Daydream of the Week: Istanbul

Istanbul TurkeyI’ve always wanted to go back to Turkey — the few days I spent in Istanbul just barely scratched the service. I stopped in the diverse, impressively spread out city on my way to spending a few weeks in Bulgaria. There was so much to do and see — and one of my favorite parts was the shopping. Everywhere you turned, there were cheap tchotchkes, colorful candies, bright corn and other street food, and of course its famous markets… plus rugs like these that I passed every morning leaving my hotel. I just loved this stray white cat seemed to admire the rugs as much as I did! This was such a special time for me, too. Istanbul Turkey and (three towns in) Bulgaria was my “good-bye to Costa Rica” trip, before I left the good and the bad that comes from checking out for a year to live in paradise — and then leaping back into a whirlwind of long days and fancy parties that make up living in Las Vegas.

I haven’t been on a lengthy plane ride in too long of a time. I’m overdue!

Meet Liz, of Travelogged

When I moved back to the U.S. from Costa Rica, I was so worried that I wouldn’t have a place in the online travel community anymore. I’d found a job (or, it’d actually found me!), and I couldn’t take time off for six long months, the downside to returning to corporate life. One of the online travel pioneers who was a true inspiration to me was an old friend of mine, Liz, of @travelogged. Little known fact: Liz and I met no less than 12 years ago, when we were completing our masters in journalism at Columbia University. The recession eventually led to the loss of both of our jobs but, no surprise to me, Liz retaliated much more swiftly than I did, as you’ll learn from her interview below. After I returned from a month-long trip to Borneo, she asked me to write about it on her blog. Unemployed, slightly depressed, and stuck in the “old journalism” mentality, I had no idea what she was talking about. Fast forward two years, and look at me now!

As I just learned at the TBU travel bloggers conference, Liz and I are both “joggers,” journos who blog. Love us!

I hope you find her as inspiring as I do.

 

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My favorite photos of 2010: “best of” my travels

Although I spent most of my year or so abroad living as an expat in Costa Rica, I did squeeze in a few trips. I’ve included photos from my favorite ones here. (Admittedly, I cheated and included a few pics from 2009. I didn’t have a blog then, ok?) In my efforts to get more comfortable with giving my (not technically advanced) photos more attention, here are my favorite travel photos of the year. While I did include a few sweeping beach shots (I couldn’t help myself), I was more interested in images I took that were meaningful to my particular trip. For example, Jorge here became our guide in Granada, Nicaragua. When we invited him to breakfast, he ran to the bathroom to wet and slick back his hair. It was so endearing!

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