In the world of travel, there are some who’ve gotten caught up with collecting passport stamps to earn jetsetter cred, traveling for the sake of filling their social media feeds with cool shots in exotic locales, or setting off for new countries for the sake of attaining bragging rights. There’s no denying the fact that travel has become a status symbol of sorts, and as a result, some are tempted to play the comparison game and feel a societal-induced pressure that in order to keep up, they have to keep exploring. More
Light rain and gloom greeted us as we made the drive from the airport to our hotel. Tired from a long day of travel, I could barely keep my heavy eyes open as our heated van made its way into Göreme, one of the hubs of fairy chimney country. But Göreme is anything but bustling. Upon stepping out of our van once we arrived to Divan Cave House, one of Cappadocia’s many boutique hotels, we were immediately enveloped by peace and quiet. I knew then that our stay was going to be the perfect place to pause from our busy travels through Turkey. More
According to Merriam-Webster…
: someone who is traveling or who travels often
: a person who moves around from place to place instead of living in one place for a long time
: a person who travels to a place for pleasure
: one that makes a tour for pleasure or culture More
Istanbul’s a city that’s seen it all. Since its founding 600 years before Christ and in the centuries since, the Romans, Byzantines, Latins, and Ottomans have each deemed Istanbul a suitable capital for their respective empires. Throughout the years, the city’s geography has worked in its favor. Straddling the Asian and European continents hasn’t been without its advantages as the city has attracted merchants from all corners of the globe to its shores in hopes of trading their spices, textiles, and wares.
Trust me when I say that I am not a person who lives a life of regrets. To clarify, living a regret-free life does not mean that I haven’t been disappointed with or suffered the consequences from some of the reckless or haphazard decisions I’ve made in my life. Living without regrets in life simply means that I’ve made my mistakes, learned from them, and more importantly, I’ve learned how to turn life’s lemons into lemonade. I live my life knowing that all things work together for my good. More
There’s a seaside town along the Aegean coast where people traveling by land and sea converge. This is Kuşadasi – the gateway to Ephesus, a city once claimed by the Greeks and later by the Romans and that was one of the seven churches of Asia referenced in the Book of Revelation. Kuşadasi is a bustling port city that welcomes cruise ships carrying passengers from all corners of the globe and from all walks of life. More
Our host introduces her, but I don’t remember her name. She doesn’t pause to crack a smile or to look up from work. Indeed, she’s very busy – busy making a living. As she works in silence, slightly hunched over, he tells us a bit about her and the other women like her that work in this factory. How they commute here from their villages each day to earn a living making the rugs that her people pray and rest on and those that sit neatly beneath our coffee tables in our American homes. He explains that if she wasn’t weaving for a living, tradition would nevertheless require her to learn this art as rural Turkish girls are taught to weave in order to make gifts for their dowries. More
Most people rave about Paris, Amsterdam, London, and New York. And don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love those cities too. But I’ve said it once before, and I’ll say it again – I’m madly in love with Istanbul. It’s probably one of my favorite urban destinations in the world to date, if not my favorite. The streets of Istanbul are flooded with history, and it seems that every corner houses a site of historical or religious significance. More
We’d spent the entire day discovering Cappadocia from every possible angle. The morning found us exploring deep below its volcanic terrain in Derinkuyu, and the afternoon took us on a long hike through the verdant Ihlara Valley where at every turn we encountered postcard worthy scenes of a quietly rushing river, leaves in every shade of autumn, and hillside caves that people once lived and worshiped in. More
During one of our volunteer vacations a few years ago, I traveled to Turkey with my husband Jave, my brother Aaron, my nephew, and a few family friends. To help us meet our volunteer goal for the trip, a former school teacher in Istanbul named Emrah arranged for us to teach an English lesson to some local school children there.