#WidenYourWorld: Most Influential Travel Bloggers Share the Best of Turkey

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
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I was part of a group of White House Travel Bloggers that Turkish Airlines flew in to experience Turkey (thank you, eternally!) – and I fell in love. With Turkey, Istanbul, the Aegean, the places we stayed and the food we ate, and that famous Turkish hospitality and friendly, interesting people.

But it isn't just me - ALL of us that went fell in love with Turkey. I asked my fellow travel bloggers - the Most Influential Travel Bloggers - to share their best photos and experiences in Turkey.

Here's what they shared:

#WidenYourWorld: Most Influential Travel Bloggers Share the Best of Turkey

 

Alison Tatham, The College Tourist

#WidenYourWorld: Most Influential Travel Bloggers Share the Best of Turkey

#WidenYourWorld: Most Influential Travel Bloggers Share the Best of Turkey

The travel tip I would give to students is to Travel like the Locals Live. Wake up and start your day like the locals, if it's Turkish Coffee or Tea, sit and do that. Step outside your comfort zone and try something new, you can get immersed in the culture with the smallest of things.

Then find one of your "Must See's" from your list! The Tourist Attractions are there for a reason, they can be rich in culture and history, and you're new to the country, dig a little deeper when you are there, chat to a local, they might have a tip about the site or on a hidden gem. Always walk around as much as possible and if language is a barrier, try some small phrases, a smile and and thank you is universal. Happy Travels.  

10 Amazing Sights to See on a Study Abroad Weekend in Istanbul

Twitter: @CollegeTourist

Photo: College Tourist

 

Elena Sonnino, LiveDoGrow

along the banks of the Euphrates to the nearby fortified town of Halfeti. From #WidenYourWorld: Most Influential Travel Bloggers Share the Best of Turkey

Along the banks of the Euphrates to the nearby fortified town of Halfeti

People say that things happen for a reason.

Even as a staunch believer in this notion, a visit to Şanlıurfa – in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey (near the Syrian border) – will forever stand as a reminder. Because had it not been for Turkish Airlines and a fortune rabbit (just trust me) deciding my fate and sending me to an off the beaten path area in Turkey that I would probably never have chosen for myself, I would have missed out. On the smiles, the laughter, the colors and the people that came to life in my mind in Şanlıurfa – the Prophets’ City, or Urfa, as it is known by some.

A sea of poppies. From #WidenYourWorld: Most Influential Travel Bloggers Share the Best of Turkey
A sea of poppies

A Hidden Gem in Southeastern Turkey: Visit Şanlıurfa

Twitter: @ElenaSonnino

Photo: ElenaSonnino, LiveDoGrow.com

 

Evelyn Hannon, Journeywoman

Tulips outside Topkapi Palace, Istanbul. From #WidenYourWorld: Most Influential Travel Bloggers Share the Best of Turkey

Tulips outside Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

Did you know this about Turkey? Everybody thinks that tulips come from Holland. Actually, tulips were a wild flower native to Central Asia and Turkey. In the 16th Century they were brought to Holland and quickly became widely popular. Today Turkey gets their bulbs directly from Holland. Full circle!

CitizenSelfies and My Trip to Turkey

CitizenSelfies

Twitter: @journeywoman

Photo: Evelyn Hannon Journeywoman.com

 

Jackie Laulainen, TheBudgetMindedTraveler.com and TravelingJackie.com

#WidenYourWorld: Most Influential Travel Bloggers Share the Best of Turkey

I love this photo because our group arrived in a tiny unassuming village in northeastern Turkey and came upon this amazing group of guys. There were about 30 of them, around our age, playing yard games as if they were 12 years old. We had such a fun spontaneous adventure with them and I know none of us will ever forget it. We couldn't communicate in language, just gestures and smiles. It was so beautiful!

Twitter: @travelingjackie 

Photo:Jackie Laulainen, TravelingJackie.com

 

Leticia Barr, TechSavvyMama

Hagia Sofia. From #WidenYourWorld: Most Influential Travel Bloggers Share the Best of Turkey
I love this one from Hagia Sofia because I was overwhelmed by the overall beauty of the building but it's all the charming details above and around you that makes it a spectacular sight to see. overwhelming beauty

Sasha the mussels vendor! From #WidenYourWorld: Most Influential Travel Bloggers Share the Best of Turkey
Sasha the mussels vendor! He was so charming that we couldn't resist trying these cooked mussels stuffed with rice. The squeeze of lemon made them perfect!

