Our Five Favorite Kid-Friendly Places in Turkey

Turkey! Turkey! It’s great country to travel with kids!

Home sweet home adventures are the best! There is just pure joy in traveling in Turkey. This country is home for us. We don’t live here for now, but our hearts will always be thinking of family and awesome places in this majestic and historical country. To use Alexander The Great’s metaphor, The Capital of The World. (He’s referring to Constantinople, now Istanbul… but the entire Turkey for our family is, The Capital of The World.)

Since, we have been asked often what are the places to visit in Turkey, thought it would be a great idea to list our favourites, so far.  Places we actually visited with kids, where it is possible for the parents and kids to enjoy both at the same time, while learning from the adventures.

There are a lot of places  to visit in Turkey. This list is no way comprehensive (our five top favourite places!) and no way connected to any travel agencies.

1. Pamukkale – This means “Cotton Castle” in Turkish. Travertine thermal springs, pools and limestone walls can be enjoyed for several days in any season. We have visited the place  during winter and we still enjoyed the springs with much lesser crowd.  We also enjoyed the oldest swimming in the world.There are a lot of limestone fallen formation which makes the place look like a make-believe world. Discussions with kids can be focused on science or geography!

Pamukkale means Cotton Castles!

The Ancient City of Hierapolis is also adjacent to the city which  can be a huge playground for kids while studying archaeology and history.

This is number 1 on our list and seriously, an underrated tourist attraction in Turkey!      

2. Cappadocia – This place is also number 1 in our hearts! Lots of first for our family. First Hot Air Balloon Ride, stayed in an actual cave for several days, can hotel, that is, explored the underground city, definitely seemed like a make-believe world like Pamukkale.

Cappadoccia. – lots of firsts for our family!
3. Troia  – This maybe Brad Pitt influenced way more than Homer, but being the actual place of Troy, where the Trojan Horse maybe located for real, is just awesome baseline discussion about Homer with kids.

This is a personal choice for us and unless you really love history and archeology, this may be a bit of “tourist trap.” for those tourists who will get of their way to visit.

Troy, kids inside the Trojan Horse!

4.  Temple of Athena – The place is close to Izmir and Ephesus, but the view from the Temple defines serenity. Not necessarily recommended for travel with kids, but for those looking for solitude. We were just lucky, we managed to enjoy the view and serenity with kids. Great moments.

Temple of Athena and Mount Ida. – serenity !

5. The Capital of the World – Constantinople or modern day Istanbul – There are a lot of things to do. Full week exploring with kids may not be sufficient. The list just goes on.. Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Bhosporus Boat Trip!

Blue Mosque
Hagia Sofia

To stay in one continent and see the the other one from afar – this should be on everybody’s bucket list, don’t you think?! Visit Istanbul!






Turknoy Travels 100 is a Lifestyle

Jumping out of the bed with excitement every day?  That is a great way to wake up every morning. Important question then is.. What could make us jump out of bed with excitement?

The answers won’t be that simple. That really varies for every individual.

For our family, mostly, it’s knowing that we had activities together all planned out for the day. It is not particularly important, where and what those activities are. As long as we are all together as a unit, as family. That is one great blessing we will always be grateful for.

The kids are growing way too fast for comfort and the parents are not growing any younger. To perform several activities require a lot of planning. Otherwise, everything will become monotonous and spending time together will eventually become Boring (with the capital B). The spark of our family wanting to be with each other all the time is too precious to not enjoy that as long as we can.

Hence, the travel goals.

We strongly believe that setting goals make things happen. Of course, goals need to me SMART. Both in business setting and in real life, no matter how personal it gets.

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.

The huge difference of setting goals in business setting versus personal life is the end game – what do we want to get out of  these goals, the ultimate end. Business goals end game is usually compensation, personal goals end game is more often than not, quality of living and personal happiness.

Turknoy Travels 100 is not only focused on travelling together to 100 countries by 2023, before the kids turn 18.

