Some reasons why traveling with children in Turkey is great

Tips, cautions and bright ideas for keeping children safe and happy during travel in Turkey.
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Some reasons why traveling with children in Turkey is great

Post by winelady » Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:52 pm

I've been in Turkey with my three kids for the last 8 weeks, mostly on my own and it has been wonderful. Having the kids here has changed my time here in many positive ways. The first and most important one has to be that they have made it easier to get to know and socialize with Turkish families. I doubt that I would have gotten to know so many people here if I had been alone or just with adults. My kids play with their kids and the beach, we start talking and the next thing I know, we're at their house for tea, we're attending birthday parties and arranging group outings. All of the Turks I have met have been very family oriented and I've gotten to know not only the kids and the parents, but in many cases, the grandparents as well.

Having children with me has also made me relax during my trip in a lot of ways. If I were traveling alone or only with adults, I probably would have tried to do much more than I have. Because their attention span and energy are slightly more limited, I stop more frequently for breaks and don't try to overreach. Since I have to answer their questions, I take more time to think about some things than I might otherwise and definitely see some things in a different way than I would if I only looked at them from an adult perspective. We also spent longer lingering on the Aegean than we would have if it had just been me and the area around Gundogan on the Bodrum Peninsula is just a jewel. I can't imagine more beautiful water or weather.

Children make great diplomats as well. I took some time and spent some energy to teach all of them some Turkish and they charm the heck out of people. I don't know that this gets us anything, but I feel good about raising the polite and courteous travelers of tomorrow.

The food here is good for them. It's been a parade of fresh, mostly organically raised fruits and vegetables for us here since day one. Even if they don't eat like this the rest of their lives, I'm sure it's a great experience for them. My kids have never had so many different kinds of juices or even knew that they existed.

There is no point in watching TV since they don't speak Turkish. I think we've seen a total of 6 hours of TV in the last 2 months or so. I limit TV at home, but this is still a significant reduction.

Turkey really has an "it takes a village..." vibe when it comes to kids. It took a little time for my kids to get used to it, but they have really embraced being embraced and patted and kissed by total strangers. I think it is wonderful that they feel so cherished. I wish we had that at home.

If you are on the fence, I hope this has been persuasive.
Richmond, VA USA

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Post by carrie » Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:27 am

What a lovely report and thanks for sharing.

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