Virtual Field Trip Friday: 8 Family Friendly Dishes from Turkey to Make at Home #WidenYourWorld

Twitter: @TechSavvyMama

Photo: Leticia Barr, TechSavvyMama

Lillie Marshall, Around the World L

On the Bosphorus. From #WidenYourWorld: Most Influential Travel Bloggers Share the Best of Turkey

This photo is from our boat cruise on the Bosphorus. I simply loved being between Europe and Asia, watching the beautifully lit buildings slide by as the sun set. I highly recommend any visitor to Turkey taking to the water to see Istanbul!

Beautiful Istanbul, Turkey at Night

Twitter: @WorldLillie

Photo: Lillie Marshall, Around the World L

 

Mark van der Heijden, The Backpacker Intern

A father and his son in Rize, Turkey. From #WidenYourWorld: Most Influential Travel Bloggers Share the Best of Turkey

The real highlights of a trip are the real people you meet and see.

When we were walking around in the pristine nature of Rize, I spotted a father protecting his son from the chilly breeze.

#StudyAbroadBecause the White House Might Invite You

Twitter: @markvdheijden

Photo: Mark van der Heijden, The Backpacker Intern

 

Nathaniel Boyle, Daily Travel Podcast

Hugs. From #WidenYourWorld: Most Influential Travel Bloggers Share the Best of Turkey

Following a compelling discussion about technology helping or hurting the personal connection that exists when you work through a language barrier with a foreign stranger, Evelyn Hannon discovered that handing someone your phone and asking them to take a selfie with you is a wonderful way to connect with people different than you. This worked so well, everyone else started trying it. In this picture, Jackie Laulainen embraces a young girl who ran back into her a day after they'd taken a selfie together. Neither could speak each others language but the difference actually made the connection more special. What resulted was a really warm, momentary connection that -- I'm guessing -- neither will ever forget. This is a life-changing moment and encapsulates everything I love about travel.

The Daily Travel Podcast

Twitter at @nathaniel and @dailytravelshow

Photo: Nathaniel Boyle, Daily Travel Podcast

 

And my own?

Kadir and Sezer - new friends who showed the true meaning of Turkish hospitality. From #WidenYourWorld: Most Influential Travel Bloggers Share the Best of Turkey

As you know, I have several disabilities, which can make travel difficult. I never thought I'd be able to go to Turkey, since it is such an ancient culture and the historic buildings are, of course, not accessible. I was so impressed with Turkish Airlines when they flew us to Turkey and arranged for our stay and activities. One of the things (of many) they did to make the trip accessible was to buy a wheelchair for me, and found university students to help push me around. While Istanbul isn't that accessible (more on how to travel with disabilities in Turkey to come), I gained a whole new level of understanding about the famous Turkish hospitality. These are my new friends Kadir and Sezer, who took me around Istanbul in the wheelchair, helped me discover hidden depths in the city (the bathroom with a TREE in it!, a peaceful hidden lemonade garden, bookstores, TARDIS trash cans, and more).

Finding hilarity in Ephesus. From #WidenYourWorld: Most Influential Travel Bloggers Share the Best of Turkey

And my friend Can, an amazing guy who accompanied us (and helped me) on our trip to the Aegean coast, Ephesus, and Pamukkale. He is so funny and kind, and really understands travel with disabilities.We always found something to laugh about.

Gizem, who made a trip to Turkey accessible. From #WidenYourWorld: Most Influential Travel Bloggers Share the Best of Turkey

Gizem at the Hotel Kismet, Kusadasi. From #WidenYourWorld: Most Influential Travel Bloggers Share the Best of Turkey

And my new best friend, Gizem, shown here waiting for me with my wheelchair (Scottie, we named it) at the exit of the Blue Mosque, and at the Hotel Kismet in Kusadasi. She is the mastermind behind the #LoveFromTurkey #WHTravelBloggers trip, and is the kindest, most generous person I know. I feel honored and lucky to have her friendship, and her hard work both behind the scenes and with me makes me want to cry. She made a dream of traveling to Turkey come true for me, and changed my life. For this, I can't thank her enough. And, we connected in a way I never thought possible - one of those people with whom you become best friends, for life - instantly. 

This is what I love about Turkey - the people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned for more posts about this special country I’d love for you to explore  - and check out our The Best of Turkey - an A-Z Guide for inspiration from travel writers around the world.

 

 

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