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Posted by Jessica on Nov 24, 2005
Thankful in Turkey

The other day, Tim and I received an email from another traveling friend of ours who is already home in England. In the email, he reminded us to treasure every day we have on our trip, every thing we encounter, because even the most mundane things are part of a very special experience. He told us that he knew it was easy to think while traveling that what we’re doing is normal, that it’s just everyday life. So he reminded us that what we’re doing is not normal, that it’s far from everyday life, and that it’s incredibly special.

Our friend reminded us that this trip is something to be thankful for experiencing. And he is so very, very right.

When Tim and I started to plan our trip, we never had plans to visit Turkey. In all of our initial daydreams, Turkey never made the list. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to come here, it’s just the idea of visiting Turkey hadn’t even occurred to us.

That was up until Christmas 2003.

Earlier that year, in the summer of 2003, I had told my parents that I was thinking of going on an around-the-world trip, that I was already saving and planning for it, and how a round-the-world trip would fit into my plans for graduate school. Being good parents they didn’t discourage me, but I wasn’t sure they really wanted to encourage me either. I mean, after all, what parent wants their youngest daughter traipsing around the world to places that aren’t always so nice to traipse in?

So when Christmas came I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of my presents was a book called 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. My Mom had seen it on display at the bookstore, remembered the conversation with me, and decided to buy it for me. Looking back, I’m sure she had no idea at the time how important that book would become to me and to Tim.

As you can probably imagine with 1,000 places described inside, the book is filled with loads of details of many exotic places and experiences. Just about any country you can think of has a listing in the book, and just about any experience you can think up (and many you never would have even imagined) are detailed in it too.

Many of the places in the book were well outside our price range. But, to us, that wasn’t the point. We didn’t have to do everything the book said, word-for-word. We just let the book grab hold of our imaginations and allowed ourselves to dream. And so for several months after Christmas, Tim and I pored over the book, reading about those far off lands, looking up things the book mentioned online, and getting ideas. All of those ideas led to more ideas...which led to more possible places to visit...which led to more possible experiences to have...

There is one place in particular listed in that book that not only led us to Turkey, but also led us to an amazing experience we didn’t even know existed. That one place in particular captured our imaginations and became one of the things we were most looking forward to during our entire round-the-world adventure.

And so now, a few years after first reading about it, we’ve finally been to that wonderful place in Turkey and we’ve finally lived that absolutely amazing experience. And that experience, one we never would have known about without that book, will most likely be one of our most favorite memories of our entire trip. (For those of you wondering what that experience was: no worries, we plan on sharing that info in our very next post.)

And so we say want to say thank you to my parents for buying us a book we never even knew about which led us to a priceless experience. We want to say thank you to everyone in our families for supporting us, for believing in us, and for trusting us when we said that this trip, this dream, was the right thing for us to do. And we want to say thank you to all of you, everyone who reads this website and follows this adventure of ours. Knowing that there are so many people reading the website makes the experience feel so much more real for us. Being able to share this experience with all of you has been priceless.

For all of these things, and so many more, we are incredibly thankful. And so it goes without saying that we’re also thankful for being able to say: Happy Turkey Day from two traveling hedgehogs in Turkey!

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Janet
November 24, 2005 at 8:29am
I am thankful for friends like you who enlighten my mind and bring joy to my life!
Greg
November 24, 2005 at 8:41am
Happy Thanksgiving!
Shana
November 24, 2005 at 10:04am
I'm very thankful to know two amazing, adventurous hedgehogs. Happy Thanksgiving!
Seattle_Jackie
November 24, 2005 at 11:13am

(For those of you wondering what that experience was: no worries, we plan on sharing that info in our very next post.)

now, very curious!

Happy Thanksgiving to you guys, too!

Carried away
November 24, 2005 at 12:05pm
Way to leave us with a cliff hanger…I'm definitely curious for the next post.

Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

missy&derick
November 24, 2005 at 12:07pm
thank you for allowing us all to take part, however virtually, in your travels!
Philsie
November 25, 2005 at 9:15am
Kind of funny that you guys are in Turkey, and people ate Turkey last night…ahhh yeah, well Henry thinks it is funny…not really, anyway the Thanksgiving Meatloaf was "O" for awesome last night
heather
November 25, 2005 at 9:59am
Happy Thanksgiving! Can't wait to hear more about it. I'm thankful to have glimpses into this wonderful adventure.
daddy
November 27, 2005 at 5:50pm
congrats to both of you , and thank you tim hedgehog for the phone call and remember to keep on having fun and be safe , love from all we really miss you. woof meow chirp and binkies
Poetic Furry
November 28, 2005 at 11:36am
I am thankful that you two are still safe and despite that weird drunken encounter in England you can still say that you are thankful for beer. I am thankful that you can still laugh at and take beautiful pictures of the word even though there are parts of our universe that seem yucky to those of us (mainly me) who can only see through a glass darkly. I am thankful for the next post that allows me to have something to hang on to during this most difficult time in my life, but mainly I am thankful for an awesome brother and the awesome girlfriend he adores… Happy (Post) Turkey Day!
~~~~ Me xxxooo
Tom
December 1, 2005 at 8:52pm
Congrats to both of you and got to tell you I am really impressed by Tim and I never met him. Your dad called me today to tell me about the phone call. Take it from me skip the warm sandy countries to your East,been there, done that, got the T-shirt and I wound up eating at Applebees one of the few times I got off post. And they told me it was a dry heat (yea 140 in the shade)

Anyway stay safe

Uncle Tom & Aunt Ellen

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