CatieFunkTravels Rodes Island Greece

TRAVEL: 2 Day Itinerary for Rhodes, Greece

Just slightly smaller than Lesvos and 4th largest of all Greek islands, Rhodes is a hub for cruise ships pouring 1,000s of travelers into the city for short land-side excursions. Fortunately for us, our travels did not overlap with the hordes of cruises.

Only 20 mi/30 km from the Turkish coast, Rhodes Island is popular for its lively nightlife, excellent beaches, flowers, hills and historical sites. The island has a fairly active artists’ colony, and it’s not uncommon to come across a painter at work.

Rhodes island offers its visitors a history that goes back in time thousands of years, to the ages of mythology.

The beautiful myth of Rhodes says that after Zeus’s victory against the Giants, he decided to divide the earth among the Olympian gods; The only god who received nothing was Helios, the god of the Sun.

He, according to the myth, was absent and “No one remembered to include him in the draw”! When he came back he demanded his share, but Zeus told him that he was not able to make the cast again because the rest of the gods would not agree. Helios was disappointed but asked Zeus and the other gods to promise that the land that was to rise out of the sea could be his.

As he spoke, a beautiful island slowly emerged from the bottom of the blue sea, Rhodes. Helios bathed Rhodes with his own radiance and made it the most beautiful island in the Aegean Sea.

The visitor can find monuments and evidence of Rhode’s long history and myth to explore scattered all over the island. Some of the most important historical sights and monuments on the island are:

In Rodos City:

  • The Acropolis of Rhodes
  • The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes
  • The Medieval City of Rhodes and the Palace of the Grand Masters

Outside of Rodos City:

  • The Acropolis of Lindos
  • The castle of Monolithos
  • The castle of Kritinia
  • The castle of Feraklos in Haraki
  • Ancient Lalysos
  • Ancient Kamiros

Rhodes Greece Rhodos Greek Island

Here is my 2 Day Itinerary to Rodes, Greece: 

Spend Day 1 in Old Town

Much of its flavor and architecture arrived with the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, who occupied it 1310-1522. In the capital, Rodos, see the medieval quarter of Old Town.

Old Town is surrounded by the most impressive, well-maintained pair of medieval walls which easily could take hours to see all the towers and former moats. A UNESCO site since 1988, the parallel walls are separated by a dry moat and is in outstanding condition. The 3.2 mi/5 km long and 12 meters wide walls distinguish Old Town from the rest of the city.

Inside the walls, each street and turn compelled us further into the maze of streets taking time to meander through the Greek, Turkish and Jewish neighborhood. Along the way, we stopped for lunch and shopping at little pockets of shops. (see below for a list of our favorite restaurants)

Your tour must include time at the 14th century Grand Master’s Palace, the most prominent historical and architectural landmark and once the residence of the Grand Master of the Order of the Knights Hospitaller. The Palace holds two permanent archaeological exhibitions: “Ancient Rhodes – 2400 years” celebrating 2400 years since the founding of the city of Rhodes (408/7 BC) and “Rhodes from the Early Christian period to the Turkish conquest (1522)” covers the city from the 4th century AD until the beginning of the Ottoman period.

For €10, a 3-day ticket includes entrances into the Grand Masters’ Palace, Archaeological Museum, the church of Our Lady of the Castle and the Decorative Arts Collection.

Rhodes Greece Rhodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

CatieFunkTravels Rhodes Rodes Island Greece Greek Islands

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

 

Spend Day 2 in New Town and outside the city.

New Town is north of Old Town. Mandilara Street is home to some of the best restaurants and shopping in New Town. The long-standing Koykos Restaurant serves traditional Rhodian recipes such as Koulouria, a hand-made local pasta topped with fresh crumbly cheese and spices is beloved by both locals and tourist.Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

The Agios Nikolas Tower (at the harbor entrance), marks where one of the legendary 7 Wonders of World, Colossus of Rhodes, once stood.  The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek titan-god of the sun Helios, and once straddled the harbor which boats had to enter through. Now, unimpressive columns are set in place of the feet as a remembrance and are considered an island ‘must’ see.

How to get there: From the Old town’s East wall, you walk the jetty with the three, well-preserved Wiatraki Rhodes Windmills toward the Fort of St. Nicolas. The jetty makes a turn to close in the harbor, and at the end is the ancient Colossus. Now you can take the best picture of the two Colossus with Rodos in the background.

