Arriving After Dark
When setting off from A to B, I used to apply the 'early bird gets the worm' mentality. You're flying to Chicago? Then you should DEFINITELY leave on that 5:30am flight. Going camping? Obviously you should leave before the sun comes up. The sooner the better. This ensures that you will be tired and cranky AND almost definitely leave something important behind.
My logic behind this? SO MANY REASONS! You'll arrive in the daylight! You can walk around while the sun is up! You can familiarize yourself with your surroundings!!.....and I guess that's all the rationalization I have.
On our latest trip in Turkey, we spent about a week in Istanbul before plotting our move southward to Kas. The idyllic beach bum and yachtie paradise of Kas lies about 200 km southwest of Antalya on the Lycian Coast, and getting there requires a bit of finagling. Logistics withstanding, the earliest we could get there was on an hour and a half flight as the sun was setting and then a three hour drive along the sheer cliffs between Antalya and Kas in pitch-dark.
Our host in Kas recommended that we arrive by daylight, so I was disappointed at the lack of wiggle room on our travel leg. By the time we pulled up to our AirBnb, it would be close to midnight, and we would have to throw our stuff down and climb into bed instead of marveling at the surrounding scenery and jumping into all of the available activities right away.
But really, I think our 'poorly' timed arrival did a lot to change my perspective. On our three hour drive with only the lights of our lone taxi to show the way, we could tell it was going to be absolutely beautiful -- but what exactly we were looking at was a mystery.
Those over there? Maybe...some small rolling hills. That huge dark expanse? Probably the ocean. Are those trees? WE'LL FIND OUT IN THE MORNING.
It's like looking at your Christmas presents all wrapped up. You can see all the funny shapes and angles, but can't tell exactly what it's really going to be. And would it really be so much fun if they weren't all wrapped up? That's half the fun!
As I looked out from our balcony at 11:30pm at the silhouette and twinkling lights of the town below, I silently cheered. Our 'untimely arrival' under cover of darkness brought a little more magic and anticipation back into travel.....and won me a full night's sleep to get off on a fresh start for our first day in Kas -- which in fact is one of the most picturesque places we've ever set foot in. And that, my friend, is the true happy ending to this story.