Cappadocia – worth it?

I had never heard of Cappadocia before traveling to Turkey. It is described on Google as

Cappadocia, a semi-arid region in central Turkey, is known for its distinctive “fairy chimneys,” tall, cone-shaped rock formations clustered in Monks Valley, Göreme and elsewhere. Other notables sites include Bronze Age homes carved into valley walls by troglodytes (cave dwellers) and later used as refuges by early Christians. The 100m-deep Ihlara Canyon houses numerous rock-face churches.

The description sounds.. meh. It isn’t until you google the pictures of Cappadocia, or that travel blog you follow does a story on it, that you realize how incredibly beautiful and unique this place really is!

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We went here before I had heard of it, so I was completely surprised when I got off the bus to this literal magical fairy land. I grew up in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada which is a hilly town that has tons of dinosaurs and stuff, and Cappadocia reminded me of a more put together Drumheller.

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This is Drumheller.

We went in May and found the weather was absolutely beautiful and I did not find it touristy at all. They had horse drawn carriages that would drive you around the streets, they had cute little diners and restaurants, they had tons of Turkish rug stores (I bought 2… on a whim! they were so nice). But the main attraction here is to go up in the hot air balloons.

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If you wake up in the morning in Cappadocia you will see a sky full of hot air balloons. We did this! We had to wake up at 3 am, when it was still super dark outside, and walk to the main street where we had to sign papers and give in our passports. They trucked us out to the boonies area of Cappadocia where we watched the hot air balloons fill before we stepped inside the baskets.

The baskets has separate compartments to make sure that not everyone moved to one area and flipped the basket. There was a man that was in the middle of the basket operating the flame that allowed us to go up and down. We went up in the air just as the sun was rising and it was absolutely worth the entire trip to do !

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The whole thing was about an hour long, and being someone that is terrified of heights, the beauty distracted me from the fact that we were extremely high up.

In addition to the hot air balloons you can go hiking and explore around caves.

Absolutely add Cappadocia to your bucket list.

IT IS A MUST SEE 

What colour are the beaches in Greece

Rice Terraces – Philippines

Traveling with a fear of heights & water

Paragliding

Swimming with sharks

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Paragliding

Don’t let your fears stop you from doing something amazing.

I am scared of heights, terrified. Ok, let’s clarify… I am terrified of falling. So when we traveled to Turkey and ended up in a city called Oludeniz where the sky was full of para-gliders… I was torn. This looked like a beautiful place to para glide, and the people all look like they were having the time of their lives when they were landing on the beach.

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After a few days of touring around the town, and hanging out on the beach (which by the way was voted in National Geographic magazine one year as the 2nd most beautiful beach in the world, AND FOR GOOD REASON), I decided I was going to give it a shot. I thought and worried about it all the night before, and had a hard time going to sleep that night.

We woke up pretty early in the morning, because that is when the best para-gliding is, and walked down to the beach. We signed our waivers and paid for our “jump” and they loaded a group of us into a small van. I was so scared I was going to back out that I volunteered to be in the first group to go up that day. The drive up the mountain took about 20 minutes and I refused to talk to really anyone the entire time… I was trying so hard to stay out of my own head and not think too hard about what I was about to do. I had my go pro strapped to my chest and was twiddling my thumbs.

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As soon as we reached the top of the mountain we all piled out of the van. We were on a cobblestone platform that looked like it went off into heaven… we were actually in the clouds. They had asked who was ready to go, and again, scared that I was going to back down I volunteered to be the first one to go out. I got all strapped in and before I knew it the guy attached to me told me to start running towards the clouds. I was running and running and running, even when my feet were no longer touching the ground. He finally told me “OK you can sit back now” and I looked down and saw us go over the mountain edge.

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I was really nervous so I was asking all sorts of questions, and taking pictures. The view was the most amazing thing I had seen, and I wanted to really enjoy it. The guy asked if I would like to “spin” or fall for a bit, and I said “no thank you!” No way I want to plummet to the ground dude ! Once we were in the air I realized… HEY WHERE ARE THE OTHER PARAGLIDERS. They usually have hundreds in the sky by this time of day. He told me that we were the very first ones out that day as it had been very windy and we were supposed to test the winds and let everyone else know how dangerous it was.

OMG! I didn’t sign up to be the guinea pig!

By the time I landed there were the hundreds of para-gliders in the sky again. The pictures and memories I made can’t be replaced. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

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I celebrated with an entire jug of sangria to myself! CHEERS

Just do it. 

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The most beautiful beach

Swimming with sharks

Are we really travel savvy ?

How do you not move ?

Traveling Jet-lag is a blessing?

Jet lag is a drag.

I try to stay out of my head when traveling and looking at the time. I try to keep watch of when my flights are, but not pay much attention to the actual “time” it is where we landed compared to back home.

If our flight lands in our destination country in the morning, I will sleep on the plane, and if we land at night I will stay awake during the flight (if I am tired I will sleep at the beginning flights and then stay awake on the later flights) I have found this to be an easy way to fight jet lag, and honestly I don’t experience it much anymore.

I did, however, experience jet lag when arriving in Thailand in 2012…

It was my first backpacking trip so I wasn’t too sure about my plan of attack on jet lag, and I was also so excited sitting on the plane with all my friends around that I probably did not sleep much at all.

What I thought was going to be this terrible thing turned out to be a blessing in disguise.. 

We woke up around 4-5 AM every morning for the first 2-3 days and what we got to experience was the most beautiful sunrises across the ocean. We got to swim in the ocean while the sun came up, and radiated numerous colors across the sky. Being on vacation also made it easy for us to have naps during the day, or even catch some “ZZZ” while laying on the beach.

Jet lag on the way home is actually a drag though… 🙂

 

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Happiness

Happiness is the consequence of personal effort.

You fight for it,

strive for it,

insist upon it,

and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it.

You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.

And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it.

You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it….

I crossed the street to walk in the sunshine.

 

Photo: Patara Turkey at Sunset… Beautiful

The most beautiful beach

I suggest anyone to go to “naked Island” in the Philippines. I mean you can get naked there if you waaaannnnntt, but the name is because the beach is just  sandbar in the middle of the water with no trees or anything on it.

 

Probably the most beautiful beach I have ever been to. Just off Siargao.

Go. Check. It. Out.

bring an umbrella

Morning coffee with a view

Traveling allows you to stumble out of bed in the morning, grab a cup of coffee, and sit down in front of views like this.

This is the Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines. They are over 2000 years old and were hand carved into the side of the mountain by people who wanted to farm rice. Some call them the 8th wonder of the world, and for good reason… they are absolutely stunning.

After this wonderful morning with a view, we hiked all around the rice terraces, it took all day ! We went up, and down, and had to balance on small ledges to get to the other side. We stopped for a dip in a waterfall, and had to walk down a steep, narrow staircase that had no hand railing… just the side of a mountain to look down on.

We’re going on an adventure.

 

Philippines, 2014

How do you not move ?

Can you believe this beach