My very first trip to Europe
Posted on 29 Aug 2019
I’ve always been enamoured with the idea of travelling - seeing new places, meeting new people, and most importantly - trying new food! I mean, what better way to experience a new place than through its food?!
I had read so much about Turkey - from its incredible ruins and architecture in Istanbul to the buzzing beaches of Antalya - that it felt natural as my first European experience.
And then it hit me - I. Will. Be. Travelling. ALONE.
To an unknown place. With no one to accompany me. Where English is not the first language. I have NEVER done something like this before. What was I doing?! I tend to keep to myself in crowds, especially new ones. The feeling (and questions) followed me right up to the second I landed.
I had chosen to start in Antalya on a whim and I was beginning to question my sanity. It is, after all, a country that the British government deems mostly safe. Reassuring.
With trepidation I checked in to my hotel and found out that there would be a Street Food Festival the next day - the Turkiye Sokak Lezzetleri Festivali. Food - yes. Crowds - meh.
I went anyways, keeping in mind that it would be something that I might regret missing out on. The experience of watching my food being prepared was like an appetiser to the main course - the food itself. I even found my soul food - the Hatay Kunefe, thin noodle-like semolina pastry with a sweet cheese filling topped with syrup and pistachio. Just watching the noodle-like dough being swirled onto the grill got my mouth watering. Talking the the vendors, I realised - "I can do this!" Sure, it was scary at first but it was a matter of finding something new but comfortable - which is food in my case.