I was recently asked to speak at a conference in Turkey (in Istanbul) that I’m very excited about. I’ve been to Turkey before in October of 2008 and absolutely love it. I had the opportunity to travel quite a bit around Turkey to places such as Istanbul, Pamukkale, Izmir, Cappadocia, Antalya, Bursa, and a few other; but couldn’t near the Georgia border because there was a war going on. Originally I had no desire to go to Turkey because I didn’t know much about the country, history and geography are not my strong suites for those that are wondering. My family was planning the trip so and I just agreed to go not knowing what to expect. After my first few days in Turkey it quickly became one of my favorite countries to visit.
Although I’m not that great at history I love to learn while I travel. I’m always fascinated by historical sites, stories, cultures, traditions, and people. I’ve been to Greece and thought nothing to possibly top all of the historical sites that I’ve seen there. I was very wrong. Turkey had some of the most amazing historical sites I have seen. Everything from the library of Alexandria to the tomb of King Midas, all of it was just mind blowing; add a hot air balloon ride through the rose canyon in Cappadocia (one of the best places in the world to ride a hot air balloon) and you’ve really got yourself one heck of a trip.
Having said all that here are my top reasons for why I love Turkey and am so excited to speak there in February:
- Turkey has a lot of life and a rising technology and social media scene (which is what I’m interested in). It’s amazing to see so many entrepreneurs in a foreign country working on trying to build something new and innovating. When you visit Turkey you just feel a huge pulse of life. Everyone goes out and has a great time
- The cities and sites in Turkey are also amazing. I absolutely loved Pammukale where I had the opportunity to soak my feet in the limestone terrace pools that were overlooking a mountain. I also saw some of the most amazing rock formations and underground cities that I have ever seen.
- The people in Turkey are very nice and welcome. Again, Turkey is one of those places that gets a bad rap by the media but when you actually visit the country you find that people are very different. They love conversations and are very spiritual. I get the feeling that everyone in Turkey is wise and just eager to impart their wisdom to the world. Turkey has a very old culture, history, and way of doing things and people really value their culture and tradition; everything from the way they pray to the type of tea they drink.
- The food in Turkey is also amazing. I was on a guided tour while visiting Turkey and most of the food we ate on that tour was horrible. However, once I left the guided tour to explore some of the cities on my own I was greeted with some of the best food I have ever tasted. The kabobs and meat dishes in Turkey are heaven!
Here are a few pictures from my trip, if you want to see the full album you can check out my pictures of Turkey album on Flickr:
There are probably a few other things I can point out as well but not without going into details about the various cities. If you have never been to Turkey I highly recommend that you visit, you will really be amazed at the things you will see and experience. I can’t wait to go back!