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

CatieFunkTravels Rodes Island Greece

As you walk the outskirts of new town along the coast, take a quick look at the painted walls of the Eklisia Church to see the walls that are covered from floor to ceiling in paintings of scenes from the Bible and of the saints.

Lastly, even if you don’t get in the water, spend an hour resting your feet from the walking and enjoy another view of the Mediterranean Sea at the beaches before heading back to Turkey.

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

If time:

Most travelers are only staying in Rhodes 1 day. I would suggest spending most of the time in the Old Town, but make sure to walk along the outside of the Old Town by the water so you enjoy the sea as well!

During the high season, between April-October, a double-decker sightseeing bus waits for travelers and cruise passengers at the port. While the bus could use some work on the sound system, the 12 Euro day pass gives you access to 2 buses making an hour-long loop around the city of Rodes; a quick way to get your bearing of where you may want to spend your day.

The route also passes by the unimpressive Acropolis of Rhodes to see a theater, stadium and two temples. The buses pass by every hour which gives you chances to stop and look through the ruins before catching the next bus.  If time permits in your busy schedule and the buses aren’t in season, you can hike or take a taxi.

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

How to travel from Turkey to Rhodes:

The 1-hour fast ferry takes passengers from the Marmaris port in Turkey to the entrance of the Old Town, Rodos of Greece. Rodos splits into ‘new town’ and ‘old town.’ If you have two days, spend one day exploring each. See my articles 8 Tips for Traveling to the Greek Islands from Turkey to explain the one-way and round-trip tickets from Turkey.

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Where to eat:

In New Town, the long-standing Koykos Restaurant served traditional Rhodian recipes. “Koulouria” with fresh local pasta and crumbly cheese and spices is beloved by both locals and tourist. In Old Town, the Odyssey Restaurant offers up delicious traditional Greek dishes at a reasonable price for the touristy part of town. I suggest the mixed meze plate for 2 and a mug of the local Alpha beer.

Our nontraditional restaurant choice would be the George & Maria Art of Falafel, located near the Koykos Restaurant on Mandilara Street. For dessert, we enjoyed yummy, single serving lemon pies from PURE Sweets & More in New Town.

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Where to stay:

For budget travelers, we recommend the Lydia Hotel in New Town (50 Euros per night) or the Medieval Rose Inn guesthouse in Old Town (25-30 Euros per night). In New Town, the fore-mentioned Koykos Restaurant is also a beloved 8-room guesthouse. If you like a little luxury, Rhodes Park, and Suites Hotel near Old Town (180 Euros per night). This island is so small that it would be easy to stay in the central city and take day trips to other areas of the island.

What to buy:

When your sandals break in Greece, buy another pair! I heard Chios was the place for leather shopping, but Rodos has way more options. Real soft leather sandals in the latest fashion cost around 35 to 45 Euros.

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

 

I hope you found my 2 Day Itinerary for Rodos, Greece helpful! We will definitely return for another weekend and explore other parts of the islands! There is so much more to see!

Watch our video about our travels to Rhodes Greek Island HERE.

We want to hear from you!

Did you enjoy this 2 Day Itinerary for Rodos, Greece?

Have you been to Rodos, Greece?

What did you love when you traveled to Rodos?

 

Like it?! Share it or pin it for later!

Read more information about other islands we have visited:

8 Tips for Traveling to the Greek Islands from Turkey

Chios (coming soon)

Lesvos (coming soon)

Bostanlı Pazar Izmir Turkey

IZMIR: Izmir’s Largest Outdoor Market: Karşıyaka Bostanlı Pazar

Ever curious about what a local market looks like for us in Izmir, Turkey? Look no further than the Bostanlı Pazar!

In this article, I cover: 

How large is the Bostanlı Pazar?
What should you bring to the Bostanlı Pazar?
What should you be aware of before you go to the Bostanlı Pazar?

Here we go!

Depending on one’s love of crowds, the weekly outdoor market of Bostanlı Pazar competes for one of the best or one of the worst parts of Turkey. The empty covered parking in a matter of hours is filled to the brim with a surprisingly organized array of stands that sell fruit, vegetables, nuts, clothes and household items. The sellers can be heard in the distant calling out for buyers and sharing how scrumptious their products taste.

The Bostanlı Pazar, established in Karşıyaka’s (literally “the other side”) Bostanlı neighborhood, exceeds the normal neighborhood bazaar by being the largest market in Izmir. Not overly touristy, sights and sounds of daily life in Turkey engulf visitors as they enter the market. But unlike other smaller markets, tourists can still find more traditional Turkish items for sale such as Turkish towels and antique dishes. In addition, local vendors with shops downtown bring their rugs, purses and handcrafted jewelry to the market.

