Not every travel destination is beautiful and Turkish occupied Cyprus is one example of such a place. I think this video of a drive from Kyrenia to a nearby town shows the nuance of what I mean. While the region does boast a nice mountain range and lots of coastline, somehow it is not impressive. The place just seems grubby, and not grubby in an exciting way like Cairo, Mostar, or Marrakech. The main road in Kyrenia is a hodge-podge of dirty white-ish box structures. Most restaurants are charmless, with exceptions (like Ezic Peanuts restaurant), but overall, the “system,” has managed to smudge a potentially spectacular place. A limited transportation system is one example of how the system degrades the experience. It is tough to get around.
Of course, there are exceptions to the bleak picture I paint, such as Old Kyrenia Harbor, a video of which can be seen here.

That said, there are reasons to travel other than seeing beautiful places. There is a huge value to experiencing “different” for its own sake. It is crucially important to get perspective on your own home, your own system, and your own life. Many Americans judge their United States with zero perspective, and one cannot know how relatively good or bad their own system is until they have experienced others. When I returned to the States after this trip, Boston seemed paradise and the United States, with all its bickering, was a warm hug. It really is worth going somewhere amplifies your love of home.
The relationships one develops during travel can enhance one’s life, perhaps especially in a challenging environment like Northern Cyprus. I met very interesting and substantial people on this trip that I hope to maintain relationships with. These relationships alone made the trip well worthwhile.
So next time you are considering a trip, don’t rule out a gritty destination. I am happy to make suggestions. Call me on the Jay Talking radio show at 617 254 1030 and let’s talk.