Bring international luck to your Friday the 13th

Each country, culture and religion has an idea of what is lucky and what is unlucky.

In the US, having a black cat cross in front of you is bad luck (I had a black cat for years and had very good luck).

In Italy, being pooped on by a bird is buona fortuna – good fortune.

In Albania, having good dreams your first night in a new place is a sign you’ll enjoy your time there.

To many, Friday the 13th is unlucky, so why not bring some international luck to the day?
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Turkish foods to cook at home

Turkey is full of delicious food. You can find Manti, dumplings served in both a red and cream sauce; Lahmacun, a pizza-style dish; and Menemen, spicy scrambled eggs. Everything is delicious and full of flavour.

If you want a snack, you can pick up a simit, similar to a bagel. Hummus is a tasty chickpea spread.

Craving something sweet? Get some lokum, the flavoured jelly sweet commonly called Turkish Delight.

Thirsty? Turkish tea and coffee are everywhere.

It would be difficult to be hungry in Turkey. Even if you don’t want to cook, the markets offer plenty of fruits, vegetables and freshly squeezed juices. While there are many choices, some of my favourites can be found easily and can be made after returning home.
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8 Haircuts. 8 Countries. 20 Months.

Getting a haircut while travelling can be the greatest souvenir ever or the biggest mistake that you just have to live with until you get home to your normal stylist.

In my 20 months in Europe, I had some fantastic haircuts and some not so fantastic haircuts.
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Hitchhiking out of Turkey: an adventure and a detour

Sometimes good travel ideas aren’t the best timed. Turkey seemed to be full of them for me. For example: renting scooters for a day? Great. Not returning until after sunset and freezing on the way back? Not so fun.

My most blatant travel blunder was probably deciding to hitchhike out of Istanbul.
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Turkey: 3 sites beyond Istanbul worth visiting

Turkey is a beautiful country, but to those who haven’t been there before, I’ll tell you the secret: there’s a lot more to Turkey than Istanbul.

Outside the capital, there is an amazing amount to see and compared to busy Istanbul, it’s much calmer and relatively tourist-free.

The further east you go, the less European and the more Asian or Middle Eastern it starts to feel.

It’s a long bus ride from Istanbul to central Turkey, but the trip is well worth it!
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Turkey: the Eurasian beauty

Turkey is a country torn between Europe and Asia. Literally divided by the Bosphorus running through Istanbul, the country is 97% in Asia and only 3% in Europe.

While Istanbul is beginning to feel more European with it’s attempts to join the European Union, the country still has a strong Asian or Middle Eastern feel which intensifies as you move east.

The mix of cultures and the strong Ottoman influences make for a beautiful, unique country worth exploring.
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The craziest bus trip yet: Istanbul, Turkey to Sofia, Bulgaria

It was a long bus trip from Istanbul, Turkey to Sofia, Bulgaria. The 360 mile (580 km) trip took about 12 hours including a 2 hour border check at midnight. Not my idea of fun. But, I was happy to even be on the bus in the first place. That was adventure enough.

I went early in the day to the office of a bus company which I had used and had good experiences with. I naïvely thought this would be just as easy. I knew I wanted to leave that night, but needed to find out what times the buses were (I still haven’t found any long-distance bus schedules online in Turkey).
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