I love to be inspired to write. I never know whether I am going to find it in a religious building, a scenic view or a busy bar. This week, in Borisova Gradina park (Sofia) I found my inspiration in an amazing person…..
Meeting Mina and Melek
Two people actually! I met Mina and Melek, two Turkish girls as they shared my dorm in Sofia. They were funny, full of life and had such a positive outlook. Mina spoke great English, and Melek enough to be understood.
We chatted the night they moved into the dorm about the usual – make up, site seeing, travel plans. They planned to go to Brasov, Romania and were inspired to go up into the Carpathian mountains. We shared some Turkish delight and looked forward to the days ahead.
Mina had a hippy style bandana and a beautiful smile. Melek had stunning red lip stick and large gypsy hoop earrings with her hair in a gorgeous back bob.
A Beautiful day in Borisova Gradina Park, Sofia
The following day, they asked me to accompany them on a journey into central Sofia. We walked under subways, listened to a Clarinet player playing the Four Seasons (I think!), and walked past the stunning University of Sofia. The girls had to stop to enjoy the music on the way, and hummed along.
We then crossed the Eagle Bridge and headed into the beautiful Borisova Gradina Park. This is the most popular and oldest park in Sofia. Construction started on the park in 1984 it is named after Bulgarian Tsar Boris III.
We had some time to chill and sit down on a few park benches. I pointed out a squirrel, and the girls were so excited. It turns out that they had never seen a squirrel in the wild before! He was making a drey in the tree immediately above us. Sadly, he was moving too fast for me to get a good photo!
We chatted about the differences between Turkey and Bulgaria as we strolled through the beautiful park. Mina was explaining the differences between Istanbul and Ankara to me. It was so refreshing to meet people on the same wavelength.
The Truth about Disabled Travel
There’s one thing I forget to mention about my Turkish friends. Mina is caring for Melek, who is in a wheelchair. Why did I not mention it earlier? Because it was not an issue. Melek showed more determination and positivity than many fully able-bodied people I know.
Why am I mentioning it now? Because Melek is a stunning example of absolute inspiration. She does what she wants, and refuses to let anything stop her. I was so inspired by the power and determination of this girl that I was almost moved to tears.
I never asked what was wrong with her – it didn’t really seem to matter. Why would you let a conversation go down a negative path when it was already following such a positive one? I decided that some things are best left to be unknown.
I wanted to write about Melek to show people that anything is possible. Melek focuses on what she can do, rather than what she cannot do, and she has an amazing friend by her side. She dreams big and tries to achieve them no matter what.
The only limitations that she feels are those put on her by others. Mina explained that the times Melek feels down are mainly the times’ other people stare, comment or pass judgment.
I hope that people will read this and realize that you should not let things, or other people’s opinions, hold you back. Reach for the stars and do what you want in life.
Help me to find these Amazing Girls!
I am now desperately seeking these girls on Facebook. I’m not even sure if I spelled their names right as they are in Turkish. I did give them my card and my blog details, so I can only hope that they are following my blog and will see this post. Stupidly, I forgot to get them to write their Facebook names in my little book. I guess I just presumed we would find each other online.
If you have Turkish friends, particularly in Ankara, please share this story. I would love to connect with these amazing and inspirational girls and visit them one day. I want to thank them again in person for the amazing day that we shared in Borisova Gradina Park, Sofia.
Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is so important as it will help you with emergencies and unexpected costs on your trip. Make sure that you declare any pre-existing health conditions so that you are covered for those. Check your cover for accidents and medical care and also lost baggage or getting things stolen. Remember to report as soon as something goes wrong on your trip because some travel insurance companies require you to report something that you want to claim for within 24 hours. Read the fine print carefully when you sign up. I always recommend World Nomads. You can get a free quote here: