Well the trip is finished. What a trip it was! Considering I had very little planned, it was incredibly smooth with pretty good weather. Really I had no idea what I was going to do when I landed in Istanbul, aside that I wanted to check out the Mediterranean coast. I didn't think Syria would allow me to cross its border and thought that my trip would have been spent entirely in Turkey.
Out of the countries I've visited on this trip, I'd have to say Turkey was my favorite. Maybe it's because I spent the most time here. The highlight of my trip would be Petra, with Palmyra as a close second. Ephasus, Perge & Heirapolis were also incredible. In terms of cities, Istanbul was my favorite. Though some cities may have had more interesting history or better bargains, Istanbul is the best all around. Jerusalem would be second followed by Damascus. There were a number of small towns I fell in love with too, like Selcuk and Hama.
I had some reservations about going to the Middle East, but I'm so glad I did. It's not as scary of a place as most people think and it has so much to offer in history, food and culture. A lot of people I've met have made me feel so welcome and safe, after just minutes of talking with them. I've made a lot of friends along the way, many who are the reason this trip has been so smooth. This is definitely a place where I would come back to some day.