However, the experience is not for everyone. The market can be loud and very busy, especially in the afternoon and evening. Exploring the market in the morning will allow for a more relaxed experience. While the items are a bargain, quality items are rare. Bargain vendors sell clothes with minor defects, such as dresses/shirts with small holes in them or t-shirts with a slight offset in the print.

Time:

This famous Bostanlı Pazar is only open on Wednesdays.

Bostanlı Pazar Izmir Turkey

Bostanlı Pazar Izmir Turkey

How to get there:

The Bostanlı Pazar attracts visitors from all over the city. After taking a bus or ferry to the Bostanlı Iskelesi, the market is an easy 10 minutes walk. Several buses also travel from Karşıyaka and Bostanlı by the Bostanlı Pazar on their way to Mavişehir. Otherwise, for around 10 lira you can grab a taxi for a quick drop off right by the entrance.

Traveling by car presents a slight difficulty because the parking is difficult and hard to come by the later it gets in the day. The 6 lane seaside road between the Bostanlı Pazar and the coast becomes 4 lanes as visitors start parking in the side lanes. There is a small parking lot to the east of the market but it is usually packed with the seller’s vehicles.

What to bring:

  • Cash: Some vendors that sell higher priced items like rugs may have a credit card payment option. However, cash will usually get you a discount since there is no fee required for the payment.
  • Rolling cart: For larger purchases or hungry eyes, bring a rolling cart to make the trip home easier to manage! The kilos of fruits and vegetables quickly add up!
  • Camera: If you are touring the markets on vacation, bring your camera to take pictures! After checking the locals’ approval for a photo, you may find the seller calling you over to their stands to pose for a shot!

Bostanlı Pazar Izmir Turkey

Bostanlı Pazar Izmir Turkey

Bostanlı Pazar Izmir Turkey

What to eat:

Of course, the vendors always offer up samples of their food but make sure to leave room for the gözleme stands outside of the covered Bostanlı Pazar.  Gözleme is like a Turkish quesadilla except not as much cheese and thiner dough (see video below!) With several stands to choose from, order a potato, spinach, cheese or eggplant stuffed gözleme and drink an ayran  (salty yogurt drink) and relax with your meal in the provided chairs and tables.

How to navigate the market:

If coming for the experience and not for a weeks supply of food, start the tour from the west side where the clothing and household items are sold. The middle section is full of vegetables and fruits that are in season, nuts, pickles and fresh herbs. The last section on the far east is reserved for cheese, olives, and seafood. Many varieties of cheese from different parts of Turkey can be found in these cheese stalls. Come hungry as vendors are eager to let you sample their products.

What to buy:

Some of the items that you see are priced about the same as what you would get from a local market, but other items, such as shawls and women and children’s clothing, can be found at ridiculously cheap prices (as low as 5 TL or less). Make sure to try the dried fruit and nuts (“kuruyemiş”).

 

Bostanlı Pazar Izmir Turkey

Bostanlı Pazar Izmir Turkey

Visiting with the family:

The market spans a large area and even regular visitors find themselves lost among the ever-changing stalls. While it is possible to come with young children, it can be difficult. The crowds are tricky to navigate and they can easily get lost. Children who grow tired of shopping can enjoy the seaside park across the street.

A final note:

If you really want to experience a market in Izmir and you miss the Wednesday market in Bostanlı, there are other markets in nearby Karşıyaka on Sunday (only food) and Tuesday (only clothes and household items).

Note: This article was originally guest-posted for Yabangee.

 

I would love to hear from you! Comment below or on the video answering one of the following questions:

1. Have you been to this market – the “Bostanlı Pazar“?
2. What tips do you have?
3. What did you find interesting from the video?
Like this post! Save it for later!
CatieFunkTravels Rodes Rhodes Greece Greek Islands

TRAVEL: 8 Tips for Traveling to the Greek Islands from Turkey

When you look at a map, the islands just off the Aegean coastline look like they belong to Turkey. But they are actually part of the Greek islands. Travelers in Turkey can access the EU with a quick ferry ride.

Once belonging to the same ancient empires and rulers, the Greek islands have a messy mix of overlapping Greek and Turkish history. While you could say that the citizens living in either country are entirely native, you will find that most Greeks and Turks in the southwest of Turkey have a jumbled heritage of Greek and Turkish ancestors.

