Experiencing Istanbul through Ruins and People | Backpacking Turkey (Part 6)

The Blue Mosque - Sultan Ahmet Mosqe - Istanbul | Backpacking Turkey

As my plane landed in Istanbul I had a whole new appreciation for Turkey.  What initially felt like a risk, a danger, coming to a country bordering war zones with ongoing bad relations with the US, ended up being welcoming, complex, and rich with culture and history.  Now that I had landed in Istanbul, the … Read more

Hot Air Balloons and the Cappadocia Green Tour | Backpacking Turkey (Part 5)

Hot Air Balloons in Cappadocia | Backpacking Turkey

On this trip, I hit a new level of planning anarchy.  Even in Turkey, at its “level 3 security threat warning” according to the US state department, I decided to go with the wind. Two places kept coming up – Cappadocia and Pammukale.   For lack of time, I would not be able to make … Read more

The Beauty of Izmir…felt, not seen | Backpacking Turkey (Part 4)

Turkish Tea - A favorite from Backpacking Turkey

The relaxed port city of Izmir was a wonderful respite after the past two months of being busy and proactive nonstop.  Despite the long list of sites to see in the city, I intentionally took it slow and saved the fomo for another city. My days were spent leisurely wandering the city observing the contrasts between … Read more

An Ephesus Tour: Walking through Ancient Rome | Backpacking Turkey (Part 3)

The Library of Celsus on the Ephesus Tour

A couple hours south of Izmir lies the city of Ephesus, home to some of the most well preserved Roman ruins in Europe, and the Temple of Artemis, one of the ancient wonders of the world. When traveling, a balance of history, irreplaceable views, good people, and sufficiently giving into your vices makes for a … Read more

From Greece to Turkey | Backpacking Turkey (Part 2)

The food of Izmir | Backpacking Turkey

The sun was shining bright, reflecting off the concrete ground and walls of the port as I walked through the port city of Mythilini for the last time.  One more stroll through its tiny streets.  One more overpriced espresso at the corner coffee shop I had become familiar with. As I passed through passport control, … Read more

Backpacking Turkey (Part 1): The Decision to Go from Greece to Turkey

Backpacking Turkey - A Journey from Lesvos Greece to Istanbul Turkey

As my time on the Greek island of Lesvos neared a close, I was contemplating where to go next.  For nearly two months, I volunteered with refugees by teaching English and translating in the refugee camps of Lesvos, but it was finally time to move on and backpacking Turkey emerged as a viable option. Backpacking … Read more

10 Day Turkey Itinerary: How to Visit Turkey on a Short Vacation

Hagia Sofia in Istanbul - Backpacking Turkey

A country sitting between two worlds, the Middle East and Europe, with its capital bridging the two perfectly.  Once home to empires (the Romans as well as the Ottomans), Turkey has fallen from power but still boasts plenty to lure in every kind of traveler.  Rich, hearty, and unique cuisine that has influenced countless countries … Read more