Camel in Palmyra, Syria

As They Say In Syria, Shukran!

Derek Personal Stuff 16 Comments

This blogging stuff has continued to be quite remarkable as of late, especially the past six weeks or so. Things are happening that I simply never expected and I’m communicating with so many incredible people that it’s almost overwhelming 🙂 Basically, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to start this blog so many months ago. Also, as you might …

Turkey/Syria border crossing

Welcome To Syria My Friend!

Derek Syria 90 Comments

There have been a few brilliantly memorable times in my life when I’ve been walking down some random street in some random town of some random country and suddenly I find that there’s a little extra kick in my step. The hairs on my arms stand on end and a tingling sensation runs up my spine and quickly spreads throughout …

Ciya, Kadikoy, Istanbul

Food, Food, Food & More Turkish Food

Derek Food, Turkey 63 Comments

It’s quite easy traveling without a guidebook. After all, within minutes of publishing my first post from Istanbul, I received both comments and emails from readers offering me tips on what I should do, where I should go and most importantly, where and what I should eat during my stay. Seriously, why do I need a guidebook when I receive …

Rustem Pasha Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

In Search Of Two Mosques (Without A Map)

Derek Turkey 37 Comments

Luckily, there’s no shortage of places to explore in this city known as Istanbul, so when I arrived at the Grand Bazaar yesterday morning only to discover that it is closed on Sundays, I knew that my day would by no means be a failure. In fact, given that the sun was actually shining for the first time in a …

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

All Is Well In Istanbul, Thanks To Shakira

Derek Perspectives, Turkey 100 Comments

Here I am…in Istanbul, where my first two days have been filled with visits to some of the major landmarks of this great city, many of which are within a mere 300 meters of where I happen to be staying. I spent time wandering through the too-impressive-to-describe Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque), the massively-domed, basilica-turned-mosque of Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia) and the …

I Love the Unknown

I Love The Unknown

Derek Personal Stuff 29 Comments

Yesterday afternoon, while eating enchiladas in Brooklyn, a friend of a friend asked me a very simple question. He asked me, “Why are you traveling to the Middle East?” At first, I didn’t hesitate to give an answer. I began talking about my interest in the education that travel offers and how the Middle East is a region of the …