Erasmus + 

Tarsus, Turkey

Reconnecting with you after so much time

Once upon a time there was a little girl who dreamt of travelling the whole world, happy and in her freedom of peace and love. A girl who wished for everything she has right now.

This year I travelled more than I thought I would, even though I wasn’t so active here, on the blog, and despite the fact that my vacations and trips started to be more by myself at the beginning, it wasn’t a moment of regret in my life for my decisions. I made a lot of new friends along the way, met so beautiful souls all around the globe and eventually I came home with lifetime memories. It wasn’t an easy year for me personally, but working for my businesses and travelling made it one of the best years I ever had until now.

Also, before starting the article properly, I want to thank everyone for continuing reading my articles despite my absence. It’s been three years of blogging here, three years in which I grew a lot, got through so many things with you by my side, and all I can say is that: Thank you. Especially to those who are here from day one. You know who you are.

Today we are more than 40.000 people who reached this blog and read my articles. Next year will be more, and so, together we grow and learn from each other. Obviously I’ll try to be more active than now, even though now I have two businesses and it’s not an easy work to do, but I’ll give my best for you, my beautiful community.

So, without further waiting let’s get into one of the best experiences I ever had until now.

Enjoy!


The Background story

Otherwise the whole article would be incomplete; I have to start with the very beginning of this experience, which was the simple wish for a two weeks getaway.

You know, it is proved by the scientists and the people who believe in divine that sometimes our thoughts and wishes are much stronger when they are felt by our hearts. A wish or a thought which came in our day to day life by a need, which also transformed itself in a wish, is very probably to be completed in the shortest amount of time.

So yes, I was hoping for a getaway of a minimum five days somewhere far away from home. I needed that so much because I’ve worked a lot these past few months, for my school assessments, my businesses, I also had a lot of situations in my personal life, eventually all of them leaded myself to exhaustion. Without any exaggeration in two weeks I got myself into my second Erasmus+ at my high school, took part in a conference and right after that, a week apart, one of my teachers shown me the opportunity to go with the county council in Tarsus, Turkey in another Erasmus+ project named `You be Healthy’. Funny, isn’t it? The much needed thing for my health back then was a getaway, and the project itself was actually named and based on a healthy lifestyle from every point of view. Do you need any more proof of validation of what I've wrote above about the needs of the heart? No, I don’t think so.

Ready to take off

With many mixed feelings and thoughts, I met the whole group and fixed all the details the Tuesday before our leaving. And so, the days flew by and we found ourselves on a Sunday morning, 12th December 2021, on our way to Budapest from where we were to take our first flight of the day.

We had flown with Pegasus Airlines. Each way we had two flights, so in total we had four flights of 1h/1h30min each in 10 days.

Our route was Budapest- Istanbul- Adana and for the way back it was exactly the same one but in the reversed order, obviously. Moreover, before you ask, the flights were smooth except one, which had some turbulence because of the weather, but everything else was great, so no, Pegasus Airlines aren’t representative for the first images that may appear on Google when you search their airlines.

On the first travel day we didn’t have a lot of layover time, but unfortunately on the second one, on our way home, we had 5h layover in Istanbul. However, it wasn’t so horrible how it may seem. Having your friends with you can make the whole atmosphere and the time given more pleasant as you can’t even imagine.

All in all, both times when we arrived at our destinations the exhaustion had put its mark on us, but the feeling of being where you wanted to be in the first place gave us the minimum energy to actually enjoy it.

Budapest- Istanbul

Istanbul- Adana

The project itself

It was an eight days project based on a healthy lifestyle. `You Be Healthy` was quite an experience, with pros and cons and so many memories, one crazier than another. We had many activities each day, from every country presentations about their origins, to travel and visit the surroundings, to reflection time and cultural nights/parties hosted by each country with traditional food, drinks and music. Of course there were after parties hosted without teachers. As many of you may already know, Erasmus is one of the best ways to learn through good and bad experiences. Mostly good to be honest, because as it is well known, the discomfort came from different points of view helps us grow.

Romanian presentation day

Romania & Croatia

2am before leaving back home

Travel tips and tricks

As you may already know, at the moment in Turkey are some politic issues, which I won’t discuss here but I’ll let you know some tips and tricks for this period of time.

To begin with, Tarsus is in the Asian part of Turkey, so the currency is just in Turkish lira and you’ll have to change your money there. First tip would be to not have a lot of cash with you. Take just how much you need, not more, because it’s safer this way. The rest of it can be on your card. Furthermore, for ten days you can easily manage with just 200euros.

Prices may vary but don’t stress too much because everything is very cheap. Like honestly, very very cheap. For instance, I left home with one luggage and came back home with two, due to the simple fact that I couldn’t help myself but went shopping more than three times. The quality is amazing, and at low prices in this period of time, so if you have any plans for visiting Turkey in the nearest period, go for it but don’t forget the shopping sessions. You’ll thank me later.

Be aware of the fact that the locals may change the prices when they see you as a tourist. Try to not show off and if you have someone who’s speaking Turkish, ask that person to go with you, this way you won’t be charged extra. Oh, not to forget to mention that in some stores you can be asked for your Turkish number to have some discounts being applied to your receipt, and if you don’t have it you may lose as well the discounts. I had a very delightful surprise when I went shopping in a market by myself and I obviously don’t have a Turkish number, and one boy from the crowd gave his number to the cashier, without asking or something.

So yes, Turkish people are usually very hospitable and kind when you visit their country. Of course there may be some exceptions which I also met in this Erasmus, but 90% of them are very generous and good hearted. The only thing which is very sad is their situation right now as a country, but I really hope everything will come back to normal.

 

Places we visited

The surroundings that caught my eye and that are worth to mention are these:

-Tarsus’s centre with its traditions, historical buildings and its locals

(Also, you have to try at least once in your life knafeh, it’s a traditional Middle Eastern dessert made with spun pastry called kataifi, soaked in sugar-based syrup, and layered in cheese. It’s delicious and worth trying.)

-Mersin, Kiz Kalesi

-Mersin, Daripinari, Isimsiz Yol

Tarsus City

Tarsus City

Mersin, Kiz Kalesi

Back home

Looking back to all of these memories something awakes in me the wish to travel again, to another region like this and to can’t wait the next Erasmus+. It was the best Erasmus so far and one of the best experiences of my life until now. If there are people reading my article who were with me in this project, I salute you and miss you already.


See you in 2022!

I hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful! I tried to resume all the information at its best as you could see. Also, it’s been great to be finally able to write again a well deserved travel article after so long.

Thank you for reading it and see you in 2022 wonderful people, with a lot of energy, new dreams and goals to accomplish and a positive attitude towards life. Who knows, maybe we’ll get to travel together one day and also, make a whole new travel article together!

Much love,

~Lore^^