Taksim

“Pop! Pop!” Muffled bangs echoed off the tall buildings along Istiklal Avenue, the main thoroughfare of the Beyoğlu District of Istanbul. Taksim Square was a half-mile down the road where the blasts originated. The police were moving in on the protest. The street was lined with the department stores and fancy designer chains. Shoppers and protesters walking among the crowds of passersby. Suddenly yelling and shouting began. A large crowd began running by us from behind. We ducked down a side street to escape before things got too out of hand...

Cosmopolitan

The East truly meets the West in Istanbul. Istanbul is a city of the world. The variety of people and cultures here is much more than I had expected. Of course, the Turkish are the most prevalent–-something expected being this is Turkey, after all–-but even the Turkish seem like the amalgamation of 3 or 4 millennia of invaders and traders from Europe, Asia and Africa...

Turkey Trot

In summer of 2013, I traveled to Turkey for a month-long trip with a friend. It was a great experience and such a fascinating country to travel through. It is a country with a long and complex history, beautiful scenery and a diverse and friendly culture. Of all the places I have traveled, it is certainly one of the most friendly. Turkey became one of my favorite travel destinations, and I have advocated for friends and acquaintances to travel there...

Oh, Canada!

Back in June my friend James asked me if I wanted to join him and two other guys, Lucas and Peter on a trip up to the Canadian Rockies (Edmonton, Calgary, Banff and Jasper). They were setting off in early August for a 6 day excursion through Alberta. I was excited that I was asked to join on this trip, although my soon-to-be wife was not as thrilled, mostly because she also wanted to do this same trip someday. Luckily, she loved me enough to let me spread my wings out and fly...