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A two-week adventure tour inspires one traveler to cancel her flight home and do some exploring on her own.

DURING MY 15-DAY guided Adventure Center tour of Turkey, our group managed to travel by train, bus, boat, and balloon, covering around 1,700 miles of the western part of the country. We visited cultural, religious, historic, and natural sites in villages and cities, and spent an evening in a local’s home. By the end I was brimming with new knowledge and interest in a country that I’d previously known almost nothing about.

As the trip drew to a close, though, I decided I wasn’t ready to leave. So I canceled my return flights and stayed for a while.

At over 480,000 square miles, Turkey is much larger than I’d thought. My original plan had been to travel into the eastern part of the country and map a route back through the west into Istanbul, but a few days into my new adventure I was warned about a military skirmish on the Syrian border. News of Muammar Gaddafi’s death reached me a few days after that, and three days later there was a massive earthquake in the eastern city of Van. All signs were pointing west, so in the west I stayed. I spent an additional 21 days in Turkey, bringing my total visit to five weeks. Here’s what I saw.

[Note: The author is a Matador Traveler-in-Residence participating in a partnership between MatadorU and Adventure Center. During 2011/12, Adventure Center is sponsoring eight epic trips for MatadorU students and alumni.]

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Photo Essay


About The Author

Keph Senett

Keph Senett is a Canadian writer who's currently in transit. She’s a blogger who writes about travel, soccer/football, human rights, LGBT and gender issues, world politics, community, culture and her own folly.

  • Abhijit Gupta

    Nice photos.. especially the sunrise one!
    Also, Gozmele looks like the Indian ‘parantha’ :)

    • Heather Foster

      It is similar, except the parantha is crunchy and gozleme is softer. Also, parantha is spicier. They are both delicious in their own right and make for a PERFECT lunch.

  • Paul J McManus

    Very nice!  Love the stadium pic.  Gets me excited for my upcoming trip! 

  • Tgeorge

    Awesome shots! The woman in the boat in particular, and the shot in the mosque. Very nice. Makes me want to go.

  • Sara Clarke

    Beautiful. I want to go to Turkey even more, now.

  • Jo

    Oh, I miss Turkey so much! Shame you didn’t go East. Next time maybe? I am really hungry for gozleme right now mmmmm….

  • Ian Northcote

    Superb images. It is not enough to simply make pictures. The best pictures trigger emotion. See Night Train, Izmir:  A shiver of mystery, a longing for arrival.

  • john12

     i m also like turkey , but i can’t  go to turkey because i m child at this time.

    hotel international drive orlando

  • Stephen Rawlinson

    Hi Keph, You are an amazing photographer. I love your pictures and the way they have captured what I imagine is the mood of the parts of Turkey you visited. We hope to go there in September and after your photos I am keen to stay 5 to 6weeks. Thanks for your photos and the comments.

  • Firequeen5

    I was in Turkey last summer for just 2 weeks and felt the same way… I didn’t want to leave! But Greece was waiting so I had to go. Can’t wait to get back there though!

  • Beth Vesseur

    Beatiful photos Keph Senett!

  • Clarissa Linette

    What a great trip! Thanks for the gorgeous pictures.

  • Clarissa Linette

    What a great trip! Thanks for the gorgeous pictures.

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