Traveling to a place with a rich history and even more vibrant culture should be on every mom’s list. As the world is becoming smaller, it is important to teach your kids a lesson in diversity. Away from the British weather, near the heartland of the European and Asian culture lies Turkey, one of the most colorful places that you can visit along with family on a luxurious Turkish Airlines (الخطوط التركية) flight.
The British authorities strictly restrict travel to the Southeastern part of the country, especially the one touching the Syrian border because of political unrest. However, the Turkish capital of Istanbul is a delight in its own right. Turkey is a modern, secular nation that is deeply inspired by its past and tourists are welcome, even as you move around the streets.
If you want your kids to learn everything about European archaeology, then you need to bring them to Turkey. It is dotted with several sites of archaeological excellence that brings together a kaleidoscope of Greek, Urartian, Hellenistic, Byzantine, Roman, Armeno-Georgian Phrygian and Hittite styles from before the 12th century.
The Turkish inlands have a more Asiatic vibe with lakes, mountains, beautiful forests and steppes and you will find some old castles and mosques left in the sands of time. Almosafer (المسافر) could be your most faithful and trusted companion in these travels. The Mediterranean coats are beautiful even through winter.
There is one place you visit when you visit Turkey, and that is the Haghia Sophia Byzantine church. The city skyline is filled with the minarets and domes of the mosques created by the Ottoman Empire. Though you will find some gender bias in areas like Fatih where men sport skullcaps going for prayers and women usually don’t go out without male company, the areas are typically very welcoming. The younger generation is more cosmopolitan in its approach. There are state of the art malls as well as several modern spaces and eateries where you can avoid the culture shock and rest for a while.
If you little time on hand, then visiting Istanbul’s archaeology and experience the beautiful and delicious blends of Turkish foods should be at the top of your list. Don’t forget to go to the Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque. If you have more time, say a week to spare, then explore the rivers, go all the way to the Black Sea and make a few inroads into the country to experience its gentleness.
We suggest that you expose your kids to a variety of cultures, foods, and norms so that they grow up in a more holistic environment. Be the Scottish Highlands or the vast expanses of the Irish villages, the cosmopolitan culture of London or the wonderful amalgamation of Asia and Europe in Turkey, the more your kids learn about the world, the more their chances of becoming more responsible citizens.
Travelling enriches the soul and if you introduce good habits right in childhood, expect your children to enjoy the treasures of nature and culture alike as they grow up.