Hey All! I had 3 days off this last week so I decided to take a spontaneous trip to the Black Sea coast. You can take these kind of trips in Turkey….bus fares are like $10. Pensions–or homestays–are about the same for a good night sleep and some breakfast!

I was traveling with a guy, Mack, I met my first day in Bursa. He’s from Maryland and is in Turkey for the summer working a kids camp. In a few weeks he will off to Saudi Arabia to teach (makes Turkey seem like a walk in the park, eh!).

Anyways, we took the bus to a lovely little town on the water called Amasra. It’s popular with Turkish vacationers but is virtually unknown one the Turkey travel circuit. Other than 2 French people, I think we were the only tourists around. No one seemed to really notice though. The Amasra folks were pretty laid back and friendly.

After some Efes and fish on the seafront, Mack and hopped a bus to the even lovelier town of Safranbolu.

The city is known for its Ottoman style architecture (the wooden houses you might see in my Facebook pictures) as well as its saffron and the irresistible Turkish Delights (lokum) it flavors. YUM! I bought half a kilo of them and finished the box in about 4 hours.

While hanging around our pension, we were able to meet some other travelers from South Korea and China. They were a hoot. One of the Korean girls actually came and stayed with me last night in Bursa!

My trip home was a wreck though. During my stopoff in Ankara I realized I left a small bag filled with my Safranbolu goodies and some other belongings on the local bus that took me to the station. I frantically tried to talk to the guy at the terminal in English, and then in really bad Turkish, and then again in English…..with no luck. Finally I found someone that could piece together what I was saying and he arranged for the bag to be dropped off at the station. After a 2 hour delay I made it back….just in time to nap and wake up for my class!!

You know, I think that its during the messy/hectic/unpredictable in-between parts of traveling that I learn the most about the world. The destination is like a reward!

Traveling and living in a new culture is quite uncomfortable in a lot of ways. Everything around you is different….different ALL day long. I find myself constantly having to be aware, think on my feet, and adapt. Sure its exhausting at times, but what I have to gain here is much, much greater than any of that!

I’m reading some Robert Louis Stevenson these days. I stumbled upon this gem of a quote.

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move; to feel the needs and hitches of our life more nearly; to come down off this feather-bed of civilization, and find the globe granite underfoot and strewn with cutting flints.”

Originally written for My Travel Log–Turkey Edition