Today, the Greek laid-back Islanders and relaxed warm Turkish people of Izmir have a comfortable relationship that politicians could learn a thing or two about.

Alongside the history, travelers like to visit the Greek Islands for the ease of island life. Big cities like Rome and London also come with traffic and crowds of people. While we saw a few people from the ferry, tourist lines were never a problem on the Greek Islands.

When traveling to the gorgeously sunny areas of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, the Greek Islands of Chios (click here to listen to our podcast about Chios), Lesvos, and Rhodos, are the perfect international day trips from the Turkish coast.

CatieFunkTravels Lesvos Island Greece Greek Islands
Lesvos, Greece – Greek Islands

But before you go, here are 8 tips for traveling to the Greek Islands from Turkey:

  1. Check your visa requirements! Rules still apply for entering the EU. Some islands have daily visa pass, but make sure your nationality can purchase them.
  2. Traveling to the island is best in the summer: May to September. The island comes to life with other travelers, and all the shops are ready to greet you. But if you are like us and want a more relaxed, getaway, consider coming in the off-months: October- April.
  3. Chios and Lesvos are relatively protected from the masses of cruise lines and craziness that comes with the hordes of tourists being dumped onto the island all at once. Rhodos, however, is another story. For a more enjoyable experience, consider checking out this island during the off-season or the edges of the summer season.
  4. Booking your ferry tickets online is easy. From the several websites I have used, I suggest www.marmarisferry.com provided the most diverse selection of routes and online payment.
    • Chios’ daily departures in both on and off-season. Tickets are a flat one-way fee of 20 Euros (40 Euros round trip).
    • Lesvos’ schedule is irregular in the off-season but picks up around the summer months. Tickets are a flat one-way fee of 25 Euros (50 Euros round trip).
    • Rhodos charges 30 Euro extra per roundtrip (40 Euros for same day round trip) if you arrive and depart on different days.CatieFunkTravels Lesvos Greece Greek Islands

      Catie FunkTravels Chios Greece Greek Islands
      Chios, Greece – Greek Islands
  5.  Rental cars are easy and cheap to rent for your desired amount of time. Even if you have a car, you will find that renting a car for a day or 2 will be cheaper than paying for your car ferry fee and the extra required international insurance on the island. Only if you plan to stay for longer than four days should you consider taking your vehicle.
  6. While I thought it was just a Spanish tradition, Greeks also honor a similar afternoon siesta from 1-3 PM. Most shops besides restaurants and cafes will take a break mid-day for lunch and rest. At 3 PM the shops reopen for shoppers until 6 PM or if in a shopping district, 8-9 PM. Also, if you want to travel around the island, make sure to see the big city when you first arrive.
  7. On Sundays, most non-food shops close, and the shopping areas become a ghost town. Thankfully, most shops near the water stay open for locals and the random tourists waiting for their ferry boats back to Turkey. If you are looking to grab some European products to take back to Turkey, Lidl and other supermarkets have a large, affordable selection of goods. However, they close on Sundays.
  8. While the refugee crisis has potentially affected some of the Greek Islands, we never saw any disruptive events or services during our visits. Besides the occasional beggar near the port areas, which is common in most cities, we saw none in the other regions of Greece.

CatieFunkTravels Lesvos Greek Islands Greece

CatieFunkTravels Rhodes Rodes Island Greece Greek Islands
Rhodes, Greece – Greek Islands

I hope you enjoyed these 8 tips for traveling to the Greek Islands from Turkey.  Have you traveled to the island? What tips do you have from your travels to the islands?

Now to you:

What Greek Islands have you traveled too?

What did you love about your travels there?

What are your tips for traveling to the Greek Islands?

 

Read more information about other islands we have visited: (coming soon!)

Chios

Lesvos

Rhodos

 

 

Like it? Pin it for later or share it with others!

 

 

WRITING: Snowy Weekend in Cappadocia in Lale Magazine

Lale Magazine featured my article titled Snowy Weekend in Cappadocia in their January/February 2018. The article covers a romantic weekend getaway to the snowy land of Cappadocia. The curved canyons of speckled volcanic rock jutting 2 to 3 stories into the chilled winter air were dusted with the recent fluffy snowfall!

The expat magazine, Lale Magazine, is produced by the IWI, International Women of Istanbul. The bi-monthly magazine is shipped to over 600 private home, as well as all advertisers and sponsors. The readers are comprised mostly of Turkish nationals married to foreigners, but also foreigners living in Istanbul. It is full of helpful information about local schools, exhibits for art and workshops, and experiences with IWI groups. There aren’t a lot of English print magazines in Turkey, so this is a fun magazine to have available!

