What’s it like over there in Turkey?
People ask me that question a lot.
They ask when they find out that my husband is Turkish. Or when I talk about spending the summer with our kids in Turkey. Or when I mention that I’m going there for work.
Or when some Hollywood starlet says something like, “Oh, I thought Istanbul was a town.” (Yeah, I know, I winced too.)
And, you know what? I still don’t have a good answer.
Because, summing up Turkey, or any other country or culture, for that matter, is basically impossible.
It’s like asking a mom what labor’s like. (Okay, it’s not that extreme.)
Still, when you’re talking about a country as big, as diverse, and as old as Turkey, there aren’t any simple, succinct answers.
But that doesn’t stop people from having questions.
The Top 3 Questions I Get Asked about Turkey
Over the years I’ve field a lot of questions about traveling in Turkey. Here’s just a sample:
Do you wear a headscarf when you’re there?
Nope. Sure, if I’m visiting a mosque, I’ll put on one out of respect. But, in my normal goings-about, I’ve never worn, or felt pressured, to don a headscarf.
Is it safe?
There’s something about Turkey that makes some people very nervous. And it’s not just Americans who get the willies. Back when I lived in Madrid and was heading out for my first trip to Turkey, a well-meaning Spanish friend tried to talk me out of going. “What if you’re kidnapped? Or tossed into a Turkish prison like that guy in that movie Midnight Express?” Considering that I wasn’t a) a top model or b) a drug dealer, I wasn’t too worried. Twenty-years and two kids later, I’m even less so.
Is it true you have to walk several paces behind your husband?
Heck, no! And I don’t see my Turkish female relatives plodding along behind their spouses either.
Curious about Turkey and want to learn more? Then consider joining me on a “Wander & Wonder Day Trip”. Contact me to learn about the custom walkabouts I offer in Istanbul and other locations in the U.S. and abroad.