ENTER OUT: Outdoor Education in Turkey

Authors: Nino Blažič, Grga Pavlic

It’s the 5th of September and you’re just about to embark on the most unique journey of your life. Your hopes are high, your suitcases are packed, and the aeroplane tickets are right next to your passport. Well, that’s exactly what Grga and I felt before departing to Antalya for an exciting new Erasmus+ project,
“ENTER OUT” in Olympos. We thought we would be spending the upcoming 8 days only learning about outdoor education and environmental sustainability, but the experience ended up being so much more than that.

To set the scene, with 3 different educators and 39 participants from 13 various countries, the project was bound to be a cultural hotspot. It was the perfect setting to exchange each other’s views on the topics that were at the core of this experience. At the beginning, we didn’t think we’d be blown away by the planned activities, but we were pleasantly surprised right from the start. The activities and team-building exercises were always interesting and unique so it was never hard to pay attention, even in the hot Turkish weather.

They ranged from simple debates and discussions to big trust falls, walking on rope with the help of others to even getting to know the community and helping them out by picking up trash. The biggest stand out was the day spent hiking Mt. Olympos, we were split up into 3 teams and each person had a job. The whole day helped us form strong bonds because we needed to work together to overcome the task at hand.

That said, what would be an Erasmus+ project without meeting lifelong friends? We used our free time to its’ fullest. Olympos is a lively place so it always has something new to discover. Not only did we have the opportunity to enjoy some live music and try some of their tasty local dishes, but we also used the time to get acquainted with the local culture. We spent the whole day in the old town which is said to have been first inhabited in 300 B.C. It’s safe to say that there were no cultural boundaries and we helped each other be better people while spending time together.

Looking back, it’s hard to process how much we truly experienced in one week. Not only did we manage to learn a lot about sustainability and start paying more attention to how we treat Mother Nature, but our appreciation of Turkey grew exponentially. Olympos and the friends we met there won’t be leaving our thoughts any time soon. We would like to thank Association Strive! for this opportunity of a lifetime and KulturNetz e. V. for starting the project.

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