey is not a Middle-Eastern country. We are Eurasian and for good cause too. Turkey is not comparable to the Arabic countries at all. Not that I’m saying those countries are horrible places, just that they aren’t what they used to be. I currently live in Australia and I enjoy it here so no, I’m not some crazy patriot, I’m just stating fact. I’ve visited many times and never have I heard anything serious cases of tourists being harassed there. We are all about culture, and things like honour and dignity mean something there. Again, I’m not taking a jab at Western countries, but the media really makes us look horrible. Believe me, in reality, it’s nothing like that. Turkey is a great place and yes, I’m proud of my nation, but that’s not why I’m writing this. I’m just genuinely annoyed that we’re probably the most misrepresented country on this planet. People need to stop living in this fantasy world and face up to reality, not all of us are bad. I’m not insulting you, just please know what you’re posting is true before doing so. We aren’t a bad country or people, and I doubt this’ll change for a long time.

    Thanks if you read this. And yes, I’m bracing for the hate comments already. Don’t believe me? Look this stuff up yourself.

    • Liz June 26, 2013 at 5:06 am #

      Chill out dude. And look at my other Turkey articles where I spent hours saying everything you just said. So why don’t YOU do a little research yourself before leaving a self-righteous annoying comment on my blog. thanks

  43. Hayrullah September 16, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    Hi, I am from Turkey. I wrote on google ” I want to visit Turkey” in order to see foreign people’s thoughts about us and I came across this site. It’s nice to know that you want to come our country. I believe that Turkey is the best destination for a non-Muslim person. Because you will meet a new culture, new people and a lot of new places that you can not see in other places of the worlds like cappadocia and aya sophia. But I realized that many of tourists that want to visit Turkey miss a lot of places in Turkey. For example, Trabzon, Bursa and Karabük are must-see cities in Turkey that can let you have a lot of new experiences and I think you will have more things than other people who visited Turkey as they generally visit Istanbul, İzmir, Denizle and Niğde. I think there are at least 8-9 citiest that I highlt recommend for visitors. If you want to have more information about me here is my e-mail adress: hayrullah_aras@hotmail.com

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