It’s near impossible to pin the exact moment, but somewhere along the way it begins to dawn on you…
Somewhere lost without a care exploring a brand new Turkish friends secluded ranch and caved house resort in Kapadokya- through the pitch black of midnight, meeting packs of anxious dogs, horses and donkeys along the way.
While gushing at open arm welcomes into Ankara strangers’ family homes for a spinach ‘gozleme’ dinner, ‘ayran’ and bottomless chai until homemade bracelets are kindly wrapped around your wrists before venturing on.
Feeling bewildered sitting cross-legged on a tent floor drinking sheep’s milk freshly pulled from the herd outside you just walked past, being scolded in rural Yayali Kayseri dialect you do not have a clue of on the shame of wearing shorts.
Smirking with hands full of fresh, true organic cucumbers courtesy of the hitchhiker you picked up in the rental car along a rickety mountain road somewhere along the peaks of rural Nevsehir.
Plotting endurance marching through caved cliffs and subterranean caches of Gökgöl and Cave ‘Deep Well’.
Aptly accomplished reaching multiple mountain summits, speaking broken French with your fluent, best Turkish friend at Mt. Erciyes, Mt. Ilgaz, Kastamonu Castle and many others.
Pushing recklessness swimming in the deadly deep waters and currents of the Karadeniz coast at twilight, to the dismay of your worrisome friends and travel mates.
Planted firmly paralyzed while gazing from a cliff perch at a gigantic storm and five funnel clouds steadily approaching the Karadeniz Black Sea coast at Abana.
Resting contemplative on four-hour hitchhike rides back to Ankara, alone with a non-English speaking driver who refuses any payment or even being bought lunch.
… Savour every single fleeting moment, for you don’t deserve any of it.
Omar Faruk Tekbilek