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.

Reasons why Istanbul should be #1 on your Bucket List

How I ended up in this city is pure serendipity. But here I am and I LOVE it.

  • Everyday I learn more and more. 17M people live here, but it feels like any other city in the world, only more historical and beautiful. Let me tell you why I love it.You walk amongst historical sites like it’s part of everyday life. Take a look at this view. The Blue Mosque is in the foreground and the Hagia Sophia in the background. If you make an arrow straight from the left of this photo over the Bosphorus Strait, that’s where I live. It’s a 15 minute tram ride to the Blue Mosque.
The Blue Mosque at night
  • The Old City Walls are intact and can be seen in various forms all around the city. Imagine driving on ultra modern bridges and highways, with a view of the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople that saved the city many a time during its wars against the Avars, the Tartars, the Russians, and the Bulgarians.

Photo Bob Phillips thank you! Fine Art America

  • The food is fun, delicious, nutritious, and colorful! And I LOVE the chocolates!!
Fish Sandwiches under the Galata Bridge
  • The mix of old and new is felt in both the architecture, the culture, and the Islam religion. The unique ability for a 96.4% Muslim country to live side by side with all religions and cultures is felt in the welcoming nature of the people. As a secular woman I dress in my comfortable secular attire, and walk side by side with fully robed and casually attired Muslim women. There is no criticism, nor evil eyes, only nods of recognition that we are all one.
  • I LOVE the Call to Prayer, the Muslim tradition of the Quran prayer that reminds the devout five times a day, to stop what he/she is doing and say a prayer. Most of us have a belief in a Higher Power. It’s expressed by a variety of religions and ideologies, but the tenets are the same: We are all one and God is Love.

I was given a second chance at life in 2008 and I am determined to make the most of it! LOVE the Beat Goes On

Thank you for following my blog and I hope I gave you a small taste of life in Istanbul, Turkey.

Photo Blog 2 Istanbul!

She said what? Girls hanging out.
The Boys in Sultanahmet Square. I’d love to take a Turkish coffee with you!
Turkish Delights? But of course!!
Ohhhh, I’m so tempted. Just one more please!

If you would like to know more about my life, and what has inspired me to sell everything and travel the world, please pick up a copy of

LOVE The Beat Goes On on Amazon.

Every single day of my life since 2008 is a gift! #Gratitude

Please read this…it might save someone…

Do you believe in miracles?

I got another message today on one of my videos on my Heart ❤️.

Some of you who are new to my world don’t know that basically I was supposed to die in 2008-9. I had a dilated heart that was barely functioning and having heart attacks for months without realizing what was happening!! I dumb down the explanation because it was such an incredible and life-altering time that I can barely write about it without crying! Anyways I told very few people but one of the people who helped me at that time was Jay D Davis who has been a great supporter of my current journey.

You see, every single breath I take since that time is a miracle. That’s why I’m doing this trip! That’s why I left my life in Mexico and am traveling to places I’ve only dreamed of seeing… And that’s also why I have no set destination. Every day is a gift.

That’s also why I choose happiness over sadness no matter what goes on around me. I choose LOVE as my highest value, and love my life so intensely—-every single moment is a miracle. Yes, I wrote the story and from the comments I receive I know it has helped thousands. Maybe you, or someone you know needs to hear my story and know in your heart ❤️ to never, ever give up!!!

Yes, I believe in miracles because I am one.

Here’s my story. If you’re reading this, maybe you or someone near to you needs to hear my story. LOVE the Beat Goes On You can read it for free on Kindle Unlimited on Amazon.

WESTERN WALL JERUSALEM MARCH 2019

INDIA through my eyes. A journey to love.

Within days of arriving in India, I found the words to express the mantra for my journey: We are all one

You can find me on Instagram #Weareallone Please drop by for more extensive photos of this epic voyage

The following are places I visited with my amazing Sikh guide. He was chatting with me when he suddenly looked me in the eyes and said, “You need to visit the Sikh Temple.”

After this first stop from the Old City in Delhi, we headed towards the Sikh place of Worship. I must say it was/is the highlight of my tour which now numbers day 32 on the road.

The temple feeds somewhere between 10,000 and 35,000 people daily. All cultures, races, religions are welcome to partake from early morning until late evening. There is something powerful and intense about this place

#WeAreAllOne

Thanks for following my journey, more to come. I’m in Israel currently, and I’m going to attempt entry into a sacred site. Dressing modestly won’t be a problem, but I must cover the pink hair! Namaste.

Why travel?

India

I’m embarking on a journey-of-a-lifetime. In the next 48 hours, I will book my destinations! So many people have asked me why I’m going. Why now?

I’ve sold all my possessions, and yes, I’m taking my photos, and small family heirlooms. So my blogs/vlogging/books/photography will take a different spin over the next six months. Get ready. I promise you it’s going to be amazing and I’m taking you with me!!

