How to be More than Tourists in Turkey
Hello friends! It's so nice to have you back on the channel and of course if you're here for the first time then I'm Joe, this is Miina It's time for a new wrap-up video We have officially passed the three-month mark in Turkey. I can't believe it's over now! 90 days in Turkey! We sure have had fun and in this video we are gonna tell you the story of our past month And we are going to do it with the focus of how we overcame us being merely tourists Because we came to this country just as tourists but we're leaving as friends So let's get started! If you've ever been on this channel, you know that we love Turkey It's an amazing country and it's also a huge country This month we have actually driven 4500 kilometers. That's a lot! And all together in Turkey we have done more or less 10 000. 10 000 kilometers in Turkey! But the fact that it's so big, means it's also so so diverse and this month started for us in south-eastern part of Turkey It was most certainly a very very different sight from what we were used to because when we went there we had just left the southern coast and there was just desert over there But desert is full of great places to discover It was quite crazy! We started over there in the desert, in the middle of summer. It was baking hot in the van
I guess we have a new heat record today - 43 degrees in the van Like I said, Turkey is huge and when we left the south-eastern part of Turkey, we headed up north We wanted to get to the Black Sea region In like two days drive we went from desert to something that.. I don't know.. how would you explain it? It's very easy to explain it. We just started driving and suddenly we were in Switzerland Pretty much! Green mountains, the weather went from 40 degrees barely 20 It was raining. We hadn't seen rain for two months. We hadn't even seen clouds
I saw snow! Hail! We saw it all over there! That just shows you how different Turkey is The northeastern climate is absolutely perfect for something that you wouldn't really expect to see in Turkey Tea fields and there's a lot of it! We also decided that this is something that we cannot not see. We didn't really know where to go I ended up just picking a random tea house from the map and said ''start driving Joe!'' What we saw on the side of the roads, on the hillsides there were people already harvesting tea Then we decided that no no no, we have to stop and ask if they would allow us to film We just wanted to see how tea is harvested but the people who were harvesting the tea they were so lovely so nice They asked us over at first to drink tea Then they didn't want to let us go before having lunch Then they didn't want to let us go before having dinner And we ended up spending a whole day with them The next morning we even went to that tea house ourselves. The experience compared to what we had with the family.. it was it was like night and day! It was cool to see those bushes but it wasn't real, it was just... No no fake, fake Going out of your way, to go and ask, to say hello to the locals - it makes a huge difference in Turkey We would never have had this experience if we would not have stopped and just asked I don't think a lot of tourists do that so that's the main thing in Turkey Don't be afraid, just go and ask! People in Turkey are so kind and asking goes such a long way Some would say that we were lucky with being at the right place at the right time to meet the right people But if you have ever been to Turkey, you know that it's not luck, it's not just a chance of meeting a good person You can go anywhere in Turkey and you will find those good people After we had seen the tea fields, we wanted to go to the highlands We had never been to the highlands and on our way there we went to a small little village called Kaptanpasha Like many adventures here in Turkey, today's adventure also starts with tea A local gentleman came and talked to us. He didn't really speak English but with three months we have gained enough experience to have small conversations in Turkish And that really helped us, we clicked straight away! There are just some simple phrases that you can use at all times and Turkish people really like hearing Turkish language They're gonna love you for it! Yeah, learn some Turkish and that will separate you from the crowds Nobody does this! Like even the simplest things - hello, goodbye, how are you We were just told in the village here that the road we're going to take, is going to be rough If locals say it, I'm a little bit afraid! Finally the mayor or the like the headman of the village made some calls and said ''yeah, you can drive, you should be okay'' If the mayor says so then you can go! And we went and we were rewarded We are on cloud nine! We absolutely love the highlands! That was beautiful Like we said before, kindness is all over Turkey and another thing that we do is that whenever we park up for the night, then we try to say hello to people around us. Otherwise it's weird - a van pulls up and in the middle of the night just parks somewhere
But we try to say hello and introduce ourselves if we can And a similar thing happened.. where was it? Near Trabozon? Yeah, near Trabozon.. before Trabzon Miina went for an evening walk, smiled.. you know, blue eyes, everything and there was a guy who asked us if we had ever tried trabzon bread It's like a really big thing in Turkey. It's probably the most famous bread here - And what did the guy say? When we said that we hadn't tried it? - That we have to try it warm Even though I had asked where could we buy warm trabzon bread, he said that he will come and bring us some That's so crazy, you're just parking in a small town somewhere and....
