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This timely advice was given to me by my daughter when I was choosing a travel destination.
The other options were 2 places near Singapore – Bagan & Bali. But the one that finally got selected as a result of this advice is Antalya – Turkey.
I am very comfortable traveling within South East Asia. No stress. No worries. It feels like being in my backyard. And who wants to feel stressed?
As I grow older, I am expecting my resistance to traveling outside my comfort zone to grow stronger.
And so, recognising that I am the youngest I will ever be from this point onward, I decided to take on the tougher travel option. And so Istanbul & Turkey it is!
The mind opening begins at the pre-travel research. Locked in my own world of India and South East Asia I have had little exposure to the distant countries in Asia.
And I have missed out on so much. So much history in Turkey!
The city of Derinkuyu that could house 20,000 people their livestock and food stores is one of the two better known examples of the 200+ discovered habitable underground cities!
My ignorance astonishes me. How have I not heard of this place?
Reminds me of the poem that is quoted often by my dear friend AM.
“The codfish lays ten thousand eggs,
The homely hen lays one.
The codfish never cackles
To tell you what she’s done.
And so we scorn the codfish,
While the humble hen we prize,
Which only goes to show you
That it pays to advertise.”
And this is just the beginning of things I have found out sitting right here at my desk in Singapore.
The journey of marvel has begun!
Some places make one feel that living there even for a month might not be enough to get a complete glimpse of it. India is one of the best examples of such a place. Not only do all foreign travelers feel this way, but Indian travelers feel this way too. [The only ones who think they know India very well are the Indians who have never traveled outside their own towns within India]
As I read about it, I am getting the same feeling about Turkey. That I might need at least 2 months to visit all the places worth visiting. And then maybe another 2-3 months to absorb the culture. But this time, I will make do with 7 days.
Will all my travels be this way? Just touch-n-go? Incomplete? Mere Introductions? Will this single lifetime be enough to live for a few months in Turkey, in Ladakh, in Kutch, in Nagaland and many more places I have yet to visit?