All the tours that Jack and I have hosted to Turkey have been organized by a historical guide who has become a friend and huge ambassador to our North American friends as they visited his country, Turkey. This summer the tables turned as Jack and I were able to host Mehmet and his family for a visit to Canada. We became the ‘tour guides’ and shared our beautiful country with this Turkish family who make their home in Istanbul.
Who knows how many kilometers we have logged together over the years in Turkey? We know for sure that during their visit to Western Canada we traveled 4200 km together around our home territory close to Calgary, Alberta and out to Vancouver Island in British Columbia and back. Seven of us in a rental van took a road trip and spent three weeks exploring, laughing, visiting and growing to know and appreciate each other on a whole new level. Jack and I were the hosts, Mehmet and his wife, their 16 year old son and twin 9 year old daughters were our guests and as the kilometers added up we became an awesome team. During one week of our time our son, daughter-in-law and grandson joined us to round the group out to an even ten people. Chris and Carolyn had previously hosted a photography tour in Turkey with Mehmet so they had a history of their own together.
The certain highlight of our time together was the support and encouragement we had from previous guests of our tours in Turkey. We were supported in every conceivable way by people’s generosity as they shared at every level. We were entertained at a party to welcome the family in Alberta’s foothills at a log cabin with a crackling fire to warm and draw us together. O, at 16 years old, was the perfect one to put in charge of keeping this outdoor fire stoked. There was a farewell evening in a local Calgary home where another thirty-five previous tour guests joined us to say goodbye and in between we were in the homes, cottages, and at camp as we visited our way across the west from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.
Here is a visual of WHAT WE DID ON OUR SUMMER VACATION….. lots of fun and so many super memories of a summer that was as unique for us as it was for our Turkish guests. (Yes, I know there are no pics of me but I was the one behind the camera…. trust me, I was there).