Tag Archives: Istanbul Events


Photo Credit: http://bestoffates.com/tales-of-a-female-nomad/

On Saturday, I had the unique opportunity to hear Rita Golden Gelman speak at the monthly meeting of Professional American Women of Istanbul. I first read Rita’s book, Tales of a Female Nomad, when I was 18 years old and attempting to imagine my place in the world. From her story, I found a role model and the inspiration I needed to imagine myself living a life of travel and adventure.

In her 50s, she decided that she wanted to do more than read about the world: she wanted to experience it firsthand.  So, she took the leap! She is currently 75 years old and has lived abroad for the past 27 years.

Rita does not simply live abroad. She seeks out small communities and becomes an active, albeit temporary member of that community. She has explored the Galapagos, lived in Bali, and hiked through the jungle of Irian Jaya. She has lived in mud huts and small cottages. She has climbed mountains and taught in community schools. She sung with tribal leaders and learned local trades. She is also a children’s book author, and has written children’s books about many of her experiences.  She is courageous, wise and the best part?! She is truly and deeply happy with her life.

Here are some of the highlights of her talk:

1.) “Disobey the rules in your head that tell you that you must live your life  in a certain way. Live the life you want and pursue what makes you feel most alive.”

2.) “Risk-taking, trust, and serendipity are key ingredients of joy. Without risk, nothing new ever happens; without trust, fear creeps in; without serendipity, there are no surprises.” – Her words from Tall Cup#31 at Starbucks

3.) ‘Human connections are a valuable commodity. The whole world is a giant favor bank. Let people do favors for you, and pay it forward by doing favors for others’

4.) Opportunities come from connections. Put yourself out there. Connect any and every way you know how. Take risks and do not worry about making a fool of yourself.  Read this for more details: 10 Tips on How to Connect Across Cultures.

5.) The United States would be a very different place if more Americans travelled abroad. She is working to support and encourage more young Americans to take a gap year after high school. Rita is determined to promote the numerous advantages of life and travel abroad. Her project is called Let’s Get Global. 

Inspired Nomad: Rita Golden Gelman


I am absolutely obsessed with the French electroswing and gypsy jazz band, Caravan Palace, and was so thrilled to hear they were coming back to Istanbul for this event. Babylon is a music establishment in Istanbul, and always brings the best up-and-coming bands to the city. For today’s event they brought an assortment of their favorite bands to initiate the summer concert season. Do yourself a favor and check out this line-up…

Babylon Soundgarden: An Istanbul Concert

Saturday Night at Molly’s Cafe


It was a cold and grey Saturday, with a few random bursts of snow. We spent most of the day recuperating from the excitement of the previous night, but craved a way to conclude a wonderful day and a crazy week. We headed to Molly’s Cafe, near Galata Tower and found exactly what we were looking for.

When you enter Molly’s Cafe you immediately feel at home. The first thing you see is an open kitchen full of activity. Chatter fills the room in a variety of different languages. Paintings of local artists and familiar scenery cover the walls, and various intimate seating arrangements invite you to make yourself comfortable.

We quickly settled into a couch in the back of the cafe. One of the cats quickly found our laps and settled next to us. We were surrounded by an ecclectic collection of English and Turkish books about every topic and place (I even found an old book about the Pacific Northwest). We skimmed through the collection of books about Istanbul, and chatted about the week. We ordered wine and chocolate cake, and quickly achieved a state of perfect contentment.  Everything on the menu is homemade, and succeeds in every way to make you feel at home, while also providing you with an opportunity to eat what you miss the most from home. We quickly and joyously devoured the cake, as the evenings performers began to play.

The band was named Acqui Cavuri, and consisted of both Italian and Turkish musicians. They played a collection of vibrant Sicilian and Mediterranean folk music. The music filled the space and the entire room came alive with the oud, the guitar, the violin and different types of percussion.

Molly has a wonderful blog that I would suggest to everyone. It is also an excellent way to learn about what’s happening in the cafe, and learn about her observations and experiences as an ex-pat in Istanbul.

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The Istanbul Eurasia Marathon


Yesterday was the Istanbul Marathon. It is an incredible event for both international guests and Istanbul locals. It is the only marathon in the world that crosses two continents, and for 5 hours and 30 minutes the Bosphorus Bridge, which connects the European and Asian sides of the city to one another, is closed to cars. The latter is an extraordinary event in this city. Many people register to run the marathon, or some of its related events simply to have the opportunity to walk over the Bosphorus and take in the view without the traffic and chaos of cars. This event has been hosted in Istanbul since 1979 and include a 15 Km race, a fun run, a 8 Km race and a 8 Km fun run, in addition to the marathon. The course passes Haghia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, and crosses different parts of the Bosphorus 3 times throughout the route. It is something I would love to participate in at some point in my life…

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