Returning to Cappadocia and getting to ride in another hot air balloon with Royal Balloon has been an emotional yet reflective experience for me. I’ve grown and changed so much both as a person and where this travel journey has taken me. Although I did plan my year of ‘escape from my 9-7 corporate life’ to begin in Turkey, I never thought it would come full circle and end here too. From my basket, I looked out over the rising sun in the rose valley, surrounded by colorful hot air balloons. I’ve realized that travel has indeed changed me (as much as I claimed it wouldn’t). I’ve learnt so much in the last 2 years. My whole outlook on life has changed, and I can’t wait to share everything that I’ve learnt about full-time travel and life on the road with you.
Second Time’s A Charm
I have actually been on the hot-air balloons almost 2 years ago to the day with a different company in Goreme, Cappadocia. I paid for my experience in full then. While I stepped off the balloon feeling on top of the world, I guess it was because I didn’t really have anything to compare it with. Us backpackers ain’t got the money for that second ride-ish! After the first hot air balloon ride, we just scramble up the hill behind Goreme at 6am every day after that to witness the magic all over again for free.
Travel writing for a living, it’s not often that I am at a loss for words. But even the second time round up in those balloons – was Magical.
Despite the 4AM Alarm I Had To Set
Early morning wake up calls are not my thing, but I yawned myself awake and headed straight for the buffet line (I mean, breakfast … obviously). There after clambering into my segment of the basket as gracefully as I can. It was nice that I had a segment of the basket to myself in comparison to jostling around with everyone 2 years ago.
The ride went by so fast! One, partially because I couldn’t believe how in awe I was – second time around. And two, how ridiculously beautiful the skyline filled with hundreds of balloons was. With all the crazy that is going on in the world today, people are decidedly staying away from Turkey. But in all honesty, there has never been a better time to visit than now. The hot air balloon rides are cheaper; the people are still as warm and charming as ever. And, tell me – does this ever get old?
Beauty Everywhere You Look
That hour in the air on board with Royal Balloon Cappadocia definitely felt longer than any of my HIIT workouts, ever. Before long, it was time to clink glasses over champagne, cookies and strawberries! I mean, I never say no to any of those 3 things.
3 hours never went by as quickly as it did and we absolutely left feeling all tingly and fuzzy from that amazing experience.
2 years later, a whole long list of world-class experiences across 5 continents in the bag, I have to say I have not felt this spine-tingling feeling in a while. But flying first class on a hot air balloon while watching the sunrise with Royal Balloon Cappadocia on a regular Tuesday morning? That feeling right there – priceless.
Royal Balloon furnished us with one ticket for a Royal Queen Flight with them, but all emotional musings about going home, flying unicorns and champagne are entirely my own – like you could expect any less.