Whoever said that planning a trip is as much fun as the trip itself, probably didn’t have to spend hours researching on Google on what will make for a compelling visa application, or what phrases in the local language will help you strike a chord with the locals, or whether you’ll find anything vegetarian to feed your starving self, or how big a hole to expect in your wallet. Sometimes, I’m convinced that travelling must’ve been so much easier before the internet, when you didn’t have a choice but to go unprepared, try your luck, and see for yourself what works and what doesn’t. You wouldn’t have too many experiences to rely on, even if you did lap up that guidebook. But I digress. We have the internet, and thanks to that, I make a living! Based on my own experiences in Turkey last month, here are ten tips to make your planning simpler: Read more
Posts tagged ‘Turkey’
Once ominous and difficult to navigate, the Black Sea derived its name before the Greek colonized its shores, and was often more blatantly referred to as Inhospitable Sea. No, it is not black in color. On the contrary, it flows in an entire spectrum of blue, along the coast of northern Turkey, where I fell in love with it at first sight. Such are its shades, such is the intensity of sunsets over it, and such are the skies that protect it. Read more
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” ~Aldous Huxley.
To travel is also to discover what no guidebooks, travelogues, documentaries, or photographs can tell us.
While travelling in Turkey, I got the chance to interact with Turkish people in small towns, despite the lack of a common language, and make observations that Google couldn’t tip me about. Here’s a collection of the quirkiest ones: Read more
I am at your Ataturk International Airport as I write this, waiting to board my Turkish Airlines flight back to India. You have welcomed me with arms wide open, charmed me with your beauty, and overwhelmed me with the kindness of your people. In the last 20 days, I have picked up pieces of your language, learned to maneuver your territory, indulged my taste buds in your food, and in a moment I didn’t anticipate, I have come to know you as my home in another part of the world. I quickly built my first impressions of you when I got here, and if there is one thing I would change of them, it is that you are more beautiful and your people more hospitable than I could have imagined. Read more
4 days ago, I landed on the azure blue waters of Istanbul, with starry eyed dreams of my first Middle Eastern experience. Between thanking Turkish Airlines for sponsoring my flight tickets and tying several lose ends before my first international trip after a 10 month hiatus in India, I had almost no time to delve into the depths of Google and form pre-conceived notions of the country. And I’m glad for that, because how can one even begin to imagine that ancient Asian traditions can reside within European influences with perfect harmony, without experiencing it first hand? Read more
For an eternity, I’ve dreamt about cooling off in a hamam, having real Turkish pide & shisha on a rooftop cafe, hot ballooning over the caves of Cappadocia, having Turkish tea with the locals, catching some sun on the Medditeranian coast, placing one foot in Europe & the other in Asia, traversing the Black Sea coast, and falling in love with the half ancient half modern city of Istanbul. The closest I’ve been to Turkey so far is Arab street in Singapore, and I’m pretty sure that even with its rustic ambiance, carpet shops, and late night shisha cafes, it doesn’t come close. Read more