July 22, 2015


It is time. I am finally going home to California.
I have spent the last 2 1/2 months in agony. I have questioned my future, my life, life in general, and just wished to be back home. The day has finally come and I am going to be reunited with the love of my life, my favorite state, and my home forever. I am so excited it's not even funny. I am ready to say good-bye to Switzerland, and to take with me memories I will share with my future children, friends, and whoever. This summer will be unforgettable as it wasn't the most beautiful summer ever. However, I have learned that life is full of surprises and that life does continue no matter what obstacles are in the way.

I am beyond excited to wrap my arms around my man at the airport. I have missed him more than words can say. So, enjoy the rest of this week and think of me as I am letting go of my sad summer and making the best out of this summer that is left of this year. I need to work on my summer list as well and will edit it from time to time, so don't forget to stop by there as well. And of course, I will be back writing posts again...just give me time!

California here I come!!!!! 
I will be home again!!

image via here

July 13, 2015

My A to Z Travel

I believe it is time to stop my blog hiatus and return to normalcy. After all, I have always claimed that writing is a tool that heals, comforts, and lets us escape from whatever is happening in our lives. I took this hiatus to spend time with myself, away from pressure, from reading, from anything that would force me to sit in front of a computer...I slept a lot, I rested even more {and no that is not the same as sleeping}, and it occurred to me that doing this is part of my healing process but it's not enough. Plus, I need to get back into life, into shape, into my daily inspirations to look forward to doing something or living beautifully. So here I am. I saw this post the other day and thought that this was the perfect way for me to start getting happier, and write more uplifting posts. July has been an awesome month and I am improving daily; baby steps but I can feel it.

So, here we go!

A) Age you went on your first international trip:
I was barely two and we went to Trinidad and Tobago. We stayed for a few months. All I have left of this time are photos and the memory of dreams I had when I was around four. Crazy.

B) Best foreign beer you’ve had and where:
Define foreign? I grew up in Switzerland so anything outside that is foreign...then in the US, anything outside that is foreign to me as well. To be honest, I like beer but can live without. Also, due to my gluten allergy I am now drinking Sorghum Beer which is pretty okay and it's made in Colorado. Not at all foreign.

C) Cuisine (favorite): 
Turkish, Spanish, Italian, Mexican, and Japanese. Well, just food that makes me happy. As long as it's delicious and makes me stuffed I'm a very happy girl.

D) Destinations–favorite, least favorite, and why?:
Favorite: Istanbul, Berlin, and San Francisco {home, history, home and memories...and SF reminds me of Europe} - I am sure there are more favorite places but these came up first.
Least favorite: as much as I like Greece, I did not enjoy my trip there. It's very similar to Turkey so I had no issues, the views were awesome...the people were unfriendly though and it felt like they just wanted to throw stuff at us and not even "handle" us "tourists". Sad sad.

E) Event you’ve experienced abroad that made you say “wow”:
Waking up in Yosemite at 5.30 in the morning...that clear blue sky and crisp fresh air? Pure perfection on an upcoming hot summer's day {and yes, Yosemite is not technically abroad for most of you}, and just waking up and knowing that you'll experience something eventful that day...that is a wow moment all to itself.

F) Favorite mode of transportation:
Public transportation...mainly in Europe. I also enjoy the buses/Muni in San Francisco. Other than that I love being the passenger in a car gazing outside the window and taking it all in...lets me escape for a few minutes. Also, I like to look into cars and find the most obscure things people do in cars. 

G) Greatest feeling while traveling:
When I travel I love to see how other people live. I see the regular "boring" sights everyone wants or should see when traveling...but then I'd like to escape outside that bubble and get a feel of what life really is like in those countries or even cities. It makes me appreciate the things I have. We take way too much for granted and believe life is like that everywhere, but this is not true. So traveling and getting to know a place from another perspective...that's what is fascinating. That is what makes traveling perfect. Plus, getting off the plane...that's another great feeling I get when traveling. I made it!

H) Hottest place you’ve ever traveled to:
Spain and Portugal...the heat was unbearable. Turkey was hot too but holy cow, Portugal almost killed us.

I) Incredible service you’ve experienced and where?:
I have not yet fully experience incredible service...I have experienced great service but nothing outstanding that deserves mentioning.

J) Journey that took the longest:
Going back to and coming back from Europe always takes the longest. Non-stop flights are awesome, just those 12+ hours suck big time. Yet, in the end it's worth it.

K) Keepsake from your travels:
Magnets, handmade jewelry, scarves, and just one piece of clothing. Always!!!

L) Let-down sight, where and why?:
Hmmmm...nothing really yet. I always try to enjoy everything while at a place...no matter how long I stay. If I missed seeing something it saddens me for a little while but it's okay...the memories I have made are enough.

M) Moment where you fell in love with traveling:
I traveled a lot when I was a child and a teenager, thanks to having family all over the world, so I guess I was born into this. I had no choice but to fall in love with traveling. 

N) Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in:
The one in Bodrum, Turkey and one in Berlin. I consider nice as just simple, no problems occurred, and the staff was friendly enough to make me feel at home away from home.

O) Obsession–what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?:
The ocean or the sea, animals, landscape, countryside, food, sunsets, and old buildings.

P) Passport stamps-how many and from where?:
My passport has been renewed so many times, so my stamps are rare these days as they don't stamp it all the time. :(  Latest and most stamps are from Turkey and the US. Any other ones in my older ones were from England, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Greece, and some other places I can't recall. Switzerland doesn't stamp my Swiss passport...haha. I wish. I often travel with my ID in Europe so no stamps, and in the US...I don't need a passport. :(

Q) Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where?:
Nothing really...

R) Really Frightening: where’s one place you’ve visited where you felt unsafe or uneasy?
Paris, after they had to close down a street and a whole area for security reason. They found suspicious boxes or so and had to get the bomb squat come out. It was close to where we lived. Not the most fun thing to experience.

S) Splurge-something you have no problem spending money on while traveling:
Food, and a souvenir clothing item. :D

T) Touristy thing you’ve done:
I always do all kinds of touristy things...but the best and most fun touristy thing is to play tourist in your own city. Love pretending to be a tourist in a place I can walk around blind-folded.

U) Unforgettable travel memory:
NYC with my mom, uncle, aunt, and cousin many many years ago. But for the last travel memory...my trip to Istanbul this month where I spent five wonderful days with family, honored mom, and tried to suck as much Istanbul in as even possible. I just love this city.

V) Visas-how many and for where?:
A student visa but that was it and has long expired. Nothing else so far.

W) Wine–best glass while traveling:
Portugal!! It worked perfectly with our food. YUM.

X) eXcellent view and from where?
Love to hike up a hill in Laguna Beach and just overlook the city and Pacific Ocean. It calms and refreshes me. The sunset in Istanbul, overlooking the European side, is one spectacular view too, and most tourists fail to see this because they never cross over to explore the Asian side of this gigantic city.

Y) Years spent traveling:
Since I was a young child.

Z) Zealous sports fans and where?:
Not really a sports fan...if I had to choose, maybe Monaco when the Grand Prix motor race takes place.

Have an amazing Monday, and an amazing week. I am packing up my last belongings and getting ready to reunite with my favorite person. We have been apart for way too long and we have lots to catch up on. I also know he will help me heal and find my way again. This is not what one has in mind during their first year of marriage but life is full of surprises and our first year has definitley hit some rough moments but we are strong and we can do this. I am so counting down the days. So ready to be back home again. So so ready!!!

Which are your A to Z of traveling? Would love to know!

July 6, 2015


And yes that is a cart with fresh parsley in it...want some?!

Years ago I wrote posts about my beloved and favorite city Istanbul. Without fully looking at them or editing them I chose to share those two posts with you. Reason is I am still in Istanbul enjoying a fabulous longer weekend celebrating my cousin's most precious day. Also, my soul is probably healing better and easier. Plus, I hope you had a great weekend celebrating the 4th of July...that is if you are in the US or in general celebrating. So I wasn't planning on going online often or writing much.

If you know me you know how I feel about Istanbul. This city is awesome, very different from what you would think or assume, and holds a very special place in my heart. Unfortunately, this trip is bittersweet to me. Mom is no longer with me and I would have loved to do this trip with her, but I know she is here with me in spirit. We will honor her and her own unique love for Istanbul as well.

So without further ado...here are a few posts I wrote about Istanbul...oldies {you will see my poor picture choosing qualities...but hey, it is fun to look back at those. That is also why I chose those old ones and chose not to edit a thing}.

Why Ashley hates me

Enjoy reading it all...I will be back with photos or updates in general. I have to get back into this regular life of mine. People change once they lose someone or experience a loss but I know that this is okay. I am accepting this change and change is good. Change is always good!!!

Miss you all.


July 2, 2015

Travel Update


 Most of you don't know this but I am in Istanbul right now. My cousin is getting married here and it will be quite a party. Also, our entire family will come together and this hasn't happened in over 15 years. At first I was a bit hesitant. I wanted to go but at the same time didn't. My uncle convinced me otherwise. Also, what better way to start a new chapter in your life after a loved one has passed than to celebrate love and see your family again?! Exactly. I can't stay under my blanket every day. I gotta move on. I gotta celebrate life and its beauty and love. So, here I am. In Istanbul.

While I am trying to acclimate and get used to a new langauge once again {my brain still functions in English most of the days} I thought I'd send you back to some fun blog posts of mine talking about my love for this beautiful city by the Bosphorus. Have fun reading what I had to say a couple of years back, you won't regret it.

and if you are not ready to wait for another post...how about my next update:

Aren't you jealous?! 

Miss you all.



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