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I already never wanted to leave. I'd only been in Galway for a couple of hours and had only made it down the main stretch of restaurants and shops. But I felt like I could stay there forever, trying out different pubs, listening to the live music that changed every few feet, drinking Guinness and Bulmers at a wooden bar, talking to some of the friendliest people in the world. There was something about the place. The way the light fell, creating dramatic shadows that stretched the full length of the blocks. The way rain water pooled in the crevices of the...

With nine days in Dublin, I managed to do very few touristy things. I could just say I was busy with the conference, but, really, most of my free time was spent being a hungover mess. Mind you, I was having fun, visiting pubs, talking to bloggers and Irishmen over pints. And, really, that's what travel is all about sometimes. Yeah. Let's go with that. On my last day, before heading to Galway, I managed to sneak in a stop to see the Book of Kells at Trinity College. Which was a book. A lovely old book, mind you, but for the €9...

It was a sign. I wasn't supposed to go to Ireland. I wasn't supposed to go to TBEX - the travel blogging conference I had been holding a ticket for for months. I was supposed to turn around and stay home and stay far away from traveling to a part of the world I couldn't afford to travel to in the first place. I had reluctantly boarded the plane to Dublin, Ireland that afternoon and, when it took off, right on schedule, I thought, "this is it, I'm actually still doing this." I was actually still doing this. Half an...

In Europe I always felt like I had trouble finding a place a to eat, that no one took a single diner like me seriously. In Turkey, I had the opposite problem. I couldn't walk by a restaurant without someone handing me a menu and trying to get me to come inside. I ate in Turkey. I ate a lot. I ate an amazing meal at at Haci Abdullah restaurant, doner kebap on the street (surrounded by cats), stuffed eggplants, traditional Turkish breakfasts, and even some Turkish delight on a moonlit night...

I had plans to meet up again with Gulender and Murat, who I met a few weeks ago, the last time I was staying in Istanbul. I had no idea what they had in store for me for the day. We started with breakfast at a place along the Bosphorus. We had tomatoes and cucumbers, honey and cream, olives and cheese, bread and cherry jam, and eggs with peppers and tomatoes. And, of course, a little Turkish coffee....

I ended up back in Istanbul a little earlier than planned. And a little earlier in the day than I ever really should get anywhere. My bus pulled up to the station around 6am and I was immediately bombarded by a guy asking me where I was going. I said "Taksim" but I'm pretty sure he thought I said "taxi." In any case, I didn't want to follow him and really just needed a bathroom....

I've grown accustomed to slow travel. I like spending a week everywhere, soaking up the atmosphere of whatever city I'm in, getting used to being in a place. At least for a small bit of time. But it quickly became evident that that lifestyle wasn't going to work when traveling in Turkey. Most of the places on my list of things to see weren't places I could hang my hat, spend a chunk of time. They had maybe one big thing to see, were good for a day of exploring, but after that I just couldn't find much else to occupy...