Here is the start of the article:

While most tourists prefer to visit Cappadocia, in central Turkey, in the warmer summer temperatures, our winter travels there proved much more rewarding. Snow covers the usual brown facade and dresses the rocks in white, giving the area a beautiful, wintery glow.

The area prides itself on its carpet-weaving, wines, and the distinctive red pottery of Avanos. The snow and colder weather didn’t stop store owners or their warm rooms from inviting customers into their galleries.

Tour agencies in the region offer four tour routes labeled Green, Red, Blue, and Purple. To best explore Cappadocia you can choose a self-guided, well-traveled tour using a map in a rental car, or via a tour company.  Private day guides are always available and cost less during the offseason. Your guided tour may or may not include the entrance tickets and lunch, so be sure to clarify this before agreeing on a price. Take the Green and Red Tours for the more popular sites or, the less-traveled, Blue and Purple Tours if you have been before.

Continue reading here… or scroll down (flip to page 42).

Catie FunkTravels Istanbul Lale Magazine Cappadocia Turkey

Catie FunkTravels Istanbul Lale Magazine Cappadocia Turkey

Catie FunkTravels Istanbul Lale Magazine Cappadocia Turkey

 

You can also view the article via the link below. Flip to page 42.

 

Thank you, Lale Magazine for the feature. I am honored to be working with you as a writer.

 

See my past work published in the Lale Magazine:

For more pictures and my other accounts of our weekend in snow-covered Cappadocia, read more via the links below:

Episode027: When there is plenty of room at the Inn

Now to you:

Did you enjoy the article?

Would you go in the winter?

 

 

CatieFunkTravelsChristmasCard

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Funny how a digital Christmas card can be just as delayed to get to you as the real ones. 😉 In fact, you probably wonder what the excuse would be when I don’t actually have to order, address, nor stamp them! BUT we were traveling, and then we didn’t have internet for a few days… then it was Christmas. Yada, yada, yada… do I have any sympathy from you yet?

Anyways, Christmas cards are one of my favorite things. If I don’t get to see you or talk to you often, it’s the one time of year I can send a card and let you know I do care. Thanks to modern technology, free labels from Shutterfly, a Groupon for Zazzle, the cash app, and a very helpful sister, we are still able to uphold that tradition from afar! And I am already thinking next year how we can add our Turkey friends to the tradition and deliver a special set of cards just to them.

Part of our cards is having a small little update on the back side of the card. Unfortunately, I usually have to keep it very short due to space. But here I can embellish a little more, and I hope you enjoy!

Without further ado:

Izmir, Turkey, has been our home for more than a year now and are so thankful to report no repairs needed this year! Finally settled in our home, I, Catie, have even gone through a few ‘cluttered’ drawers and piles (so was stuff others had left or given us) and rid them of unnecessary stuff. I am trying to keep our home somewhat minimal with only the necessary items and decor. When it becomes no longer useful, it is given away or thrown out. But for the most part, our space is comfortable, light, and spacious.

Turkey itself has had an interesting year and continued to renew its state of emergency. There has also been a series of earthquakes over the last year, and that is entirely new for both of us. Lira was down (which is great for us) and is now slowing returning. However, we are thankful for normal lives and new two year visas.

Our church is a huge support to us here, and we have enjoyed serving there (yep! It’s in Turkish!). As well, we have wonderfully welcoming neighbors and a mix of foreign and Turkey friends. It is interesting to learn that misunderstandings happen in both Turkish and English (because words even in English don’t always have the same meaning!). God has been faithful to continually supply new friendships, a cozy home, support, and love every step of the way.

Our friends have been amazing. We attended our first Turkish wedding, learned about a (new-to-us) holiday, and attended the first-ever Izmir Chocolate Festival. As well, we made sure to celebrate our holidays with them as well!

Catie FunkTravels Izmir Turkey Urkmez

So how are we personally?

I am studying language and conquering the grammar and vocabulary little by little. Moving from full-time to no-time work had its struggles, but this fall I feel like I have found my stride. I have loved writing about our experiences with travel, living in Izmir, and expat lives. Photo editing is a beast, but have always loved photography, I am finally learning and enjoying to edit photos. In June, I decided to finally take the leap to pursue a new what I hope to be, a part-time career in travel writing. Needless to say, it has been a year of learning!

