Home Away From Home: The Beauty of Homestays

“Don’t tell me has educated you are. Tell me how much you have traveled.”

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Why do we cycle? We do it for the peaceful nights at 4,000m surrounded by the stars and the snowy peaks. We do it to explore and discover rather than to simply sit and wonder, and we do it for the lovely people we meet along the way. One of the main reasons Kevin and I chose to travel as we do, and one of the thing that has kept us going through each and every country, is the astounding kindness of strangers and the wonderful homestays we have been lucky enough to partake in. Though it may seem pretty crazy if you haven’t experienced it yourself, total strangers really will invite you into their homes for a cup of tea (or even a night), and despite what the media may constantly tell you, our world is indeed a truly wonderful place.

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Welcome Stranger

“We travel not to escape life. But for life not to escape us.”

After about half an hour of studying the ants who lived at the campsite we had picked out off of a small dirt road in the countryside a tractor with a man, woman, and teenage girl drove by and waved. On their way out they stopped to give us some of the grapes they had just picked from their vines before inviting us back to their house for a meal. They served us fresh homemade bread, cheese, olives, and a stuffed bread that was absolutely delicious while the two girls, eleven and seventeen, used their few words of English along with my few in Turkish to ask us questions. When we left an hour or so later they sent us on our way with more food for dinner later on, something we were even more grateful for than usual since all we had with us was our “emergency” rice as we hadn’t passed any stores that day.

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