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Gra-Turk-Tude: Embracing the pain in Istanbul, Turkey

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Fifteen hours – for some, it sounds like a horrendously long bus ride from Skopje, Macedonia to Istanbul, Turkey. Yet, it was the shortest bus ride during my six-month solo backpacking trip in China and Southeast-Central Europe. Six months ago in early March this year, I quit my well-paying job in Malaysia and packed my […]

Thanksgiving Refections from the Road in the USA

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I left the U.S. on August 1 for a grand adventure.  Many thought I was foolish.  Others thought I was unique.  Some told me that they were a bit jealous.  And, a few saw me as just plain crazy (including myself, at times!).  There have been those who support my journey and those that dismiss […]

One Thousand and One Travels around the world.

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One Thousand and One Travels   In July 1994, “tarmac” wasn’t a word I knew. I called it “the magic carpet main station,” as every plane had to start there if it wanted to go for an air ride.  I was eleven years old, on my own, and vastly excited as I walked down the […]

The Long Road Towards the Inevitable in Turkey

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The Long Road Towards the Inevitable Tomorrow you’ll wake up realising that all your hopes and promises of happiness are not there. The comfort of a house, a pair of loving arms and the job are gone. As well as the emotional balance and self-esteem. Everything vanished a month ago when your now ex-husband shut […]

Whirling Dervishes, Turkey

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             A curtain was pulled back and figures emerged from darkness in a shaft of light—a half dozen cloaked musicians with medieval instruments. They arranged themselves on rugs, the light faded out, and the sounds of reeds, drums and unfamiliar string instruments filled the dark confined space. It was surprising how these primitive devices […]

Dancing Away the Sequins in Turkey

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In many traditional Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures women are responsible for ensuring the honour of the family. Men’s passions are uncontrollable and wild, and all women are Eve, the temptress with the apple. He cannot help but succumb so a man is never held responsible for his sexual behaviour. The guilt is attributed the […]

Freedom From Concentrate in Turkey

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I break through one of the many crowded entryways to the world famous Grand Bazaar and let out an audible, astonished gasp. Never in my life have I seen so much activity in one place and it’s happening all around me; 360 degrees. It’s crowded, noisy, stiflingly hot and smelly-in ways both pleasant and not. […]

Tripe Soup from Turkey

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Tripe Soup My husband and I were wondering through the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, a few streets from the now infamous Taksim Sqaure. The multi-colored flags strung diagonally across the intersections and alleys waved calmly with the Bosphurous breeze. We came to this part of town on a tip from a friend. We were hunting […]

“To Istanbul, Turkey”

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To Turkey! I was surprised by the emails and phone calls I had been receiving from friends and family fearing my safety in Istanbul. “Wear a scarf on your head,” they said. “Keep to yourself. Keep your mouth shut,” they wrote. “Tell them you’re from Canada,” they whispered. I was surprised because I’d been there […]

Kars, The City Of Snow

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If someone asks you where one person can find mysticism, a secret place of peace in a land of snow, where you can find modern and old blend together just say her or him to go to Kars. The city of snow. The city of meadows as far as the eye can see. Kars is […]