Jason continues to learn Turkish and has completed all lessons in the Duolingo App. Part of him language learning inspired him to make an app called Foreign Numbers! He is still working with his U.S. clients via his software consulting business, Tough Space. As well he has taken on a few extra projects here and there. He somehow makes it through more podcasts and books than I can in 3 years! We are thankful his work allows for remote work and flexibility.

We both had some health stuff come up this year (getting old sucks), but thankfully great health care here means we took care of it all without any complications!

2017CatieFunkTravels Inle Lake Myanmar

2017 was our year of travel. Being nearby to lots of interesting places, we decided to take advantage of the easy travel while we can. We started our year in Prague and are ending it with our travels to Germany. In Turkey, we covered Cappadocia in the snow, the popular beach town of Bodrum during the offseason, the hot Adana in cooler months, an annual trip to Ephesus, and the last minute surprise of exploring Antalya. Izmir and the surrounding areas are bursting with places to explore, and even though we don’t own a car, we ventured out to some nearby cities called Urla, Alaçatı, and Pammukale.

Even more fun is traveling with friends! Our biggest trip last summer included traveling SouthEast Asia for a month. With our friends Eric and Ashley (you may remember them from sailing and Prague), we toured the countries of Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Ironically enough, we travel to Bangkok via Romania, where we met up with our other friends Kathryn and Brian and were able to meet their kiddos for the first time!

Since we were already heading to Asia, we decided to combine this travel with our trip back to the states to visit our families in both Louisiana and Iowa. Starting in New Orleans allowed us to not only meet up with friends along the way but also meet one of Jason’s clients in person for the first time as well! The coolest part of our travels was that we can now say we have literally flown around the world!

FunkTravels Eski Foca

We are hoping that next year will mark a few more countries off our list: Iceland, UK, Ireland, Norway, and the Greek Islands(there are some just off the coast of Turkey) just to name a few. Mostly just dreams, but we drop one country for meeting up with friends in other ones in a heartbeat! Then there are always a few surprise trips that come our way instead! Jason will continue his work, and I have a new side project that I am slowly developing to be used in Turkey. We both are still studying Turkish. Our first scheduled trip for next year is to Dubai for Jason and me to run our first race together, a 10k!

While we continue to miss family, we have found a rhythm of communication, and that makes it a lot easier. Our nieces and nephews are learning that Turkey is another country and Turkish is another language. They always impress us with their smarts, new vocabulary, and just general cuteness. 2017 was the first year we have not gained a new niece or nephew, but we do have a new nephew on the way in 2018!

201708 CatieFunk Birthday

And then there are some random things we miss; we always try to find good ‘American’ Chinese and (Tex)Mexican food wherever we travel. Most of the time it is a complete letdown, but our time in the states and Germany provide fixes to our craving every six months. Good pork is hard to come by and super expensive. I miss the freedom of owning a car, the freedom of spontaneity that comes with it, the ease of ordering packages from Amazon,and convenience of being able to find what I want when I want and not having to think several seasons ahead (Thanksgiving decor bought in August while in the states and cupcake decorations bought for Valentines Day while in Germany in December).

But we love the conveniences of restaurant (and grocery from what I hear) delivery. And if we need to buy groceries, we have three within a 200-meter radius! We eat the best eggplant dishes, and the sea view, while I run, is something that would definitely make you jealous. We are literally living on top of the ancient city of Smryna. Even though it takes a little planning, flights to pop in and out of Europe are cheaper than flying from our home state of Iowa to my roots of Louisiana. Not to mention, Jason and I can travel to Istanbul and back for under $50 each.

As we live in Turkey, travel, work, and learn Turkish, I have learned that we just can’t do it all. I want to save AND travel. I want to live in the states AND overseas. I want to work on every project AND only do one! Jason thankfully continues to love and encourage me (as well as keep me grounded)! As I already knew but still have trouble implementing, slow living is the best way to live, and slow travel is the best way to travel. Thankfully we live a lifestyle that allows that, and I hope I can just do a better job of appreciating it.

Special thanks to though of you who follow along on our journey!

I can’t wait to share more with you this year!

 

Jason & Catie

 

PS. – If you have extra Christmas cards, we would LOVE to have you send them our way! We LOVE getting mail. Plus, if you mail from the states, it’s just 3 stamps, stick it in the mailbox, and BOOM, it’s at our place!

P.P.S. – If you don’t already, we have a monthly newsletter that goes out every other podcast! Sign up here!