The Clutten family decided 2016 would be our year! My in-laws reside in South Africa (Ian’s parents and younger sister) and England (Ian’s older sister, her husband, and two kids). The entire group had not been together since our wedding in 2009. Nearly two years ago, we all started brainstorming for a European holiday. All the typical destinations were being considered; Greece, Spain, Portugal, etc. In a search for a “Budget and Family friendly” area, Mediterranean Turkey was on the list. Sharing the waterways and climate with the Greek Isle, but accommodations were more affordable and the Turkish Lira (not the Euro) was 3 to 1 to the dollar. The pictures of the beaches peaked my interest.
We immediately started investigating, as I knew nothing about vacationing in Turkey or anyone who had traveled there. My sister in law in England had some additional perspective, as it is a popular tourist destination for Brits. She additionally has a friend who traveled there often to visit her Father. While thinking out loud about traveling there, I encounter two strong testimonies that would help my personal decision. Within two weeks, I spoke with a co-worker who had been twice and had only glowing things to say. She was planning another visit as soon as her schedule allowed. My sister got me in touch with a business school friend, who had studied abroad in Greece and Turkey while in school. Her opinion echoed that of my co-worker, that it was the most amazing country she had ever visited. After much research, we all decided that we were headed to Daylan, Turkey for a two-week vacation.
Potentially while reading this, you probably already were thinking “why Turkey?” This was the constant question I was faced with every time I told people we were headed there. Most time you tell people you are going on a two-week epic vacation, the next words out of their mouths isn’t “why?” and then followed immediately by “is that safe?” Nothing is more important to our family that safety and we would never put our kids in harms way. But there is always some inherent risk in traveling, internationally or domestically. Obviously, that risk is variable by location. Daylan is a few hour boat ride from the closet Greek Isle and the complete opposite side of the country from Syria. Extensive research and personal experiences lead us to feel secure in our decision.
I’m not saying this decision is one everyone would feel comfortable making. I certainly would not book a trip to Turkey in the next few months or even years. It turned out to be the absolute right decision for us and we had the most amazing vacation. Daylan was the perfect destination for our family friendly and relaxing holiday. The people were the most friendly I have every encountered while traveling. The city was so safe, that no one locked their bikes while shopping at stores, something I wouldn’t feel safe doing in my own neighborhood. After leaving, we all agreed without a doubt that is would not be our last trip to Turkey.