Beauty and Geometric Art

Within Istanbul there is so much design and beauty. When I first arrived, I fell in love with the geometric design patterns. So when I saw an advert for a workshop regarding Islamic Geometric Design (IGD), I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to learn more about this form of art. Eric Broug, the instructor, is quite an interesting person in and of himself. He is Dutch and when he was at University, he studied Middle Eastern politics. He realized it wasn’t his passion, quit, worked in a bookshop, and then started studying IGD. Now he lives in England with…

Treat Yourself

When shopping, I do like to get the most bang for my buck. Translation: I love a good sale. Recently I went to a Banana Republic outlet and got the cutest coat and most fantastic wide-leg pants in the world. However, they were just a tad too big so I took these items to my favorite tailor in San Diego, Ayaka. I used to watch a program called ‘What Not to Wear’ and one piece of advice that always stuck with me was to have a good tailor. It makes all of the difference in the world! A piece of…

A Walk On The Beach

One of the benefits of living in a city for a long time is that you get to know the secret spots. Especially in a city with heavy tourism, it’s fun to go off-the-beaten path. One of those places for me in San Diego is Imperial Beach. Imperial Beach (IB) is literally right next to Mexico as it is the most southwestern city in the States. You can see the border from the beach; put your foot just over it and be in two places at once! Slowly but surely, this beach town has been growing and expanding. However the…

True Artist

I must admit that I was feeling a bit sorry for myself today. My school is off next week and most of my friends are off to faraway places like Rome and Iceland. But recently, I’ve had this ‘pay off your debt’ mindset so saving money, not traveling, is high on my priority list. Plus, when my retirement person said, ‘You are really behind in your retirement savings’ I knew it was time to smell the coffee. So when I woke up this morning I realized that I have three art projects that have been hanging around, unfinished in my apartment. And…

a letter

My Uncle Patrick recently passed away and I wrote this letter in tribute to him. Hi Uncle Patrick, Understanding that you will never read this, I still wanted to write you this letter to let you know how much I will miss you. Throughout my life, in the back of my mind, I have known how fortunate I am. I don’t mean this in the #blessed sense or someone winning a Grammy kind of way. I am fortunate because I was lucky enough to be born into the family that I have. When I picture myself in my mind’s eye,…

Light

My first ceramics course started this past Saturday and it appears that my teacher is a well known ceramics artist here in Istanbul. She even invited me to her presentation at Istanbul Modern the next day! I was nervous because it was in Turkish and didn’t know anyone else, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone and went anyways. So happy I did. All part of my master plan to push myself. Recently, I just finished watching the first season of Orange is the New Black. Essentially, this WASP woman gets sent to jail for a crime…

Following My Heart

Since my blog is called Traveling with Claire and I haven’t done much traveling, I haven’t been writing too much. It’s not like Shekou where I was literally counting the minutes until my next vacation. I had a week off recently and I stayed here in Istanbul, exploring some new areas and trying some new recipes. I really do love this city. However, there is another reason I stayed home – I got a new job at my school. I will be the Tech Integrator/eLearning Coach for IICS! Next year, I am out of the classroom and onto new challenges!…

Five Questions

Recently, I was asked to answer the following five questions by a digital friend of mine. I say digital because I have never met Dave in person. He is a fellow international teacher and we ‘met’ on Twitter and subsequently, started following each other on Instagram. I am not even sure how it all started really, but it’s been an inspiring friendship for me.  I can’t quite put my finger on it, but Dave just seems like the type of person everyone should have in their lives. So here it goes, feel free to comment and let me know what…

Forward Thinking

As a friend and I were discussing our excitement about the upcoming year, she told me about this mental exercise to get me thinking about who I want to be. Essentially, think of your next significant birthday (so if you are 38, think 50) and ask yourself these three questions: What are you doing in your life? What do you have in your life? Who are you surrounded by… who is at your birthday party? And to think I just wanted a mocha and some bal kaymak! But truly, what great questions to ponder for 2014 and beyond! On a…

Airport Lounges

It still amazes me that I can be in one country one morning and a few hours later, I am in a completely new time zone and culture. It has been several years since I have been to Prague but it is still as lovely as ever. I attended the Google Apps for Education European Summit and it was overall a very good conference. My to-do list for school is about a mile long, so it will be nice to have next week off (thank you Bayram) to go through all of this learning. I also met a couple of…