The media is a funny thing when it comes to traveling…
I remember before I started traveling I would read, or hear things on the news, that made me terrified to travel to certain parts of the world. I started with the “safer” countries, then began exploring others around.
In 2013 my best friend and I went to Greece, because HELLO, I am pretty sure the beautiful Greece is on everyone’s bucket list. When we were exploring around Greece we figured out we could get a 45 min- 1 hour boat ride over to Turkey and explore there like many other backpackers around us had also done.
When we got to Turkey it was the most beautiful place I had ever been…
We started out at Oludeniz Turkey, which can take your breath away. The beach and scenery were to die for, and they even had paragliding. Each and every place we traveled around Turkey was more beautiful than the last until I finally decided that I was in love with Turkey. We were on our way to Istanbul to explore the city, check out the sites, and tour the Grand Bazaaar then fly home when I discovered what the media was all about..
We had heard non stop from friends back home who knew we were on our way to Istanbul to “not go” to change our flights, to stay where we were. We had been traveling around and not paying attention to the news or anything for that matter, but our family and friends back home had heard on the news non stop how there were mass riots in Istanbul, huge flights, political war… Danger..
Being a little scared we asked around the locals
and discovered that the people of Turkey were just protesting something to their government with signs and marches around a square, and that there was no violence from the people.
After touring around the city for a few days and not hearing anything negative about these riots we decided to take the metro downtown to see what it was all about. It was, like the locals had said, a peaceful protest where people with mega phones were chanting something, others had signs up, there were live bands, people were selling food and drinks, and it was not scary at all.
We spent our afternoon there not seeing any violence, no mad yelling, no police brutality, and no… no cars burning or exploding.
Yet back home my parents were glued to the TV screen watching bits and pieces of video put together to display a political war, and to keep fear in people from joining in…
Here we are, putting our entire lives at risk at this extremely scary riot in Istanbul.