At the end of March, there were elections. Turkish people are going crazy with that. What a campaign they have.  A parade, loud music, people are screaming on the streets … it’s something to experience! 😀

I felt I didn’t want to return to İzmir, unfortunately I had to because I needed to go to the office. Slowly, we entered April. It was a month full of adventures. First of all, this month, we only worked for 3 weeks. There was a big holiday, so we could take a trip wherever we wanted to. The first week of April was kinda slow work wise. Also, I got my first experience with the police. What funny guys they are 😀 Long story short, my phone was stolen. Luckily, Muhsin had an extra phone and he lent me that one. I really needed a phone because at the end of the first week, I had a bus ticket to Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Oh, I wish it would have been a smooth trip. First of all, I took off from the office and went to a karaoke bar with Muhsin, Nils, Emilie, Leyre and Bora. I love live music and some of them knew really well how to sing. After that, I headed to İzmir Otogar. Hehe, I had not received the text message that said the bus was delayed for 2 hours. It was a problem for me because I needed to be on time in İstanbul. Luckily, I met some people who could speak English and Turkish. So they asked a random bus driver that went to İstanbul if they can take me also. And they took me in! Problem is: the bus went to the Asian side and I needed to go to the European side. Once I got to İstanbul, the assistant on the bus took me with him and we went with another bus from the Asian side to the European side. İstanbul is huge! That is crazy 😀 And the assistant was so nice, he took me to the right platform and made sure that I wouldn’t miss the bus for Plovdiv. While I was waiting for the bus, I made some connections with amazing people from South America. They said that they are nomads and working online, and now, they have been traveling for a while. In the bus, I met a group of friends who are living in Sofia. What amazing people, we clicked so well. I had really inspiring conversations with them 🙂 Finally, I made it to Plovdiv and …

I was there for a couple of days and started to come back late in the night. I love to take night buses, so I don’t lose time. I was so glad that I knew a little bit Turkish, so I could help myself out in the middle of all the Turkish people. Although on the bus there was one family who could speak English. Even with them I tried to speak only in Turkish. Everything went well until we hit the border between Bulgaria and Türkiye, on the Turkish side. Going from Türkiye is nothing, it went fast, but coming back … uuuh. It took time. I think we ended up being 2 or 3 hours on the border because they checked everything: all the bags, the bus, everything. We needed to stay out of bus the whole time and it was freaking cold. I’m glad I didn’t get sick.

After, I arrived to İstanbul, and at the time, there was a tulip festival. It was amazing and it looked beautiful. But yes, İstanbul is a huge city. From the Otogar to the park, it took about 2 hours and I didn’t even get close to the city borders. In İzmir you can have also 2 hour trips but with that time you can hit city borders 😀

Later, from İstanbul, I went to Manisa in order to meet a friend of mine. We had really nice time, this friend is like my personal stylist. I bought some new clothes and I had a nice meal.

Eventually I got back home. But not for too long. One week later, I visited Sığacık. It’s a small village with a nice atmosphere. They had a herb festival going on and since it’s by seaside, I really liked it there. To be honest, I wouldn’t live there.  The next weekend, I visited Çeşme and Alaçatı.

As you can tell by the photos, it was crazy windy 😀

At the end of the month, I took a weekend to Çanakkale. Amazing place, amazing getaway from İzmir. All my travels have been done during the weekends because on the weekdays, I am in office and I can’t go around. I use a couch surfing platform to be hosted. So I went to Çanakkale on Saturday early in the morning. On Friday night, I went to a Latin night in order to dance a bit and to meet with my local friend 🙂 Çanakkale was so nice, I had an amazing host family. It was my first experience with a host family through couch surfing. The father of the family knew good English and he took me to the places where, otherwise, I couldn’t go. His wife is an amazing chef! She did a homemade dinner – oh my god – it was so freaking good! They made me feel like I am part of their family. For this short time, I had a little brother 😀 He was a bit shy but also, he knew English quite well. The family took such great care of me and I am super super grateful for them. Çanakkale itself was so quiet and so cold compared to İzmir. It’s higher on the mountain, so it was windier, and by the seaside. I didn’t feel that I am Türkiye but more like in Greece.

This town has history everywhere and, for Turkish people, this city is really important. If you ever travel there, make sure you have a guide who can tell you about the history and places of Çanakkale. Worth to visit, for sure!

It seems like, most of the time, I traveled around in April. I have focused a lot on work, but since April, I started to volunteer. What I mean by that is that I feel like I am actually volunteering. I don’t pressure myself anymore with my tasks.

Since this blog post comes out pretty late, I am giving some overviews of the month of May also. I would title it as the month of goodbyes because in June I take all my vacation days. I am left with 17 days off and in June, there is another big holiday!

May 1st was free and, to be honest, I did not do anything. I just rested 😀 The whole month has been going somehow. One of the weekend, I went to Denizli, Pamukkale. This weekend was amazing. Again, I was hosted by one of the couch surfer, and at the same time, he hosted one another girl from Canada. I got along with both of them and later, the backpacker from Canada visited İzmir. So, we went out in order to have drinks together 🙂

After a long time I feel like I found a person who understands the world in the same way I do and it was really nice to share some thoughts and reflection about the whole Turkish culture. I thought I didn’t know much about Turkish culture until I started talking about it. I gave my opinion and my observations on the culture.

Later on, I started to attend more Latin partiiies. Amazing, they started with the summer season and now the places have changed a bit.

I feel like at every dance party, I meet new people. I have a friend, Görkem, with whom I have been going to those parties. I am so grateful because he gets my humor, he understands my culture and background. Since I will take June off, May is my last month in İzmir. So, as a goodbye, we went out to eat a lot of meat. The place was really nice. I don’t know if it is good or bad, but usually, I don’t take photos unless someone take photos of me. So, again, no photos here, but I wish I could show you how the place looked like.

And, my dear mentor, Ezgi, invited me to her place and I met with her sweet family. We had a really nice dinner together and her father tried to speak English with me. He was super sweet. Also, I tried to do best to speak Turkish. I would say it’s not that good but people say it’s okay.

One weekend, I went to drive an ATV, it was amazing. I have been missing car driving so much, in fact, I can’t do it in Türkiye because I have been here more than 6 months. So, driving an ATV gave me the feeling that I can speed and be a bit crazy 😀 I had lots of fun with that! The roads were in the middle of the forest and not as stable as you might think. Driving a car is like therapy for me.

Next day, I had barbecue (mangal in Turkish) with the closest people who I have met during my project. Some of them couldn’t come due to their travels.

Later on we played monopoly and had some tea. The last days of May, I was more focused on work and eventually had a final dinner with the office team and said goodbye to all the volunteers.

Also, we had a Spanish Cultural night, which was made by our short-term volunteer Joan. I think that finally, I start to realize that this chapter is done and it is time to move on and leave for new adventures!

It’s a bit sad to say goodbye but I am more excited than ever about my new experiences and people I’m going to meet. 

Finally, I leave here one nice photo and hope you enjoyed reading my post, and that you got some good ideas.

See ya!

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