The Throwback Thursday series is a collection of posts from my collegiate adventures in Turkey (2011), Italy (2012), and Peru (2013). The entries include the original posting from the trip with a few minor edits – italicized in brackets – in addition to a few photos. It’s fun to see how I’ve changed since and because of these particular trips, so I hope you enjoy these little slices of my travel history.
If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul. – Alphonse de Lamartine
These are just a few of my favorite images from my first international trip to Turkey in July 2011. To this day, Istanbul is still my favorite city in the world. My adventures and experiences as an archaeology student paved the way for the rest of my travels in college and continue to inspire me in my current travels. Turkey is a beautiful country with amazing culture and history, and I can’t recommend visiting enough!
Peru was my first venture into travel planning on my own. After being awarded a travel fellowship from the Archaeology department, I set out to plan a two-week long trip to Peru with the objective of comparing museums in the modern cultural landscape. As it works out, I enjoy going to museums anyway so it wasn’t too strenuous to write my report when I came back to the US. I traveled with one of my friends who I had known from club swimming growing up. Over the course of the trip, we visited nine cities (including Machu Picchu), starting in Lima before making our way south to Arequipa and then heading to Cusco and the Sacred Valley. We spent Peruvian Independence Day (July 28th) in Ica. Between most cities, we took Cruz del Sur bus service. I was nervous about bus travel, but I purchased the tickets and chose our seats before we even went to Peru and all of our ventures on the buses were without issue. Along the way, I grew increasingly tired of colonial architecture and Spanish churches and more interested in ancient ruins (if you’re a big fan of churches, to each his own), which might have been a result of our route or a happy coincidence of taking the route we did. Happily sipping pisco sours along the way, I learned a lot about traveling on my first self-planned international trip. It was the beginning of a new chapter of travel for me, and that was one of the most exciting aspects of the venture.
Without a doubt, Turkey was the place that inspired me to travel. As this was my first international trip, someone told me beforehand that Istanbul would ruin every other city in the world for me. So far, he’s been right, but I won’t give up the fight just yet. I went to Turkey for five weeks in the summer of 2011 to study Archaeology with 10 other Yale students. Since we participated on an actual dig with the University of Nebraska, we were all admitted on Research Visas. About half of our time was spent in Istanbul before we made our way through central Turkey en route to the dig site at Gazıpaşa on the southern coast. In Istanbul, the interactions between the historical and the modern as well as the East and the West are nearly magical. But one of the most unique and special experiences of the trip was going to a village wedding in Fesleğen. Having traveled since then, I can still say with confidence that Turkey will always have a place in my heart. Turkey is one of the most beautiful places on earth with amazing history and culture that you have to experience for yourself.