To say that the end of this school year has been stressful would be an understatement. The mountains of grading seemed to stretch much higher than any term before, all of my end-of-year duties seemed to be piled on at the same time, so many of our friends are leaving this year, and on top of all of that, we had the end-of-the-year play to prepare. Basically, this all resulted in almost 3 weeks straight of working with no days off and I could definitely feel it.
Because of all that, I was overjoyed when I got the email that the school decided to give us a couple of extra days off while students were on field trips…until I saw that my husband was on duty. I wanted to scream. I needed to get out of the tiny campus bubble after almost a month of having my nose at the grindstone.
That’s when he calmly pointed out that just because he was on duty didn’t mean I had to stay.
That’s when the light bulb flickered on. We’ve been together for nearly 10 years now and because of that, it can be really easy to forget that we don’t have to do everything together. Especially since we have moved to Turkey, we have been each other’s main support systems and rely on each other much more than we did in the States. Now that I am much more comfortable here in Turkey, I relished in the idea of going somewhere on my own for some much-needed self-reflection and relaxation.
I decided to go to Sarıgerme, a cute little coastal village near Fethiye. I knew I wanted to go to a beach for some swimming and seaside reading, but I wanted to avoid large crowds and party scenes. For me, this was all about relaxation. I did my research and found that this nice little beach was only 20 minutes from Dalaman airport and much less frequented than Fethiye, Antalya, or Bodrum. I arrived Sunday evening, so I didn’t do much, but I did manage to take in some sunset views while listening to my latest podcast series.
I stayed at Lady Rose Pension and it was by far the best hotel I’ve ever stayed at in Turkey. The couple who own the place are so incredibly friendly, welcoming, and helpful. They helped me make the most of my few days there and I had a really nice chat with them over coffee. Also, the breakfast there was top notch and the beach was only a 10-minute walk away. I highly recommend it if you plan to visit the area.
While there are a ton of interesting and affordable tours in the area, I wasn’t really up for a lot of running around after such a hectic few weeks, so I just decided to visit a few places on my own at my own pace. I took a couple of minibuses over to the nearby Iztuzu Beach, which is famous for its sea turtles.
Iztuzu is a beautiful beach, surrounded by mountains and pink flowers. I was amazed by how big the beach is…it took nearly an hour to walk end to end! The sea also connects to a river delta, so I explored that area a bit as well.
After a lot of walking around and swimming, I stopped by the sea turtle hospital before heading home. One of the volunteers gave me a tour of all of the tanks and explained how they rescue and protect the sea turtles in the area, who are endangered.
I headed back to Sarıgerme once it started getting dark for some dinner and a glass of wine and then curled up with a book in my hotel.
On my last day there, all I wanted to do was lounge at the local beach and that’s exactly what I did. I slept in, ate breakfast, walked to the beach, rented a sunbed and simply chilled out.
There weren’t very many people on the beach, so it was easy to have a huge chunk of it to myself! I loved alternating between walking along the water, swimming, and laying in my sunbed listening to my podcast. I spent about five hours there and it was paradise. When it was getting close to time for me to get ready to head to the airport, I enjoyed one last 10 TL beer on the beach while drying off.
It was so hard to leave! Having a little time to myself to relax, escape, and detox a little from the crazy year was exactly what I needed. I definitely see a little more solo travel in my future. Now I just need to figure out when I can go back!