The Dream Trip: Qatar, Turkey, Bulgaria, Spain, Croatia, and Detroit!
If you’ve ever spent much time with me, you’ve probably heard me ramble on about how I’ve wanted to get out and explore the world a bit, or how I’ve always wished to go to Spain, which I even mention in a song. In November, 2017 the stars aligned and I embarked on a trip that saw me roam across seven countries (including Spain) over the course of some eight months. Suffice it to say that it was an incredible journey, full of beautiful people and experiences that have left deep impressions on me.
The pictures don’t do it justice, which is hardly surprising given how negligent I am in taking photos, and I’m not sure just how interesting what I have managed to capture is to anybody other than me, but I’ve been feeling the need to create a concrete document - “for the archives,” so to speak. I thought about trying to get at least the main threads down in words that I could share, but eight months of main threads is still a lot to unravel, and I’d rather get them down in song first, if at all possible. So, here’s a bunch of photos for anybody who might be curious about what I’ve been up to…
I visited my mum in Qatar. We went on a “desert safari,” and I saw some live music (local and Syrian arab music), played pick-up soccer, talked to lots of uber drivers, ate shawarma, and drank plenty of karak - a sweet, spiced chai - as well as Tim Hortons, off all things.
In Istanbul, I ate the most delicious food, tried to soak up the thousands of years of history and culture both buried beneath my feet and in living motion all around me, and enjoyed the unrivalled generosity and hospitality of our friend and host, Erkan!
I spent seven weeks on a dairy farm outside Istanbul and got to know, and work with some of the most lovely people! It was really intense, and it was beautiful. I have lots more photos of the cows if anybody is interested. I haven’t posted them here because I don’t think that the cows would appreciate it.
Back to in the big city for a bit. International Women’s Day March on Istiklal Caddesi.
And then onwards to… Bulgaria!!!
I didn’t have much of a plan when I got to Sofia. Some kind folks who would become my friends were there. I stayed a while. If anybody is in the market for a nice little hostel in a rising European capital, get in touch! Plovdiv was nice, too.
Many years ago, when I first started to dream about going to Spain, the thought of spending time on farms there (or anywhere else) didn’t really enter into my mind. In spite of this, during the weeks following my stint on the farm in Turkey, an urge to get back to that more agrarian lifestyle had been growing in me. So, when I finally headed to Spain, after only one night in Madrid, I headed to a small ecological vegetable farm right on the Spanish-Portuguese border. There I stayed for over a month, during which time several forays into Portugal were made.
I touristed as hard as I could in…
I loved it.
I hopped on a flight to Barcelona for a rendezvous with my old friend, Lu!
From Barcelona I headed to Zagreb, Croatia, the current home of one of my oldest homies from way back in the Hong Kong days of my youth. Croatia is the bee’s knees.
I bused it back to Istanbul to catch my mum one more time before heading back to Edmonton and then to my cousin’s wedding in Detroit. Greenland is pretty amazing to fly over…
Back for beers with Dad in Sherwood Park!