So I think the title of this weeks blog pretty much sums it all up: I quite possibly had the most amazing and best week of my life. After we returned from Bürsa, we registered for classes (which was really a week long ordeal) and then hopped on a bus for Antalya a beach resort town on the southern coast of Turkey. Our bus pulled into town around 8:00 am and we hit the ground running (literally). Once we got to our pensiyon which is really like a bed and breakfast we changed into our swim suits and headed to the beach. While it was so nice to be back at the beach just relaxing, soaking up the sun, I much prefer our white sandy beaches to the pebble beaches you find here. A. the pebbles look nice from a distance but they hurt like heck B. you can’t stroll on the beach because the pebbles hurt like heck and C. you can’t build a sand castle without sand and the pebbles hurt like heck. The water on the other hand is beautiful crystal clear and blue- that I could get use to. Because we all pretty much had gotten 0 sleep on our 14hrs bus trip down we pretty much just napped and hung out on the beach all day. Which in my book is a fantastic day!
On the next day the true adventure began with us first finding our way back to the bus station so we could get a bus to our next destination Olympös where we were staying in tree houses… that’s right I said TREE HOUSES!!! We arrived and immediately knew this was going to be one of the highlights of this week. I mean how could anybody be upset when you are staying in a room with a tree running through the middle of it?!?! Little did I know that the best part of my day was yet to come. Our group split into two: some wanted to go rock climbing while the rest of us were down to see the ruins and check out the beach. I was in the latter group and had the most amazing experience. The ruins were in a fenced off park like area. Once you got past the gate though you were free to roam and climb amongst all the ruins. I felt like Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider traveling through a forest stumbling upon cool ruin after cool ruin. The pictures really don’t do the experience justice.
As we made our way through the park opened up onto a beach. While it was a pebble beach it was possibly the most beautiful beach I had ever seen. Standing there you look out into the crystal blue water with cliffs ending at the edges and then you turn your back to the water and you see these huge green mountains with ruins sprinkled throughout the foliage. We got there as the sun was starting to set too so you can just imagine how magical it all seemed. When we got in the water, we swam over to the cliffs and after getting some helpful tips on how to climb up we took them over. Climbing up the cliffs was possibly the scariest experience-I’ve never been so scared to fall (and I’m pretty use to falling) but once I was on top there was no going back all I could do was jump and I did just that. Hitting the water was not the most fun but the hang time right after you jump and before the impact was an incredible feeling. All of this made me just feel like I was on cloud 9. The next day we woke up super early to get a bus to Fethiye the last major stop on our week adventure. Once we arrived we split up and went in search of a boat to take us out for the late afternoon and sunset. After a little bit we hit the jackpot and headed out onto the Mediterranean. Having pretty much been raised on a boat this was just amazing and I loved being able to bring our whole crew of 22 together for the night. Literally sailing off into the sunset we stopped in between two islands, swam for a while and then ate dinner as the sun set.
As the sun was setting I had one of those moments where you go wow life is really good like REALLY good. Here I am surrounded by people I have become friends with basically instantly, I am watching the sunset on a private boat in the Mediterranean and there really isn’t anything I’m super concerned about. We spend so much of our life searching and striving for happiness like it is a mission, but in that moment I realized happiness is a mood that constantly changes, not a mission. So instead of striving to be happy I’ve decided to just enjoy life and live in the moments that make me happy. Sitting on that boat watching the sunset was a moment that made me happy and I am looking forward to many more of those moments.
Our final day of the trip was definitely the most daring day. I mean I jumped off a mountain and flew above the world attached to one guy controlling our parachute, I think that is pretty daring. I have always wanted to go sky diving so when people started tossing around the idea of going paragliding I was totally down! To make the experience even better we were doing at one of the most photographed beaches in Europe, so the view wasn’t that bad.
Going up I started to get nervous but like the cliff it was one of those things where there is only one way down. Taking off we sailed into the clouds and up above the mountains and I had the most amazing rush of excitement. I can’t even begin to describe the joy and utter shock of what I was doing felt like- It was just incredible! I took a 1,000 pics trying to capture the moment and I think some of them do it but it was hard to truly capture it all. Coming back down to earth was so sad, I wanted to just go back up immediately. That experience was truly once and a lifetime and an amazing way to end probably the best week of my life. I went from feeling like I was on cloud 9 to actually being on cloud 9 I mean I was sailing around clouds (even though the sky was clear, you get the idea).
Now that I’m back in Istanbul, summer is coming to an end (FINALLY, its only been 5 months) and I am headed off to class! I guess the vacationing and partying had to come to an end (well… I’ll at least slow down and add in some learning). But seriously, I am really excited to start classes, I mean I am that kid who gets SUPER pumped about getting new school supplies. It’s not just about the classes though, it’s also getting to meet students from all over the world, it’s learning the language of the country I’m living in for the semester, it’s getting to learn the history of this culture and see the places I’m learning about in person, and most importantly it’s about having moments that just make me incredibly happy!