Wow! And just a day later we were parking at another spot where fishermen were just doing their own thing in the evening Once again we decided that we're going to go and walk by, say hello This happened! Where are we going Joe? Chai (tea) Chai chai (tea tea) Our friend who had invited us for tea just came back, I think, from home and suddenly we have a little our little table full of food One of the fishermen was called Osman. Osman Abi, I know you don't understand when I'm speaking English now but you are amazing! He's a hazelnut grower and he even said that if we would stay for another week then he would let us in his farm and we could pick as many hazelnuts as we could carry away Who does that? And it's pretty cool! In northern Turkey hazelnuts are everywhere in those mountains Turkey is the biggest hazelnut grower in the world and all those mountain sites are filled with them But sadly we were in a hurry The story of where we went is not a happy story as all the other ones that we've told so far We did go to a beautiful place And we did meet a beautiful person who was not a Turkish person but still an amazing person! What happened was that in that area there was a beach that was so full of trash that we have never ever ever ever ever seen anything like that ever before There was only one thing to do and we tried to clean that beach We couldn't do the whole thing. We did our part, we picked up over 50 bags of trash I think it's just a good example of following your own truth like me and Miina both try to take good care of the environment We've done beach cleanups before That really separates you from tourists as well. If you show that you care about that country ..and honestly for us it's not even just Turkey. We try to think that wherever we're traveling, it's still our home It's our planet and if one part of our home is trashed or just needs attention then we can all help It doesn't work the way that one country cleans up beaches and another one doesn't Wherever you are, follow your truth! If you care about the environment, do it! The same in Turkey, in Morocco, in the USA, it doesn't matter where you are Caring should be beyond borderlines. The borderlines are just made up It's not about who you are, where you were born or where you are at the moment or where your home is You can always do good, doesn't matter where you are And about doing good, we met people who were really really really good to us One of the stories is how after the beach cleanup we went to Ankara and so many people had told us that don't go to Ankara, there's nothing there And how wrong were they?! They don't know that there's so many good people in Ankara We had some of the most amazing experiences over there. And we were there for 24 hours! And most of this time we were working on our van. First of all we needed to get our van serviced, fixed
Okay, this story is actually a little bit of a funny one. We were discussing before if I should actually tell the story How it happened was that we were at the car repair shop and Joe was upstairs. I had gone down to take something from the van I bumped into the bossman and at the same time the bossman's workers were watching our videos One of the workers told the bossman in Turkish that ''hey, they think that the best people in Turkey are in Gaziantep'' I looked at the bossman and said ''you can prove me wrong'' When I went back to Joe, I told him: Joe, I think I might have got us in trouble The man really took me super seriously We ate, we told stories, coffee, tea, absolutely perfect service for the van Our engine was so clean that I don't think it was so clean when coming out of the factory where it was made After we fixed the van, we realized that we need to do something with our solar panels We had to have our solar panels replaced. Again they were taking so good care of us
They were doing overtime. Five o'clock their workday should have ended but they were there with us until seven The service was brilliant but those two things were not the highlight of Ankara for us What was the highlight of Ankara? The same guy who had accompanied us that day We miss you, Cumhur, we do miss you! Cumhur is somebody who wrote us already at the very start of our trip to Turkey He told us that we are allowed to call him 24/7, whenever we needed help or translation for anything We never called him but we sure did decide to meet him Although we only spent less than a day with Cumhur and his family, his sister then we really do feel that the connection over there was just wonderful We were also asked to the wedding of Cumhur's sister Congratulations! Now the wedding has already happened. We're so sad that we couldn't go but we wish you all the best I'm sure that you guys are gonna be so happy together The reason why we left in a hurry and couldn't stay in Ankara for longer was that Estonians can be in Turkey only for 90 days That meant that we had to make our way to Istanbul as soon as possible and also there is And also there.... It's the biggest city in Turkey and you wouldn't really expect to find.. I'm not used to seeing kindness in big cities