Well, it is really that and more.Travel and education are the two main focus of our family lifestyle.

As we already defined our travel strategy and it is an unpopular one, we intend to mix-and-match this normal-life-with-real-job-travel-when-we-can-with-kids with every day-is-a-travel-adventure lifestyle.

Really awesome and cool family world-school, they travel around the world continually for very long periods of time, supporting themselves and educating their children at the same time. Turknoys may not (honestly, just really can’t) afford that worldschooling lifestyle for now. It gets too tiring for us to travel and explore after more than three weeks.

That’s when we realize, we are more like short time adventurers, sometimes fancy, most of the time cheapo family travelers.

We look forward to living our residence country for month-long holiday and we also look forward to coming back to homebase.

We look forward to visiting our home countries, Turkey and Philippines, but we also look forward to coming back to expat life.

Best of all worlds, we want to believe that.

The heat of 55degC may bother a lot of people during Doha summer time, but we sometimes look forward to less traffic and quiet times in the region. The below zero temperature and enormous snow in the Arctic region may well be a great home but we are very satisfied experiencing the Northern Lights for three consecutive nights, no shoveling required, snow mobile fun for limited period and leave these all for the months of starless nights in the desert.

We appreciate the different culture, but for now, we are particularly fond of our own comfort zone. Someday, sooner or later, things will change; perspectives may blur and other ideals will become clear, but for now the following specific travel goals have been set, consistent with #turknoytravels100

1.   To travel 100 countries by 2023 with the following criteria:

  • All members of the family visited and explored the country at the same time. Home education trips without the five family members won’t be counted, although these adventures will be included in our blog.
  • Visited two cities of the country. We don’t just visit a country for touristic purposes. We aim to be travelers, not tourists.
  • Spent more than two days in the country. Although it’s not the number days but the quality of time spent traveling, it does help to stay more than two days in a certain country.To travel 100 countries by 2023 with the following criteria:
    100 countries distributed across seven continents, including Antartica. Chronologically, we wish to visit Asia (home sweet home), Europe (partly done), Africa (next!), South America, Antartica, Australia, North America
  • Home based adventures include Philippines, Turkey and Qatar. Not included in 100 countries.

2.   To explore 100 islands in the Philippines.

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The photo that started it all. The time when we realized how happy and satisfying family travel is. Our youngest is yet to be conceived in this time and we set goals after she was born. Exploring Pamukkale in one of our home countries #Turkey is very memorable to us as a couple, joined by love, commitment; heart, brain and feet! With a help of a little goal setting, #turknoytravels100 was set three years after – 2013. Yes, taking our sweet time.. It’s okay for us, traveling is something to savor; a lifestyle to enjoy, not just something to tick off the list!
3.    To visit 100 attractions in Turkey.

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It’s not going to be fair to the Turkish side of the family (mainly #turknoysdad ) if #familytravel will not include the islands of Philippines! The dad loves the gorgeous islands of Philippines. We intend to explore at least 100 islands, an easy goal compared to 7107 islands total, by 2023 as well! Home sweet home adventures is just pure awesome love!
4.    To enjoy every moment in Qatar by finding 100 favourite spots as part of home education

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he Singing Sand Dunes of Qatar! Our favorite family fun spot in Qatar! Definitely number one spot for us while exploring the country where we currently resides as #expatfamily 🦄😍 We also aim to explore places and areas in this country to appreciate day to day living when we are not visiting our countries! Because exploring is a lifestyle! And great lifestyle is great life!

Like any other SMART goal, these goals need to get SMARTER..

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. Evaluated. Revised.

Life happens. Life will happen. God-willing, we will be able to realise these goals. For whatever circumstances and these will not be realised, we will re-set and revise goals as the need arises.

No worries. Only excitement to wake up and jump out of the bed every beautiful morning!

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At Sacre Coeur Paris, France where we definitely enjoyed the rain, stairs with stroller, church and awesome city views. Priceless moments our youngest would not remember (and even our toddler then!) but the parents definitely would!