27 Aralık 2015 Pazar

Being on the Road... (23) Merry Christmas!

Christmas is my favorite holiday since I first celebrated it properly when I was 17. Since then, I become very excited this time of the year. It's holy, jolly, full of gifts, family, togetherness and spirituality... I absolutely love the innocent and sacred spirit of it.  

We have been on the road for more than one month and a half. Even though roads can become tiring and challenging at times, every bit of it has been amazingly rewarding. We may be physically exhausted but our heart is quiet fit and filled with gratitude. We may not physically be with our family this year (maybe first time after so many years) but we are grateful that they are with us supporting and sharing our happiness every minute...

Merry belated Christmas and a happy new year everyone!   

24 Aralık 2015 Perşembe

Being on the Road... (22) Overall Costa Rica

On top of all she did for our wedding, my mother-in-law promised us to sponsor our honeymoon 3 years ago. (Yes she is the best) It's been 3 years since we got married but had never been on our honeymoon. I guess we were waiting for the right time... And this year was the right time for us. 

I first checked Hawaii for its beautiful nature, amazing waters, warm weather, sandy beaches, breathtaking sunsets and Aloha spirit... Hawaii promised the island life I had been dreaming of. But when I checked the prices, I found out that both flights and hotels were ridiculously expensive so we gave up on the idea and started looking for other options where we could have amazing time for reasonable prices: Lots of nature, happy people, island life, warm temperatures and tropical fruits... After a considerable amount of research, we decided that Costa Rica seemed to be the best option (considering we were flying out from LA and not from Istanbul). And we didn't regret it. 

Except for the food prices (we were surprised that they were way too high) we absolutely loved every bit of it. Yes, the areas we visited in Costa Rica might be a bit too touristy but we mainly felt the " touristy" on food prices. We didn't take too many tours, we mostly explored the country on our own and at our own pace, we preferred to take the public transportation, local diners and often been off the beaten path. What we loved the most in this land was the vibes and its philosophy: "Pura Vida"  (http://arzuozev.blogspot.com/2015/12/pura-vida-my-friend.html

So if you ever decided to plan a trip to this dreamland, pack some food (haha just kidding, don't worry it's not that bad after all, especially if you choose to eat at the sodas), get your flight ticket and soak in nature!! It's totally amazing 🍃🌟 But don't expect delicate and variety food. It's basic, fresh food but doesn't have much aroma. Still, the country will make it up to you! :)) 

17 Aralık 2015 Perşembe

Being on the Road... (21) New England vs. California

We are back in LA. 

Last year, my husband and I took the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco down to San Diego. Two of our most favorite spots were Venice Beach and San Diego. 

Our number one was Venice Beach & Santa Monica. We liked it here so much geographically. It had beautiful shores, long sandy beaches, amazing sunsets... This year we wanted to stay a little longer and dive into the daily life. But to our surprise, we couldn't feel the peaceful vibes we were expecting to feel in this city.  

I like the vibes in New England a lot more; both the nature and people. My favorite people are in & near or from Boston! I would probably make New England my second home (after Bodrum) if the weather was not that cold... But as I mentioned earlier, weather matters a lot to me and to my husband since we like to play outdoors without freezing.

I am glad that we took this trip over to the West Coast this year, because otherwise we wouldn't know the difference. 

I love you New England!.. 

And I still wish that the world was a place as Californians think of it to be :))

14 Aralık 2015 Pazartesi

Being on the Road... Costa Rica (20) Tortuguero

When my German friend asked where I liked the most among all the places I traveled, my answer was that every place had its own uniqueness and beauty. At the same time, every territory has its own pros and cons. Where you want to live totally depends on your priorities.  

I think for me, it's still too early to decide about my favorite place. If my conditions permit, I would like to explore this stunningly beautiful world as much as I can and then decide. 

Let's get back to Tortuguero... Oh before I forget, our local friends said that there were around 10 jaguars in Tortuguero! We haven't seen one but I'm not that sad about it... :))

Tortuguero River

Tortuguero River - Arrival by boat

First thing that got my attention in this place was the street puppies, they are so loving and cute


Afro-Caribbean Colorful houses 

Children playing pellet on the streets

the cutest church !! :)

Our friend Mao, he makes Turtles out of Almond Shells

Delicious Coconut Water

Go Coconut!

