Tag Archives: Writing


Dearest Readers,

2013 has proven to be a year of exciting transitions and new beginnings. Istanbul was my home, my stomping grounds and adventure-base for almost 4 years. The city’s dynamic energy was thrilling and overwhelming, inspiring and exhausting. It is certainly one of my favorite places in the world and will always be somewhere I call ‘home’.

I miss the accordion man that walked through our street every Sunday morning. I miss the lemon cart and the old grandmothers who  yelled, chatted, smiled and strolled as they passed through the web of city streets. I miss the cats at every turn. I miss passing four grocery stores on my way home. I miss knowing I can jump on the bus or metro in a matter of minutes and get almost anywhere in the city. I miss the music pouring out of the Taksim bars. I miss when the streets are so full you can hardly walk. I miss the sparkling Bosphorus, where boats of all sizes travel in all directions. I miss constantly being exposed to new words, flavors, music and experiences. And, of course I miss my Istanbul friends and family.

Where am I now?! I am currently on Bainbridge Island, outside of Seattle, back on American soil. It is a place where you can hear the birds chirping, walk along the beach without seeing another soul and occasionally, if you are really lucky, you will see beautiful Mount Rainier. It is a place where everyone wants to know your story (and most people already do). Everyone makes eye contact with one another and it is expected for you to say hello (with a smile) to every stranger you pass. Small town life is charming in its quirks and serenity.

There has been significant culture shock. It  took me 3 weeks to muster the courage to enter a grocery store. It boggles my mind that there can be entire aisles of salad dressing and cereal. I still stand on the right side of an escalator. I am learning to tip 20 percent after every meal. I cannot hear (or see) my neighbors. The streets of Seattle seem so empty, even at the height of commuter hours.

In some ways life seems to have slowed down. We sleep in every day. The stress of work is absent from my life. I am surrounded by the comfort, love and support of family. However, I am constantly reminded that time never stops. Everyone I know has big, busy and full lives that have changed so much since my original departure. It is fun to get to know my closest friends in new ways and see how everyone has grown-up and started their own unique path towards the life they want to live.

What am I doing?! Exploring my options, networking, dreaming big and daydreaming about my next adventures (and blog). I am toying with the idea of careers in international education, public relations, public affairs, higher education and even writing. I am currently working on a book to ensure my adventures and experiences outlive the blur of my memories. I am considering my options for a blog about the social, economic, cultural realities of the Millennial generation I find myself to be a member of. I am trying to tame my wanderlust to imagine myself staying in one place long enough to establish real roots. I miss Istanbul and the exciting world I left behind, but I am also thrilled to imagine all the possibilities that await me.

Stay tuned for future posts and updates!

From Seattle with love…


From Istanbul to Seattle


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