This is a guest post by my friend Nicky who is currently living in Turkey.
Spontaneity is the spice of life, or something like that anyway. I think this is true, as most of the time, the unplanned nights out are often the best, the unplanned days are often the best; in this case, the unplanned travel trips are often the best.
No expectations, no pre-plans, no worries, just head off, see what you find, take it for what it is, and see if you like it or not.
This was totally the case for me on a recent trip to Mugla.
Where? I hear you say!
Well, Mugla is the regional city of the province I currently live in, in Southern Turkey. Mugla is not somewhere I really thought about visiting, and to be honest, the reports I got of it didn’t make me want to jump on a bus at the first opportunity, however one particular day, my friend and I were bored, and we wanted a change from the norm. Neither of us wanted to head off on a touristy boat trip, and we certainly weren’t feeling the jeep safari day out either, so we headed to the bus station and decided to jump on the first short distance bus we found. Turned out the first short distance bus we found was Mugla.
We rolled our eyes, thought ‘shall we bother?’, then the bus driver got a bit shirty because we were holding the queue up, so we got on it anyway.
This is where the rule about spontaneity comes into play, because our day trip to Mugla turned out to be more fun than we could have imagined.
The thing about living in Marmaris is that it’s not really what you would call ‘real Turkey’, and sometimes you just want to experience something authentic. I guess that’s what Mugla was.
Maybe it’s different in the height of summer, but early April meant my friend and I were the only tourists in the city. We felt a little out of place at the start, and although we didn’t have to cover our heads, we thought it wise, to stop the stares and odd comments. After that, we were well away to explore.
What did we do?
Well, we just wandered basically, but that was the beauty of it, because there was nothing to rush around for, and no thinking about running off to the nearest tourist attraction before it closed. It was basically chilled-out, and we noticed more of the small details about the place, then we probably would if we’d been on an organized day trip.
We stopped off for Lahmacun, which is basically Turkish pizza, and to this day it is still the best Lahmacun I have ever tasted. We sipped Cay (Turkish tea) whilst there was a brief rain storm, and we walked around the streets, watching the fruit market sellers try to sell their watermelons and various peppers to the locals.
Our unplanned and leisurely day trip to Mugla probably showed the two of us more about the ‘real’ Turkey than any planned city break to Istanbul ever could, so really, is spontaneity the spice of life? I think so.