Middle East

Olympos, Turkey

Mediterranean paradise earned.

Getting to Olympos, Turkey, our final destination, was turning out to be a real doozy. This sleeping spread-eagle business on the cold green floor of the Kharkiv, Ukraine, airport, catching a 3 a.m. flight with ...

Istanbul Spice Market

Making my way through thick crowds of people slowly walking, talking on cell phones and holding shopping bags, I found the mounds of spices in the marketplace in Istanbul, Turkey. I'd arrived to buy various ...

Demre, Turkey: The Sea is Free

Island-hopping in the Turkish Mediterranean.

Before my sister, Stormy, began college at UCSD, I thought it imperative that she have an adventure. So for the summer, I flew her to Antalya, Turkey, where I had been living. For her 18th ...

Istanbul is Cheap(er)

Turkish budget tips in this enchanting mix of East and West.

A cosmopolitan blend of Europe and Asia, Istanbul is a more exotic, less-pricey alternative to Paris or London, especially during the off-season winter months of January, February and March. The city is compact and walkable, ...

Antalya, Turkey

After working in the mental health field for three years, it was time for an adventure. I purged my life of almost everything I owned, packed two old-fashioned trunks, and moved to Antalya, Turkey, with ...

Royal Treatment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Part 2)

(continued from a March 29 travel story) Mada’in Saleh: Desert Tombs On my fourth day in Saudi Arabia, our group took a military plane to visit Mada’in Saleh, a pre-Islamic archaeological site of an ancient ...

Royal Treatment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Part 1)

Is it possible to have a strong connection to a place without ever having been there? Nearly every member of my family, other than myself, grew up in Saudi Arabia. My entire life I’ve heard ...

San Diegans Talk of Revolution

‘When I heard that Qaddafi was killed,” says Abdul, who’s from Lebanon and doesn’t want his real name used, “I had to laugh because not too long ago he was calling his people cowards, rats. ...

Life on Earth, Mecca's Direction

Dear Matt: When we went to the desert once, there was a ranger who told us that there were lots of things that could live there, even though it mostly looked like rocks and sand. ...

Ancient Ephesus, Turkey

If you’re a seeker of sacred sites and find yourself in the Greek Islands, hop a ferry from Samos to Kuşadası (or fly from Samos into Adnan Menderes Airport), then grab a bus to Ephesus, ...

East Meets West: Istanbul, Turkey

The gateway between Asia and Europe, Turkey is a cultural bridge between East and West. This transcontinental country has a dual cultural ambiance, and offers those who visit a chance to step into both Eastern ...

Kuşadası, Turkey

I didn’t know what to expect when our cruise ship ported in Kuşadası, Turkey. I was expecting something completely foreign, but instead found a charming place. In Kuşadası they accepted almost any kind of currency, ...