What was your biggest culture shock going to Turkey?

I LOVE this question! But I can’t answer with only one thing!

I’ve been on a long journey that started the beginning of February 2019 and spanned many countries and cities: Dallas, Tx. Paris, Fr. New Delhi, Agra, & Goa, India, (Istanbul, Turkey for 2 nights) Jerusalem and Tel Avi, Israel, and finally Bangkok, Krabi, Thailand.

But let me go back to last year when I said jokingly: “I could live out a suitcase!” And that’s a big thing to say when you are 72!

I decided to take myself seriously and after decades of working full time, I liquidated my life, put my photos and important papers into one suitcase, grabbed my knapsack with my computer and my iPhone X and took off! Turkey was not on my list when I planned this amazing voyage. But, I planned all this through a company that specialized in long trips (mine was over 4 months) and Chris said, “Lynda, layovers are free. Stop in Istanbul.” He and Istanbul changed my life.

Why do I LOVE Turkey and what shocked and surprised me? First. two days were not enough. So I came back to Istanbul after Thailand loved it so much I recently applied for a long term visa!

YES, I was shocked in an amazing way, with Turkey. Let me share the reasons why:

  1. The #1 Country for the Sexiest Men in the World is Turkey Yes, it’s true. Just walk through Sultanahmet Square where the Blue Mosque is and you will see what I mean!
  2. I LOVE the call to prayer. Do you know that there are over 81K mosques in Turkey? Over 3100 are in Istanbul. I was brought up Catholic and spent a year in the convent. But I don’t truly identify with any organized religion. The call to prayer happens through loudspeakers at every mosque, 5 times a day. I find it soothing and very special.
  3. Islam. Turkey is a Muslim European country. Of the 17 million people of this thoroughly modern and gorgeous city, 96.4% practice Islam. And from what I’ve learned since I arrived here, the religion is not anything like what we learn and hear about in the West.
  4. The people are genuinely kind. I’ve never experienced any violence whatsoever—not that it doesn’t happen, I’m sure—but I walk the streets at night, take the trams, wander endlessly, come home from dining through the city, walking down the hills from Taksim, and never once have I ‘felt’ unsafe. Btw, it helps to have a built-in-danger alarm.
  5. And if all of these things alone didn’t surprise me, I must say the language drives me nuts!! Hah, I walk around with google translate, although most people involved in tourism speak English. I feel so stupid. I can’t wrap my tongue around the words. I can’t relate them to anything—I have some French, Spanish, and of course English. I can even understand some Italian! But Turkish, even though I watch Netflix Turkish cop shows, I still don’t get it!
  6. Food! Don’t get me started! If you haven’t tried Turkish Ice Cream—it’s so creamy—you have not lived!The food is so good and so plentiful. And do try the varieties of baklava, and chocolate, and Turkish Delights!
  7. The night. Istanbul never sleeps. You can find restaurants open at 2 a.m all over the city!

My “shocks” have all been positive—except the damn language!! haha.

Answered in Quora!

Lynda Filler is the author of 15 published books on Amazon. Award-winning Target in the Sun is .99c today.

Don’t you love her wisdom?

We (Cree and Elizabeth Gilbert) are walking through France right now—wandering at our own footpace, following the whims of the day.

I want to tell you a story about Cree. Sixteen years ago, right before I took off for my EAT PRAY LOVE journey, I went to say my goodbyes to Cree. She had seen me through the ugliest days of my divorce. At that time, she was a stay-at-home mom, with two preschool children.

When she hugged me goodbye, she folded me into her arms and said: “Take us with you in spirit—all of us women who made different choices than you, and who are now staying home with our families. Don’t forget about us!” It was such a touching thing to say. I replied: “I’ll do one better than that, Cree. Someday we’ll go traveling together.”

Now here we are, a decade-and-a-half later. Cree’s wonderful kids are in college, and she and I are meandering up the Brittany Coast—two free women, doing just as we wish.

The other day, Cree posted this very photo of us on Instagram, and someone commented: “Flâneurs!” God, that made me happy. Flâneur is a 19th Century term for a “stroller” or a “loafer”—a man who saunters up the boulevard in aimless enjoyment, going wherever he pleases for the sheer delight of it. Traditionally, there is no such thing as a female flâneur—because allegedly the world is not safe for lady wanderers. In fact, I recently read a novel where two characters discuss the fact that the closest thing to a female flâneur is a “shopper”. (Excuse me?)

Well, hell…you wanna see some female flâneurs? HERE WE ARE.

Women, I want to tell you something: Your life will have SEASONS. Your tomorrows will not look like your today. You will not always be so tired. There will be seasons when you are taking care of others (babies, old people, the sick and the dying) but those seasons will pass, and then you can be a flâneur.

