Cappadocia debrief family meal

MEMORIES

Think back to your last vacation?

What do you remember? Why do those memories stand out?

Now, think about a vacation you took 5 years ago. Got it?

What stands out? Why? How vivid is it?

I expect you remember things that were really good or really bad. Close to 20 years ago Laurie and I went on a weekend camping trip with her brothers. I don’t remember the name of the campground. I don’t remember what we ate. I don’t remember what we talked about. I remember that it was freezing cold and that we finally got out of the tent and slept in the car and were miserable. I’ll never forget that. Six years ago we went to Panama Beach, Florida with my extended family. We hung out in a home my dad rented from a friend. A golf cart came with the home. My kids will never forget driving the golf cart. It was awesome. They have forgotten most of what we did and saw but not the golf cart.

THE POWER OF DEBRIEFING

But then there was another time we had together as a family and each night we talked about what we did that day. Each person got to share. The memories from that time are much more vivid. Also, I found out some things about my kids I would have never known. My youngest son was sad one day. I thought it had been a great day. Someone had left him out of an activity and that colored his whole day. We talked through it. I don’t think he remembers it now. He got the comfort he needed, felt better, and was able to move on.

RESEARCH SHOWS…

John Dewey, educator and philosopher, said, “In order to truly learn from experience there must be time for reflection.”

And Michelle Cumming, M.S. says, “The practice of reflection itself is one of the most useful human skills in that it develops insight which is one of the hardest, yet most important, tools to teach and learn. Experiential activities followed by processing help people develop insight skills.”

And other research shows that debriefing brings closure which, in this case, will allow your mind and body to fully move on to whatever is next on your itinerary.

All of this is to say that taking time to debrief your time in Cappadocia will make the memories more sticky and give you a better overall sense of your time here. Try it when you come.

HOW TO DO IT

Take some time on your last evening (each evening if you can) to debrief your trip. If you are alone, schedule in time to journal/blog. If you are with family or friends, spend dinner discussing your day/time in Cappadocia.
First, look through your photos. Once you have done that here are some questions to get the conversation going:

 * What was the best experience of our day/time here in Cappadocia?

 * What was the worst experience?

 * What will we remember 5 years from now?

 * What can we recommend to other visitors?

 * What do we wish someone had told us before coming?

 * What do we wish we had done that we did not get to do this time?

 * What’s the most interesting historical fact we learned?

 * Which sight/activity was our favorite?
* For whom should we buy Duke’s book? 🙂

Let us know how it goes. I expect it will be like finding the pot of gold at the end of a Cappadocia rainbow!
Debrief cappadocia rainbow

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Duke Dillard moved to Turkey with his wife and 6 children in 2007. He got an MBA at Bilkent University in Ankara, where they had their 7th child. After 4 years in Ankara the whole family moved to Cappadocia, and this blog was born. We love Cappadocia and Cappadocians and want to help visitors make the most of their time here. You can connect with Duke on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and/or link circles on Google+. Click here to read more about Duke and his family.