It's just that people are so cramped together that there's no time to focus on everyone But I think that like a good thing to sum it up is that when we were in Istanbul, we did not spend a single night in our own van People were just asking us to go over and meet them, to spend time with them It was wonderful! Take Onur for example like he was such... he IS.. Hey Onur! He's such a brilliant brilliant man and it was so good to have somebody in Istanbul when we went there It's a huge place and it would have been scary to just start discovering somewehere But Onur welcomed us, showed us a little bit of town, showed us Turkish culture and he made me dance That doesn't happen every day! But we just felt so comfortable at his place that it came easily. Learning Turkish ways, cooking together, dancing together That was super lovely! Thank you Onur, I hope you are doing well! A really important thing, especially when you're in Istanbul but also just when in Turkey, is you understanding that when you go to a market, you do not have to buy everything and the price you're asked is not something you have to pay It's a lot about knowing Turkish ways in that sense When we first came, we didn't know the ways and and we felt obligated to buy everything we tried That was also the first time we got scammed From this market we got two bags of tea I think we overpaid a little bit. We were totally tourist trapped, we let him sell us by giving us free tea and then we were like ''Oh, I want this'' And the funniest thing is that almost the same situation happened in Istanbul at the Spice Market We were just dragged to a random little shop that sold beautiful stuff like teas and spice mixes and stuff like this And we both just started laughing when they gave us two cups of tea These were exactly the same teas we were given near Izmir where we got scammed Three months have changed us and we just drank the tea and left. Nobody got angry, nobody chased us That's how it works. If you know local ways and culture, it's so much easier
On markets there's bargaining, you don't have to buy everything you taste! Turkish people actually taste almost everything before they buy And make haggling fun for you! I'm enjoying this! I can't do it back home and there's just two people telling each other some weird story - My limit 450 - Let's meet in the middle, 300 - Oh make very hard bargains, you make so hard bargain Whose story is stronger, gets a better price In Istanbul we were also very happy to meet a girl named Mehthap She also had two friends with her and we were invited over to spend a day with them They had prepared a beautiful breakfast for us And later that same day we went to discover one of the islands around Istanbul. That was awesome! That was so awesome! That was really cool! And although we met quite a few people in Istanbul, there were more, we were really surprised, but we got quite a few invitations We're really sad that we couldn't meet up with all of you! We really hope that soon enough, when we come back to Turkey, we'd have the chance to meet you And of course we want to give more time to Istanbul We were there five days and that just was not enough! At least two weeks in Istanbul! Now we've been telling stories for a while. Stories how we felt that we're a part of... Turkish... community is the word? No? I don't know, I just feel part of the family and I don't know whose family. It's just one big family for me
But to sum it up or at least give you the tips that we have done and that have really worked for us Firstly, don't be afraid, always ask, be ready to approach people yourself, put yourself out there And Turkish people will welcome you, that's like 100% sure.. if not more Secondly, try to learn a little bit of Turkish. First off ''goodbye, hello'', stuff like this If you have the chance to stay in Turkey for a bit longer, you'll get to practice it a lot, trust me Thirdly, learn local ways. It will make your life so much easier
Like we said, on the markets know that you can try, you can bargain Be a part of their culture, don't be an alien - Do you have a fourth one? - I do have a last one Be grateful! They will want to give you things, food, whatever they have, they're gonna want to give it to you And really really be grateful! If you have a chance, try at least to give back, to literally hand something over to them They probably will not accept, I'm not joking, they probably will not accept but them not accepting doesn't mean that you could not give it to someone else who is in need That is true! Just keep the kindness rolling. Yeah, share the happiness, that is so true We really feel that all the good stuff that had been done to us in Turkey, we want to bring it with us to the rest of the world To give back and help people whenever we can Doesn't matter if it's my home country or Spain or Morocco.... no spoilers, right.. We're soon gonna be there. But don't go anywhere! I know this here sounded like an emotional last video We have left Turkey by now but there are more Turkish videos coming. At least 2 before we get to the horrific one about us leaving That was an adventure! It was so nice to have you with us! Thank you for watching and we'll see you next time! Bye! We miss you, Turkey!