Culture, Offbeat, Travel Contests, Turkey
Comments 14

My Million Reasons to Visit Turkey.

Safranbolu turkey, shivya nath

Dear Turkey,

I left you with a heavy heart, etched with the magnanimity of your people.

A kind lady in the small town of Safranbolu opened her doors to me on a late rainy afternoon, to feed my vegetarian self a special meal of Peruhi (Turkish pasta) and Pasta (cake in Turkish) prepared for a family gathering.

An old man from a bakery in Ordu gave me a ride in his truck to the town’s chocolate factory, after I walked five kilometers and stumbled into his shop for directions for the remaining three.

A family living in an isolated hut on Boztepe Hill invited me in for a meal of home grown aubergine.

Turkey black sea, turkey countryside, turkey, turkey country, turkey small towns, Amasra

Sunflower fields along the Karadeniz countryside.

Turkey people, Turkish culture, Ordu Turkey, turkish customs, turkish food

Inviting entrance to a family home on Boztepe Hill, near Ordu in Turkey.

A blacksmith who found me admiring his creations invited me in for çay and proclaimed his eternal love for Hindistan even though he had never been there.

A young otel (hotel) owner in Cide went out of her way to ensure that I boarded the right connecting buses to my next destination without losing money or time.

A cafe owner in the small town of Ordu, where I impulsively got off the bus on my way to Trabzone without a hotel booking or so much as a google search, treated me to delicious Turkish coffee made with a secret family recipe, then ferried me and my backpack in his car to a lovely boutique hotel which I couldn’t have located myself without speaking Turkish, let aside get the negotiated price he got me.

Turkey people, Turkish culture, Ordu Turkey, turkish customs, turkish food

With my Turkish friends in Ordu, a small coastal town in Turkey.

The airport guy at Istanbul airport who ferries goods gave me a chocolate seeing me struggling to find small change to make a phone call.

A restaurant manager offered me a whirlwind tour of Guzelyurt after I decided his restaurant was too pricey for me to eat there.

An English teacher in a small village in Kapadokya confided in me on how much she misses her mother and told me everything I know about the Turkish education system.

Turkey people, Turkish culture, Turkish women, turkish customs

With my Turkish teacher friend in a small village in Kapadokya (Cappadocia).

So many people offered me rides to my destinations along the Black Sea, indulged me in conversations without much of a common language (after first trying to converse in Arabic), and treated me to Turkish tea at the drop of a hat.

You were good to me, Turkey, and I want to come back. Your people are one of my million reasons.

Read more about my adventures in Turkey.

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Shivya Nath

I quit my full-time job in 2011 with a dream of travelling the world. Two years later, I gave up my home, sold most of my possessions and embraced a nomadic life. I'm passionate about going off the beaten path, solo travel, sustainable travel and veganism. Let's connect!


  1. Sarosh says

    Nice essay Shivya. You are absolutely right about this capital country of the world because of it’s beauty, location and culture mix of Asia and Europe both. You know Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “If the whole world were one country, Istanbul would be its capital.”

    • Thanks Sarosh; I’m glad you liked it! I think we can all agree with Bonaparte. Have you been to Turkey btw?

      • Sarosh says

        Yes, I had been there several times, I love this part of the world.

  2. Roberto says

    Your “Turkey Story” makes me want to visit this place sometime in future. We have a friend who is part Turkish and has visited us several times to Goa.

    • I’m so happy I’ve put Turkey on your wishlist too, Roberto! It’s absolutely one of my favorite countries in the world, and Turkish people are just so friendly. I hope you can visit soon 🙂

  3. Your blog is amazing! Thank you so much for showing me the beautiful pictures of nature and cities and poeople…

    Blog : global vegan fare

  4. Pingback: My Million Reasons to Visit Turkey. | The Talking Sloth - Asia

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  6. I am delighted that you have provided travel information of Turkey. I could come to know about the place and I will keep in my list of travel.

  7. Hey Shivya !!
    Your blog is really cool. I like the way you express your travelling experiences.I am looking forward for a trip to Turkey this coming December.I would like to know your suggestions about my travel during this month of the year and how safe is Turkey ?

  8. Rose Dulay says

    I left my heart not in San Francisco but in the beautiful city of Istanbul.

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