The world is safer than you think, and the time of your freedom is sooner than you know. Tag a friend who is feeling stuck or homebound, and make a promise to someday wander and stroll this world together. Remind each other of your wild nature. Make a plan to be free. Where will you go? Who will you bring? Onward❤️ LG

This woman influenced the lives of so many. I hope she does the same for you! I don’t know about you, but this made me cry.

Can you show us a window to your love?

Two roads diverged in a wood,and I-I took the one less traveled byAnd thathas made all the differenceRobert Frost

 

Oh my. This question gave me shivers.                                                 (on Quora)

There’s a guru on YouTube named Evan Carmichael. He wrote a book called “One Word.” He states that everyone should define their brand or their belief system with one word. His is Belief. Mine is LOVE.

If you open my Amazon book profile, my first three books have LOVE in their title. I use the word constantly. I’m not afraid to tell people I love them. I don’t hold back, ever. I lead from love. It’s my most important value.

The window… yes, that beautiful window. I’ve lived my life following my heart, following love.

As Robert Frost said, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

I chose the path of love. And no matter how many twists and turns my life took, how many wins, losses, and disappointments, I wouldn’t change any of it for any reason. I always moved forward from a place of love.

 

 

Death Sentence

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Six months death sentence.

In 2008 I was told my heart condition was not responding to medication and to get my affairs in order. I’ve never been known to back down from a challenge so I fought back. And I’m still here baby!!

This is what other’s are saying about my story published on Amazon.

“uplifting and insightful. Powerful and unforgettable” JackMagnus, 5 Star Readers’ Favorite

“You (your book) have been so encouraging after a cardiomyopathy diagnosis. The doctor had NOTHING encouraging to say. I left his office in shock.” anonymous to respect privacy.

“Her story is honest, straightforward, and powerful, and many readers will be able to connect well with her experiences and how her spirit came to believe that sometimes the impossible can be made possible with the way we think.”
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan

Her emphasis on the need to always listen to your body and not ignore any warning signs made this a compelling read.”

“I know any number of people who have been given a death sentence and suffer years of treatment. When Lynda Filler was given this same prognosis, she decided to defy the odds and embrace life. Her choice to believe the impossible and live the imaginable is truly inspirational. I loved her energy, her zest for life – both of which are evident on every page of this book.” G. Plano
 
This is a book every human alive should read and take away the lessons given. If I could give it ten stars, I would. It’s that good.” J. Sikes

 

My story is a crazy miraculous journey. I hope you enjoy it and get a copy for family and friends. #LOVE

 

We Could Have Been In Barcelona…

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I’ve always been intrigued by other cultures. I watch people and try to imagine their lives. For an author, travel opens my mind to plots and possibilities. Even tourists have something to add to my vivid imagination. Are they ‘accidental tourists?” Are they willingly here or are they following the whims of the group? What has brought them to this place–Porto, Portugal–at this time?

Even tourists have something to add to my vivid imagination. Are they ‘accidental tourists?” Are they willingly here or are they following the whims of the group? What has brought them to this place–Porto, Portugal–at this time?

What if we’d chosen to go to Barcelona instead?

What serendipitous event caused my son to choose Porto, Portugal instead of Barcelona, Spain? Is everything in life pre-ordained?

I believe every single moment in life should be special. I honor and send love to the families of the victims of terror and war everywhere.

You never know. You simply never know.

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I’m grateful for the life I’ve been blessed to live.

 

 

What is Love?

 

This is very personal… I wrote it this morning in honor of my bf of several years who has been hospitalized for a long long long time. He’s dying. But I will never give up hope.
What is love? Let me count the ways.
the moments throughout my day when I think about you and hope you’re not in pain
the six months when you were in a coma and I never heard from you but I NEVER gave up hope
the times when I do something, write something and think “G would like this” or “G wouldn’t like this.” The love/hate thing that exists in all love relationships
the way I think of you early in the morning and last thing at night
the way I laugh when another man tries to get my attention…. I shake my head and say to myself “G is an impossible act to follow”
the way I feel close to you, it’s like I talk to you and you’re not even here, but I feel as if you hear me
the way I sit in moments like right now, with many things to do and all I want to do is write to you
the way I long to go to Venice again but keep hoping for a miracle so that we can make that trip together and you can teach me about Opera and I can write poetry about love
the three books of poetry inspired by you, and a writing career that you gave me the strength to pursue
its the way I know that you would be my fierce protector if things were different
its the way everything I write, my determination to succeed, the photos I take, and the paintings I do are all done with you in the back of mind, always in honor of the things you can no longer do
it’s the way you took my hand one day when we first started seeing each other and we were walking down the street near Hotel Monaco, and I said to myself “I have a boyfriend”
the way not a moment has gone by since I met you—except when you piss me off—when I haven’t wished I was Your One, the One person you wanted by your side
the way I know that in a heart beat I’d give the life I know up to be by your side until “death do us part”

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but I knew, from the moment I saw your smile and looked into your eyes that you were the crazy one I’d been waiting for my whole life