Why travel? Her’s what AirTreks have to say:

1. Traveling is easier than you think.

We believe that traveling around the world shouldn’t be hard: it’s actually something everyone should be able to do at least once in their lives. Whether you choose to spend a few years or just a couple months traveling this beautiful planet, it’s important to see what’s out there. It’s up to you to make the dream come true and take the first step. Launch TripPlanner to piece together and price your ideal route. Not sure where to start?  You can always call one of our travel consultants and get some complimentary advice!

2. Travel opens your eyes.

If you’re open and willing, travel will make you an incredibly more well-rounded human being. And that’s really the goal, isn’t it? If you don’t know where to start, check out our Around the World planning guide.

3. Traveling helps you learn who you are.

Bali

All the challenges and opportunities travel lays at your feet help you discover who you are in a way that’s only possible on the road.

4. Travel creates meaningful relationships

People you meet while on the road become some of the most valued names on your contact list. They become places on the map to visit later on. These folks give you a glimpse outside your hometown circle of friends, and force you to take in new and refreshing perspectives, and ultimately realize that everyone is the same.

5. Traveling develops skills you didn’t know you had

Sometimes it’s only far from home that you realize you you’ve got skills you’ve never used. It’s travel that brings them to the surface and makes you smile, satisfied to have reached the mountain top, or  crossed a gorge  or helped a villager clean up after a storm, or even to have successfully ordered a meal at a rural Chinese restaurant.

6. Travel helps you learn new languages

There’s something satisfying about being able to throw around a few words of Greek, knowing how to say thanks in Thai, pulling out that long dormant Spanish to book a room in Santiago, or simply hearing a language you didn’t know existed just a few weeks before.

The Dome of the Rock

7. Travel means adventure

Zip-lining over the jungle canopy in Peru, successfully navigating the maze-like streets of Venice, bartering for the best price in the traditional markets of Marrakech, taking a speedboat ride in New Zealand, or hopping in a Land Rover and heading out to watch animals grazing  in Tanzania: these are adventures worth having. People are hardwired for the excitement of adventure and travel may just be the best way to tap into it.

8. Traveling gives you perspective

Meeting people from other cultures will teach you that the way you’ve been looking at the world isn’t the way everybody else does. In fact, your point-of-view might have some major blind spots. Seeing the world for yourself will improve your vision and your grip on reality.

9. Travel helps you move forward

If you’re between jobs, schools, kids, or relationships, around the world travel can be a perfect way to move from one of these life stages into your next great adventure. A big trip won’t just ease your transition into the next stage of your life, it’ll give you a chance to reflect on where you’ve been, where you’re going, and where you want to end up.

10. Travel is education

Seeing the world provides an education that’s absolutely impossible get in school. Travel teaches you economy, politics, history, geography, and sociology in an intense, hands-on way no class will.  Fortunately, the school of travel is always taking applications, no entrance exam required.

11. Travel challenges you

Getting your daily latte at the same place and staring at your screen at your nine-to-five every day not nearly interesting enough? Even if you choose to work on the road (and keep staring at the screen), you’ll have to find a new place to drink your latte, and depending on your destination, finding coffee, and foamy milk or a good place to sip them could prove to be a sizeable challenge. Travel is full of moments of joy and challenges. Overcoming the challenges gives you some of the greatest joys of all.

12. Travel shakes things up

It sucks to be stuck in a rut. Everyone knows what that’s like. A big trip can be your perfect solution. Fly around the world, stopping over in all of the places you’ve always wanted to visit. Go ahead and plan your ideal route around the world (it’s easier than you think!)

13. Traveling proves that dreams do come true

You imagined it, daydreamed about it, envisioned it. Guess what? It can be done. Around the world travel is possible, you just have to decide you’re willing to take the first step and start planning your itinerary.  What are you waiting for? We’ve put together some specials to inspire you to live your dream.

14. Travel gives you cool stories

Let’s face it. Even for folks who can’t tell a story, just the words “last year in Mongolia” get you instant party points.  Even when events seem trivial, nostalgia and distance create an irresistible spin that makes mundane things like getting your laundry done in Zanzibar, entertaining. Just don’t be that person and overdo it!

15. Travel is literally food for thought.

You’ll be constantly surprised at the flavors the world has to offer.  The way people in other cultures and countries prepare food, and break bread together (not that all cultures even eat bread) will astound you.

16. Travel gives you a sense of accomplishment

If you’re the kind of person that dreams big, you’re probably one to reach for new challenges. Finishing a trip gives you the satisfaction that you were able make a goal to travel and  accomplish what you set out to do–see the world.

17. Traveling for the hell of it

Why travel? Because you can. Because you want to. Because it beats the alternative (staying home). Why not pick up your tickets and get the ball rolling!

Bali Mountains