In late September 2015, my boyfriend and I took our very first vacation together as a couple, but for me the significance of this trip was much greater, as selfish as that sounds. You see, this was the first vacation of my adult life and it was fully planned and paid for by my 21 year old self. I had travelled some when I was younger but I was always directed by the will of someone else.
This was MY vacation and I wanted it to be special. I won’t bore you with many of the details of the previous three years of my life but since I had turned 18 I had had to provide for myself and they had been a struggle. I found myself in a position where I had to fight and build a life for myself from scratch, yet here I was, 36 months on, with my own apartment, a good job and a loving relationship.
That’s why I think this trip is an appropriate place to start my travel blog. It wasn’t just my first vacation; it was the end of an incredible journey in my life and the beginning of a whole new chapter.
Sadly I lost a majority of my photos from Kusadasi when I accidentally deleted my phone back up but I’ll try my best to show you what an incredible place it is with what I have.
Initially I was set on Bangkok but this was a bit impractical for numerous reasons. Firstly I only had 8 days off from work and the flight times including layover came to about 18 hours each way. This meant I wouldn’t really have enough time to explore and relax. The second reason was pricing, I knew if I decided to go to Bangkok, flights and accommodation would be expensive which meant I’d have to put my vacation off for an extra month or two which would drive an impatient person like myself insane. There are many other reasons why that trip wouldn’t have worked but that’s not what this post is about.
So after a lot of research my partner Brian and I settled on Kusadasi, Turkey. Ultimately what we both really wanted was something accessible and inexpensive with a warm climate and a beach, all of which this beautiful little part of the world provided.
We stayed at the Suhan 360 hotel which was outside of the city but still with walking distance. I was really impressed with the hotel. I saw pictures of it before but you never expect the dressed up version to match up with the reality. Throughout the week we stayed there I spent a lot of my time relaxing in the sun on the balcony, at the pool and I even went to the spa a few times.
Our plane arrived quite late so after we left the airport and got in our cab to the hotel all we could see around us was darkness. Exhausted from the travel we checked in and made our way to our room. The reception was stunning but my tired eyes could not really appreciate that at the time.
Our room was also pristine and quite large. That night, Brian and I spent some time on the balcony listening to a mariachi band play by the pool below and we both felt worn out but happy.
The next morning when we awoke we stepped out on that same balcony again but this time we were greeted by a beautiful bright morning that let us look out over the crystal blue Mediterranean Ocean that had slept only 10 minutes away from us all night, but we were too blind to notice. It truly took my breath away.
Breakfast was included in our booking and the hotel had more than one restaurant, you could order food at the pool and there is a patisserie too. We did want the full Turkish experience so we did eat at different restaurants in the city.
As we went in late summer we were welcomed by 30+ degree heat each day so keeping hydrated was a must. Fortunately the city had many wonderful bars to meet out needs and keep us…em…healthy?
Things To Do
Kusadasi boasts some of the most spectacular views so a good photo can be taken almost anywhere. The lighting gives energy and attitude to any photo you may take.
It is also a place so rich in history, not too far from the city are sites like the temple of Artemis, Basilica of St John, Ephesus and Pamukkale.
There are a number of beaches you can visit too, the most popular being Ladies Beach.
If I had to recommend one thing that you must do however, it would have to be to take a boat ride. We booked a day cruise on Big Baba’s Boat and when we arrived I was scared because it looked like a pirate ship. After embarking however I had the most incredible time. It had a bar under the deck with some incredible cocktails and the boat made three stops to some of the best diving spots I had ever seen.
Swimming in the Mediterranean is still one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life so if you wish for the life aquatic I could not recommend higher.
And remember, you are in Turkey after all so don’t forget to indulge and hit the hookah.
Kusadasi gave me the best first holiday I could have ever hoped for and from where I am in my life now, looking back, I sometimes think about the things I regret I didn’t do while I was there. But then I catch myself and I remember that I have been an independent woman for a very short time and I have a long time ahead of me to make it up to myself.