I’m a risk taker and it was time to do something crazy, to make memories I could never forget, it was the time for a change and the most important thing it was time to put my effort into something different, something out of everything I used to live in. Getting out of your comfort zone is always the right thing to do, it shows you the amount of courage you have, what you’re capable of, and how different the world out of the small comfortable bubble you live in.
Traveling was the right answer after a lot of boredom, routine and after a lot of lost answers to a lot of questions. Traveling alone was always a dream of mine. So, here is the story of an 18 years old girl, my traveling experience was a very challenging experience yet one of a lifetime opportunity’s, it shaped and changed me as a person and made me look at the world from a very different perspective.
I wanted to take advantage of traveling alone and do something through this opportunity so I kept searching for organizations that are going to make the whole thing easier and more fun. AIESEC program seemed to be the right thing to do.
I decided to apply for AIESEC in Trabzon because I wanted to visit a place that I never thought of, a place that wasn’t familiar to people. And also do to the fact that I was trapped in the amount of time I had to apply for a visa, and since Trabzon didn’t need a visa, it was the right place to choose, and apparently, I wasn’t wrong. After a lot of searching, I was kind of curious to explore this place and not only visit it but to live in it and to get more involved in it.
I heard about Trabzon a lot but for me, it wasn’t a familiar place. After I searched for it I was shocked by the amazing places it has, the many of tourist that goes there and by how special Trabzon is.
Trabzon is a city located on the Blacksea coast of northeastern Turkey. It was built as a church in the 13th century, Hagia Sophia, has served as a hospital and a museum, but today it is a mosque with restored ceiling frescoes.
I fell in love with Trabzon and I felt like I have a special connection with it. Maybe its because it was the first place I went alone which made it like my own place and also not to forget that I enjoyed everything about it, from people to the food and to activities. It just has this special place in my heart that I will forever be grateful to.
Our culture is so similar to Turkey’s culture. As a girl who has traveled to a lot of places in Turkey, Trabzon was the most similar to Jordanian culture. This led to stronger and better communication. The language wasn’t such an issue, especially with technology. Nowadays communicating through translating was very helpful. They barely speak English and sometimes communicating with them in Arabic is easier. Surprisingly we have many common words and this similarity had something to do with the fact that the Ottoman Empire included many Arabic speaking countries.
My first opinion after arriving Trabzon was how different the weather was. What’s bad about Trabzon’s weather was that you can’t predict it. You go out and can see the sunny weather and come back home soaking wet out of the rain and it’s always gloomy. I remember getting so happy when it turns sunny. You can barely see the sea is blue, it’s called the black sea.
It came to the moment where I’m going to meet the people. I would live for the next two months with those people and it was one of the things I was scared of. I lived in an apartment with 3 girls and 2 guys. Surprisingly we got really close. We used to do everything together. In later times we became like a team and then turned up to this small happy family.
I wasn’t expecting to find such happiness with these people so far away from home, I made a lifetime friendship with Algerian, Tunisian, Moroccan, Pakistanian and Jordanian people. I had no idea I could ever be able to meet, they were the highlight of this whole experience and I could have never made it without them.
A week passed after arriving Trabzon, settling down and understanding the change in my life for the next two months was the biggest challenge. I have to admit that it was one of the toughest weeks of my life and going back home and giving up this opportunity was the first thing in my mind. Settling down takes time but once you’re done everything good and fun starts.
Turkish people are known for their great hospitality and were proven to me on this trip. One of the saddest moments in Trabzon was the time when we had to move out of the apartment do to a lot of reasons. I and my Jordanian friend got hosted by this amazing, kind and loving person. We stayed at his place for the last 15 days. He was such a nice person to take us around to places we couldn’t go alone and took us to the best restaurants there. You think you’re not capable of getting attached to more people but we got attached so hard to him that it was so hard leaving him and going back home. It was like you’re leaving behind a family member.
The best thing I was excited to try was definitely the food there. Food is everyone’s favorite part of traveling, for me, I fell in love with Trabzon’s food. The reason falling in love with the food there had something to do with the fact that their food is very similar to the Arabian food.
