I am a 36 years old Turk living in Istanbul. I feel like I live to travel although I would not take it as far as saying I would like to adopt a nomadic lifestyle. As much as I like to travel, a healthy level of that feeling where you know you belong somewhere is not too bad either. I am glad that my constant base is Turkey even though I am not sure if I am as enthusiastic about the fact that it is specifically Istanbul. More about that later. No matter where I am in my life and how I feel, I always feel good when I travel. If you see someone at Istanbul Ataturk Airport at 5 am in the morning looking unusually happy for that time of the day, that is probably me. I also love to spend a lot of time at home – I sometimes do not leave the house for three days in a row. Yes – today is the exact fourth day but I will be going out today.
I have an immense admiration for the Nordic cultures and their way of living. I could easily devote all my traveling time to anywhere in the North including the entire Scandinavia. I sure wish Scandinavia were not the most expensive region to travel. My other favorite destinations include Japan and Switzerland, so I am sure you get the picture. One rare exception to my love of North is my admiration for Morocco, a country, which truly feels like living in a different era. I also have a thing for China – for the reasons I wrote in my blog, I think China is one of the most mind blowing places that I have ever been to.
Walking. Walking. Walking. More walking.
Finding good photo opportunities and being surrounded by the nature are the two dominating concepts in my travels. However, if you asked me to name one main thing I do when I travel, I would just say walking. I walk endlessly when I travel. It is a little different than doing sight seeing by walking as my main occupation becomes walking with the sight seeing as the secondary benefit of it. I think there is nothing more therapeutic than walking and doing it at a place that you are not familiar with takes the experience to a whole different level. The words of Henry David Thoreau in his amazingly inspiring essay titled ‘Walking’ clearly defines what I feel for walking: ”I think I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is commonly more than that – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.” I would probably go permanently crazy if walking was not a big part of my life and my travels. I also feel lucky that the place I live in in Istanbul allows me to go to many places on foot or to take walks to the more historical parts of the city.
Not a foodie for sure.
I do not have a very delicate sense of taste when it comes to food so finding good food or nice restaurants is not too important to me. Although it still would not have any priority, I will sure focus on the food and restaurant department a little more if the place I am visiting has a very different or interesting food rituals. You guessed it right, I was talking about Japan. Similarly, although it was not so much related to the food itself, I ended up having some gourmet dinners during a trip to New Orleans, USA as the interior designs and overall feelings of some restaurants were so inviting that you just wanted to hang out there regardless of the food they serve.
I find traveling to be a great opportunity to improve ones sense of interior design as you become more observant of the surrounding environment and pay more attention even to the smallest details. Scandinavia, Spain and Morocco are three locations that I find to be very inspiring in terms of the interior design. I also get very influenced by the books that I read during my travel planning process. My recently emerging desire to go to Canada for a more extended visit following short 4 days trip in December 2012 is mainly triggered by my love of Howard Norman, who is an American writer obsessed with the nature and the concept of solitude. Most of his stories take place in Canada. Similarly, my initial interest in Hokkaido, Japan has been triggered by Murakami’s description of the region in number of his books.
My travel buddies. Me, myself and I.
I travel alone. I can list various reasons for why I prefer traveling alone but one of those reasons always takes precedence over the others: there is no better way of getting to know and become comfortable with yourself. I also manage to fit in couple of trips with friends or family per year – as I started getting older, I started feeling more connected, which is probably a good thing.
My travel budget
Not being a foodie sure helps a lot cutting down travel expenses and I badly need to cut those additional expenses considering the range of the regions I like and the common downside of those regions – expensiveness. I had my share of hostels when I first started traveling alone at age 21 but I can`t do that anymore. I can easily do overnight trains or buses and skip fancy dinners but when it comes to hotels, I am not as flexible as I wish I were. I get down quite easily if the place I am staying in is not sufficiently well taken care of. During a trip to Iceland, I concluded that my biggest savings should not come from cutting down my accommodation expenses when I changed hotels in Reykjavik.
I do have certain internal parameters that tell me whether I love a place or not. I can hardly sleep or eat if I really love a place. Same parameters so many of us use to assess whether we are in love. So I nearly became a heavy sleeper in Portugal although my usual waking up time is around 5-6 am. However, during a trip to Iceland, I would still be up by 3 am and still wake up by 6 am although my usual bed time is around 10 pm.
Yes – I do have a job. Well, long story there. Somewhere in between.
In December 2012, I took a nine months break from my job consisting of assisting the companies, which either try to buy each other, merge with each other or fight with each other. Yes, I am a lawyer. I have to admit that it is the most fun when they try to do either one of the first two but end up fighting. Having the chance to be spontaneous when planning my travels and not be limited by a regular work schedule has been a long time dream of mine and I am very grateful to have found the opportunity. Please drop me an e-mail (email@example.com) if there is anything further that you would like to find out about the destinations displayed on this site. I am not very good in returning phone calls but I am a lot more reliable when it comes to e-mail messages.