If you were to ask me what my favorite thing was about Turkey, I would say living the yacht life. Through connections of Gio's family, we went out on two different yachts, one in Istanbul to the Prince's Islands, and an even bigger one in Bodrum to a non-descript place that reminded me of Beyonce and Jay's family vacation. #goals
Each boat has a captain and a first mate that live on the boat 24/7. Wrap your mind around that. They take care of everything, from stocking drinks and cooking meals, to lowering and lifting the jet ski in and out of the boat, to actually steering. We had salty mist and sun on our faces, beer in our hands, and Turkish music blasting on the speakers all around us. Yes, please.
Yacht Day 1: Istanbul
We joined several family friends of Gio's dad, meeting lots of cool people and enjoying a perfect day on the water with them.
Don't worry, Brittany's not really driving!
Gio, Shawn, Dee, and Gio's dad Mustafa
We dropped anchor in an area near many other yachts, ate breakfast, and soon jumped in. This area is filled with jellyfish of varying sizes, and you have to be super careful not to get stung (Gio did not escape this fate). The good news is that the sting isn't terribly painful, although it burns a bit and is still scary! This made being in the water feel extra daring and the jellyfish were beautiful to look at through our goggles. It became quite the game to try to dodge them, and some people refused to spend much time in the water for fear of them!
Brittany realizing that the whole jellyfish thing was not a joke
At one point in the afternoon, the captain came up and announced, "Fruit service!" They do not joke around with fruit service. There are several platters, and it's basically its own sit-down meal. The melon (think sweet, sweet honeydew) melted in my mouth.
In the late afternoon, our host suggested we swim to shore to hang out at the beach club. This sounded both crazy and fun, so we dove in and swam over. Keep in mind, we don't have money, phones, clothes, or shoes. So we climb up the dock, go to the outdoor bar, he orders us bottle service and passion fruit shots, American hip hop music gets requested on our behalf, and we start mingling with some of the local characters. The whole thing felt very carpe diem.
We stayed there for hours, until the sun fell below the mountains, and a Polish model even convinced us to take a night swim which was mostly spent yelping as we tried to dodge the glowing jellyfish, scurrying out because we were too scared, and then jumping back in again because the water was too irresistible. Finally we made our way back to the boat, where our host sent for the bill (which arrived by water taxi, obviously).
We rode home on the bow of the yacht, taking in the city lights as we made our way back to the marina in Istanbul.
Yacht Day 2: Bodrum
On this day, our second host wasn't even in Bodrum, but generously offered us the use of his yacht despite his absence. This boat was parked offshore, so we got picked up by the first mate and taxied over in two groups.
View of today's yacht from the dinghy
Of course the first thing we did was explore the boat, which had 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms: more than my house. Here's Shawn channeling his inner sultan:
Check out the water where we dropped anchor. We did a lot of snorkeling, lounging, jet skiing, and challenging each other to jump off the top of the boat at this pristine location.
I learned to drive a jet ski!
Lunch cooked by the first mate was absolutely delicious. We had something like an 18-pound freshly-caught fish chopped up to share, as well as a refreshing salad and the most delicious Turkish green beans, which had been slow-cooking in tomatoes for hours.
Before we knew it, the sun started to set and it was time to head back home.
It was so peaceful, until the water started to get really choppy. We were all dried off and dressed, huddled together, and we kept hitting waves that would come up over the boat. One time Shawn screamed so loud and crazy I thought I would die laughing.
And then we literally rode off into the sunset. #datyachtlifedoe
Take me back.