All posts tagged: hamam

On Losing My Turkish Hamam Virginity.

She leads me by my hand up the stairs, grabbing a towel on the way and muttering something in Turkish to another woman in the room. In a small glass cubicle, handing me the towel, she says in her first English words to me, ‘take off everything and wear this.’ I look at her a little puzzled as she shuts the transparent door and waits outside. I’m at a Hamam aka the much famed Turkish Bath, and no amount of googling could make this situation feel less awkward. For the uninitiated, a Hamam is a sort of traditional group spa from the Ottoman era, complete with steam bath & massage, typically with separate chambers for men & women. I contemplate for a few seconds, and recalling the advise I’ve read online, I decide to go topless below the towel but keep my underpants on. I step out the cubicle and follow my lady through passages with gradually increasing levels of steam, and enter a massive area with high marble ceilings where four women are chatting in Turkish, naked except underwears, some being lathered & massaged, others …

My First Impressions of Turkey.

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? Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, “sustainability influencer,” social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes that travel – if done right – has the power to change us and the world we live in.