Trabzon is known for its very delicious Kuymak and its one of the main dishes there. Kuymak is a regional meal of Trabzon, Turkey. Its primary ingredients are cornmeal and cheese and it’s typically served with bread and a spoon. It was one of the best dishes I ate there, I highly recommend it.
If it needs talking about desserts now, they have the yummiest rice pudding which is a dish made from rice mixed with milk and other ingredients such as Cinnamon and raisins.
Now it was time to start exploring Trabzon and the first place we went to was Uzungol which is a lake situated to the south of the city of Trabzon. It honestly was one of the most amazing places I have ever seen, trees were as long as I can see, everything was covered with trees.
The lake is at a distance of 99 km from Trabzon’s city center, tourists come from all around the world to visit one of the biggest lakes, we went there with an arranged group they picked us up early at 10:00 am we came back at around 6:00 pm, they stopped us to see the tea factory, horse farm, Atakoy waterfall and Uzungol artificial waterfall, and this whole thing coast me 40 Turkish liras.
Our next trip was the Soumela monastery. The Soumela monastery is one of the must-see places when going to Trabzon. It’s a Greek Orthodox monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary. To be honest, this trip was my least favorite one although it was so much fun for me. I don’t enjoy such things but what I loved about this trip was the Torul cam seyir terası, it was different and the view was breathtaking. One of the things that I also enjoyed on the trip was the Karaca caves. It was really nice seeing such a thing. The bus picked us up at 9:00 am and we got back by 7:00 pm and it cost us 80 Turkish liras.
Our next trip was Hıdırnebi. We actually figured the place after we saw the pictures of the people we met on our first trip. That’s how we decided to visit it because it seemed like a very nice place to go to. It cost us 30 Turkish liras only. They picked us up early at 9:00 am and we got back at 8:00 pm. The highlight of this trip was the zipline and the swing, it was part of the trip activities and its one of the things I remember enjoying so much. Ziplining was a thing that I have never tried before do to the fact that I’m afraid of heights, this one though wasn’t too high so I tried it and it was so worth it. The swing though wasn’t something I got excited to, my friend convened me to try it and honestly it was one of these moments in life where you just go silent and enjoy the moment, trying it was one of the memories I tell every time I talk about Trabzon, I just can’t forget how fresh and free I felt in that exact moment.
It was now time to get out of Trabzon and travel somewhere new. So, we chose to travel to Georgia. What encouraged us more to visit Georgia was the fact that we Jordanians didn’t need a visa to go there. Unfortunately, our Tunisian and Algerian friends couldn’t go because of the visa. Go and back cost us like 80 Turkish liras. For us, the accommodation was covered because we stayed at our friend’s family’s house. I have never met such nice people, they were too kind and showed us a lot of places there. We stayed at Batumi where is 2 hours away from Trabzon on the bus. Batumi was such a magical place, the weather, the beach, and the people were perfect. We were planning to stay for only one night but we loved the place way too much that we stayed 4 days.
We got hosted in a perfect way there. Even though everything was perfect, communicating with them was our biggest issue. They don’t speak English and Arabic. They cooked us the yummiest traditional food, living with this family was a whole different experience.
Batumi is known for its special places such as Ali and Nino statue, Chacha clock tower, alphabetic tower, and the miracle park. For me Ali and Nino’s statue were one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen, it was honestly above average. Going back to Georgia and explore it more is definitely on my bucket.
The last thing I want to say is that, if you want to understand a lot of things in life traveling is definitely the answer, it makes you ten times stronger, you meet a lot of people, learn about the different cultures and make you come closer to what you want and look for in life.
Going back to Trabzon is all I want to do, I want to visit the apartment I lived in, the person we got hosted by, I want to eat Kuymak one more time, go to the coffee houses we used to sit in, the park we used to play at, see the people I used to spend time every single day with, it was so hard going back home leaving Trabzon with all these unforgettable memories I had there, it was two months full of fun, sadness, hate, happiness, enjoyment and most importantly it was full of love.
I don’t regret anything I did in this experience, I would live it all over again without hesitation and I miss every single moment in it. I hope everyone who reads this gets inspired to get out of their bubble and go live what the world has for them.
You can ask your questions without hesitation.