Trekking in the Jungle

Another cute puppy

The next day, first thing in the morning we saw toucans up on the tree, my picture of them is too small, they actually look like this: 

Here is Peluso, saying goodbye to us before our canal tour


Beautiful View, from our canoe 

Jungle frog :)) 

This moment was too magical in the jungle by canoe 

We saw so many birds, big iguanas, frogs... Such a beautiful place to be for a day or 2...

There is a tree in tortuguero and you can easily watch the macaws go crazy at sunset... Again, my pictures are too small so I put this one... 

It's towards the end of out journey. I have seen all the animaIs I would like to be friends with. My only wish left was to see a sloth. And this afternoon she came to the coconut tree at our hotel... If you look closer, you will see a sloth sleeping there. Sloths eat leaves and because they can't get the energy they need from leaves, they seem to be quiet lazy... 

A sloth :))

13 Aralık 2015 Pazar

Being on the Road... Turkey -as advertisement :))

Today we met a German girl at the hotel we are staying. She told us that one of her friends traveled pretty much everywhere in the world and when she asked where he liked the most;  his answer was "definitely Turkey." I am flattered but honestly I can't blame him. 

Turkey is a painful country if you are a citizen. Our daily news are sensational. However, if you are a tourist in Turkey, you find most of the things that a traveler is looking for. Turkey may not have jungles, but it has amazing nature and hiking trails for nature lovers; especially up north; in the Black sea region (i still don't know why it's not that advertised yet), and down in the mediterranean (if you are nature lover you must check out this historical trail: Lycian Way http://cultureroutesinturkey.com/the-lycian-way/), breathtaking bays, ridiculously amazing food and variety with reasonable prices, such culture and history that dates way back Before Christ. I will put more and more photos and information of Turkey in the upcoming months as my husband and I decided to travel and discover more of our county. :)) 

Lycian Way

Lycian Way

Black Sea Region










Turkish Tapas 

Village People 

Manias Bird Paradise

Ok, advertisement session, over! :)) haha Let's get back to Tortuguero! :)  

11 Aralık 2015 Cuma

Being on the Road... Costa Rica (19) Arenal Volcano

We normally don't take tours. Not our thing. But in Monteverde, we found a very convenient volcano tour package, plus direct transport to La Fortuna. 

Being on the road reminds me the impermanence of everything. You pass by some magnificent places you will probably never return to... 

Crossing over Lake Arenal was one of those moments... 

Lake Arenal 

Lake Arenal 

Arenal Volcano

Montezuma Oropendolas 
They look like this: 

Arenal Volcano Lava Trail 

Arenal Volcano Lava Trail 

"The more we give up on some our needs, (of course not the basic ones, just the extras) the happier we become. We don't have to choose to live in discomfort of course.  However, if we are still satisfied even if we don't have our comforts, that's freedom". Roads teach me that. 

Sometimes we don't find coffee in the morning, sometimes we run out of drinking water on the road or we can't find shampoo at our hotel and some other times we lack hot water... Sometimes we have to walk long long distances, sometimes we have to ride on the bus for so many hours, sometimes the hiking trails we take are too slippery, muddy or too steep and some other times we can't find the type of food we prefer to eat... 

In the beginning of our journey, I'd tend to lose my cool from time to time. But in the process, I learned to just laugh about it all and  immediately turn my funny mood on just like my husband does.

Being so far away from home and too much off of my comfort zone had me question how much comfort do I really need after all... And is it really worth to lose my smile? No. Never. 

All the discomforts become funny travel stories shared with the love of my life afterwards. And they fill my heart with so much gratitude, leading me to appreciate the comfort that those discomforts bring into my life: Freedom from attachments and recognition for the beauty of life in its simplicity; which leads my soul to further appreciation, flexibility and understanding. 

10 Aralık 2015 Perşembe

Being on the Road... Costa Rica (18) Monteverde (3)

I sat under this tree today
I closed my eyes
I was small
She was big
She whispered in my ear 
She was glad I was here
A prayer flew down my chest
Just like a drop of tear  

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve 

And when we came back from our hike, we had another visitor waiting for us at the hotel:)) 

Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve 

(If you have a spare day in Monteverde, Santa Elena Reserve is mystical and beautiful, although the trail was a bit slippery when we went there.) 

And Monteverde said goodbye to us with another magnificent sunset...