Handcrafted Leather Shoes, a Dying Craft

Zeynep, the owner and trailblazer of the shop, lives for traditional handicraft of shoes. “Istanbul,” she explained, “used to be a center for shoe craft. When I was young, I saved my money to repair and custom make shoes.” These days, things are different. Things have changed. The desire for trend, the thrift of Forever 21, and want of abundance have changed the industry. “Shoe making is a dying craft.”

9 Bits of Wisdom for Twentysomethings

There are times in life when “I don’t even know what just happened” doesn’t quite cover it. But, the case could be made for just about every hopeful twenty-something’s decade of living the what-in-the-name-of-Sam-Hill-am-I-doing-with-my-life syndrome. But I will miss my mark in a thousand ways to get to someplace better and more unique than I could have imagined.

Büyükada Bike Ride, Princes’ Islands, Istanbul

You know that old adage, “it’s like riding a bike”? Well I am here to tell you that it’s not. But it is possible for people to be very, very, very nice to you and help you up on your feet (so to speak). Maybe it just takes the right place, the right time, and the right spirit to get you back on a bike. My trip to Büyükada (“Big Island” in Turkish) was my first bike ride ever, and it was a myriad of lessons in self-discovery.

Leaving Your Camera With an Italian on a Potentially Dangerous First Bike Ride, Büyükada, Istanbul

So yesterday I rode a bike. First I rode a bus, then a metrobüs, then a train, then a boat, and then a bike. Now for those of you not anxiously reaching for your inhaler and semi-sweet chocolate chip stash in shock, let me fill you in: I have never ridden a bike before — successfully.