In case you are wondering what place I am talking about, it's Turkey.
I am usually the type to look up a location before I decide to travel to the place. Curiously in the case of Turkey I first decided that I have to see this country and then did my research. And when I did research Turkey I wanted to visit this place more than ever. Due to paucity of time (and budget) we deleted Greece from our itinerary and also Cappadocia (though I badly wanted to visit Cappadocia). We firmed up our plans for Istanbul & Kusadasi. So after I finalized my plans I began telling people out of excitement, only to realize the kind of misconceptions people can have. After "Ignorance is bliss " they say. Some people told me that Turkey was in the middle east and therefore a very conservative place to be. Someone would say its Ramzan time and everything would be closed and there is no point going there now ! Then I would tell them how vibrant & secularized Istanbul is unlike their perception. To which, I would get raised eyebrows !
The culture of Turkey combines a heavily diverse and heterogeneous set of elements that have been derived from the various cultures. Turkey may be the only country that contains every extreme of Eastern and Western culture (along with many compromises and fusions between the two). So no wonder I surprised people by telling them they were wrong.
It so happened that just when I came back from my Turkey trip, Istanbul got featured in many movies, Skyfall & "Ek tha tiger" to name a few. Turkey tourism kind of became popular suddenly. If you want to know why Turkey should be on your must-do list, read on