Weekly Photo Challenge: Half n’ Half

 This week’s photo challenge is called half and half, and it couldn’t come at a better time.


When your heart is in two places, you are never completely happy.  I’m half in the US, and half in Turkey.  No matter where I am- that’s the case!  While it is so cool and exciting to have a “double life”, two different lives in two totally different places… it also takes its toll.  Eventually this half and half situation will slide…more towards one side than the other.  Having been mentally preparing myself for years, I haven’t allowed myself to slide more to the American side…because it would only make moving to Turkey harder.  Living that half n’ half life…


Now for a simply appealing half and half picture for the poor readers who wandered here on accident, and didn’t want to hear me waxing existential:

Half sky, half earth…a pic from my time in Austria

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol

nazar boncuk

One of my favorite symbols in Turkey is the nazar boncuğu.  This talisman is also known as the Evil Eye- in that it supposedly protects you from it.  The Evil Eye is a concept that “evil” or jealous eyes can bring bad juju on you.  Even Islamically speaking this can be true, that people that are jealous of you can wish you harm.  According to the lore, even someone with “bright eyes” (basically any color but brown) can cause nazar by simply admiring a thing, even with pure intentions.  Wearing this charm or hanging it around your house can prevent the juju from getting you.

This talisman is also common in Greece and other Mediterranean areas.

  While in real life we know that nazar cannot be prevented by using a shiny piece of painted glass, I love it.  For me it will always be a symbol of Turkey and Turkish culture.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Door

This week’s weekly photo challenge is called door.  Doors have many significant meanings in different cultures… and to me, door makes me think of the one I will be walking out of for the last time at the end of the month, and the one I will be walking through for the first time in four years in August inshallah…

But neither are this door.


The opulent doorway to Topkapi Palace in Istanbul… the home of many Sultans throughout Turkish history.  Yeah, no emotional meaning here…it is just pretty cool 🙂

My Muse (weekly photo challenge)


There is something about the ocean that inspires me.   Regardless of a storm far out at sea, the tide stills comes in, goes out, comes in, goes out… it doesn’t change.  Any particular shell that washes ashore could have originated in another part of the world, but now it is here.   All the while the tide goes in, goes out, goes in, goes out.  It is a comfort to me, knowing that even though some things change, others always stay the same.

Cee’s Which Way Challenge: Konak #TBT

I’m always down for a photo challenge, especially during these lulls where I either don’t have anything to write about or am too busy to write something worth reading.  I have found this to be particularly true this Ramadan- when trying to meet all of my spiritual goals and writing my thesis/ preparing my defense has kept me RUNNING!

This brought me to Cee’s which way challenge– a cute idea that I stumbled upon when perusing the blogs of people who like my posts.  I’ve decided to do a little #TBT at the same time…

DSCN1250A very familiar view for anyone from Izmir, Turkey.  This is a bridge that runs over Konak, aka “central” Izmir.  I found myself returning to this bridge multiple times, eager to go to the bazaar on the other side (which will likely be featured on another which way post).  No doubt, whichever way you go in Konak is the right way!

The colors of the rainbow

  This week’s photo challenge is called Roy G. Biv…which is an anagram for the colors of the rainbow!  From the sun bleached stones to the vibrant forests, Turkey is one of the most colorful countries I have visited.  Everywhere you turn your eyes are delighted with the rich culture and colors of this country- where east meets west in a brilliant array that cannot be matched.














DSCN1755  I could have easily prepared a collage for each color…but I don’t have the patience to dig through my old photos for that 😉  I hope this is enough to whet your appetite. All photos were taken by yours truly.

Photo challenge: Off-season


While we were in Turkey we visited a nearby beach town that was common for the locals.  It was off-season, so it was too cold to get in the water…but no one was there.  We had a long walk down the beach discussing what our future was together, and how we would move on from where we were at that moment.   Even though we went back to this place several times, and during the actual beach season, this trip will always stand out in my mind.

Some places/ things are better off-season.