Scenery Sunday :- Fatih Wednesday Market (Istanbul, Turkey)

One of my favorite things to do while traveling is blend in with the locals. This time in Istanbul, I stayed outside of the typical touristic neighborhoods and lived among locals.

On a rainy Wednesday, I stepped into the supersized outdoor market in the Fatih neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey. I brought along my camera, shopped with the locals and walked shoulder to shoulder with them all.

Weekly markets around the world feed my curiosity; visually, mentally and physically. From the way people dress, what they eat, how they bargain and buy, how they socialize, how they react to the weather, it’s all part of the local culture. Continue reading

Travel Thought Thursday :- Consumerism

As I sit in the breezy courtyard of my pansiyon in Antalya, Turkey – I get into a discussion about travel with a fellow solo female traveler from Tokyo, Japan.
After traveling to 43 different countries so far, I’ve walked through numerous touristic shopping areas, and markets. For a person who enjoy window shopping, real shopping and haggling, I could say I’m in my element.

However, I have noticed on my travels that it can be challenging to find that unique piece of souvenir which was not mass produced in a foreign land.


Handmade plates found in Lindos, Greece

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Sunday Scenery : Fethiye Market, Turkey

Fresh markets around the world depict the culture and traditions of the local area in detail. I have always enjoyed experiencing the life of a local by wandering through local markets. Vendors, artisans, and farmers travel from surrounding areas to offer up their goods. Each country, each city, each town have their own days of the week – in addition to brick and mortar shopkeepers and supermarkets.

In Fethiye, there are 3 days each week where vendors gather and offer their goods. Each day the market meets in a different area of town. Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday markets buzz with activity. Funny enough the vendors encouraged me to take photos of them or their goods. Especially the fresh produce vendors, they seemed proud of their fruits and vegetables and loved the attention.

Whatever you may need for daily life, will be found inside the market. Wander through the market with me.
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life (San Telmo)

Spending a sun shining Sunday at the Feria de San Pedro Telmo is a must when visiting Buenos Aires, Argentina.

San Telmo Sunday Market Banner

San Telmo Sunday Market Banner

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The Art of Haggling – 5 strategies to shop successfully

Hawkers swarm tourists at the exit gate of Borobudur, Indonesia

Hawkers swarm tourists at the exit gate of Borobudur, Indonesia

Haggling and travel goes hand-in-hand in the mind of many travelers around the world. Many travel guides remind travelers to haggle. However, those of us who grew up and/or live in the western world may feel we are unfamiliar with this life skill. Unbeknownst to most, each time we look at a sale advertisement or compare prices between retailers we are, to some degree, haggling – bargaining – negotiating. The only thing missing is the face-to-face interaction.

In many countries, haggling is expected. I see haggling as fun, like a sport. I was born in Hong Kong, a locale known for haggling with hawkers, however as a kid I did not remember my mom or other family members haggle with hawkers when we shopped in the market. Honestly, I do not remember my first personal experience with haggling, however, when the occasion arises – I am READY! Continue reading

Traveling solo and stuck in an airport!?

Waiting for flight AK1801 in LCCT Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Waiting for flight AK1801 in LCCT Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

What to do when it’s midnight and you are stuck in an airport? Oh and traveling solo!!

Well I had such an experience back in April 2013 when I was heading to my friend’s in Singapore after visiting Melaka and Penang in Malaysia. I had a 5-hour layover in the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  For the price of the tickets with Air Asia, I could not really complain but what is there to do!?!

After arriving from Penang, I could either leave the baggage claim area and head into Kuala Lumpur, KL. However, it was middle of the night and I was a Single Woman. My flight to Singapore was at 5:10am. So it made sense to stay in the airport. Continue reading

Leaving consumerism behind…

With Boxing Day, Cyber Monday and Black Friday behind us for 2013 – I believe I have stepped into a new paradigm for myself.

I was born in Hong Kong – the land of street stalls and high end boutiques. My whole being was exposed to and bombarded by materialism and consumerism on a daily basis. Name Brands. Celebrities. The Ultra Rich. Old Money. The Nouveau Riche. Newest designs. Limited editions. Latest craze. Newest flavor. Continue reading

She did What!?! ~ with Alison

Single Woman Travels! (SWT) is a place to inspire and motivate women (and men) around the world to travel. She did What?! is a monthly series of Q&A – asking women around the world to share their past travel experience. From this, I hope a few more women who are on the brink of expanding their world will be inspired and motivated to turn their dreams into reality.

Bio…    Alison Bellaire, Toronto, 21st Century shaman, Future Academy award voter

SWT:    Where was the destination of your first solo trip?

AB:        Toronto

SWT:    How old were you?

AB:        21

SWT:    Were you single or attached at the time?

AB:        Attached

SWT:    What inspired the idea?

AB:        Boredom and curiosity

SWT:    What was your trip style? (backpack, tour group, comfort, meetup with family/friends)

AB:        Shopping

SWT:    What type of accommodations? (family owned, B&B, tents, if a hotel, how many stars)

AB:        N/A.

SWT:    How long was your trip?

AB:        1 day

SWT:    Who looked after the logistics?

AB:        I did.

SWT:    If you planned and/or booked the itinerary, did you enjoy the process?

AB:        N/A

SWT:    If you worked with a travel agent, how was the experience?

AB:        N/A

SWT:    Would you / have you booked subsequent trips yourself?

AB:        Yes

SWT:    What would you do different – in hindsight?

AB:        I would have bought more things.

SWT:    Did you feel comfortable traveling solo?

AB:        Yes.

SWT:    How much research did you do in advance?

AB:        Zero

SWT:    What was the biggest surprise on the trip?

AB:        How fast cash runs out.

SWT:    What did you learn about yourself during the trip that you weren’t totally aware of beforehand?

AB:        I like expensive things.

SWT:    Was there any close calls or run-ins?

AB:        No.

SWT:    Where is your next dream destination?

AB:        ?

Next time, we’ll hear from Bee who chose to travel on her own…

If you’d like to share your story, contact me! 🙂