The Only Tourist in Turkey w/ Shebs Alom
Updated: Jul 17, 2021
Wide open streets, plenty of elbow room and a healthy dose of travel shaming characterize Shebs mid-pandemic trip to Turkey. At times it was stressful but Shebs believe it was worth it for the new experience. As a backpacker Shebs is used to meeting people, dialoging and learning about where they are from. However, this was completely different. The biggest problem he encountered in Turkey was being completely alone. The people he did encounter were keeping their distance.
"...There was no-one really there to hang out with or meet. That has never really happened to me before."
Normally crowded streets, characterized be elbow bumping and pick pocketing, were desolate. That was part of the appeal to go. He wanted the ability to walk around freely.
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Shebs style of travel is budget backpacking with a spontaneous flare. He typically has an idea of where he wants to go but with no set plans to get there. The freedom to get local recommendations and stay longer in places he enjoys suits him.
Upon landing in Istanbul, Turkey, Shebs stopped into a local travel agency. By planning his excursion on site he can get his money into the hands of local people. He was able to score some great tips and even greater discounts.
The first and best advice he got was to head south east. The interesting history and beauty grow as you go along. He recommends pointing down towards to border with Syria and away from the tourist spots. He did not experience any violence. Readers should make their own choice and consult their state departments about if this is advisable.
Shebs itinerary became a magical, albeit slightly lonely endeavor. He counted it a blessing and slightly magical to have such magnificent places entirely to himself, sometimes free of charge.
The final itinerary which can be viewed on his YouTube documentary is as follows:
10:47 Troubles leaving Istanbul, Turkish bath
12:56 Exploring Cappadocia, Hot air balloon
18:31 Food advice in Cappadocia and Turkish Night
20:22 Quadbiking in Cappadocia
21:04 Exploring Adiyaman & Mount Nemrut
23:17 Exploring Diyarbakir, food advice
29:02 Exploring Sanliurfa, Gobeklitepe, Harran, Helfeti and Sira Night
36:37 Flying to Pamukkale, relaxing and paragliding
40:22 Exploring Izmir and Ephesus
42:59 Flying home and final thoughts
Shebs set out to go where no one else was traveling at the moment and largely succeeded. Upon publishing his documentary and findings he was immediately travel shamed. Critics reached out to slam him for spreading the virus. Whereas travel had a role in the spread of disease Shebs made all the possible precautions he could to include testing prior to and post return. He is resolute that travel can be done safely and that Turkey should be on every backpackers list. Transportation inside of Turkey is a very good price and hotels are equally as affordable. Explorers and adventure seekers will be equally pleased at the offerings in Turkey. From sunrise hot air balloon rides, exploring mosques, historic caves and paragliding Turkey satisfies many interests.
For more details on topics in this article listen to this episode of Travel Radio Podcast and watch Sheb's documentary on YouTube. If you would like to contact Shebs he can be reached at his website: https://shebsthewanderer.com
If you would like to contact me, Megan Chapa, you can find me all of these places: