Istanbul: At the Epicenter of Civilizations

Istanbul: At the Epicenter of Civilizations
Since I was here with my family for the first time 50 years ago riding around in 1956 Chevy taxis, one I remember that used a built in 45 disc record player for a sound system, Istanbul has become an international hub more like New York City. Distinctive neighborhoods each with their own unique character and appeal worth exploring remain, each full of music venues with late night diners and neon lights, but with relics of ancient civilizations, mosques and minarets beautifully lit up against the night skyline, and the echoes of call to prayer that remind us this city once was Byzantium, then Constantinople and now Istanbul, has remained at the center of civilization. Indeed, Istanbul's cosmopolitan landscape is the business epicenter and playground of the greatest concentration of the world's billionaires after New York, London and Moscow.   As a matter of fact, Istanbul is breaking records for...
Continue reading

Turkey: Where East Meets West, Past Meets Future

Turkey: Where East Meets West, Past Meets Future
It was 22 years ago here in Turkey when my local guide, Alper Ertubey, and I declared we would establish a partnership to bring Wildland travelers closer to the people and the places of Turkey. I wanted our travelers to experience Turkiye like I remember it when I came here in the late 60's to stay with my aunts and uncles who lived on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. Dad was born in Istanbul in 1922 into the generation of "Young Turks" when Attaturk established the new parliamentary democracy after the Ottoman Empire. Although I was raised in Los Angeles, we came here several times when I was in high school to stay with relatives in their apartment at a time with Turkey was still closed to much of the world to protect its fledgling economy. Oh how it has changed today! Today, Alper is not only our in-country...
Continue reading

It’s all about the guides!

It’s all about the guides!
In one way, being a really good Wildland guide is a relatively easy job! Of course, it requires the requisite study of history, ecology, archaeology, or other areas of expertise, and first-aid training with leadership skills are all requisites. But the most important characteristic for a Wildland guide is to be, and to share, your Self! If Wildland travelers are the “Initiates” who want to connect with the people and the places we visit, then our guides are their “Wizards”, or at least their best friends who take them down new pathways by encouraging, sharing and supporting the traveler to be open-hearted and open-minded to new experiences.   Our goal is to share a real world without artifice, that craves our understanding and compassion rather than our judgment; a world that seeks to welcome us rather than entertain us. And to accomplish this, above all other factors, it’s the guides:...
Continue reading

Varanasi: "It's too Indian, even for me."

Varanasi: "It's too Indian, even for me."
Sometimes travelers sign up to go on a far-flung Wildland Adventure such as to India, and then friends or family comment that they shouldn't go because it's unpleasant or not safe. One Wildland traveler who recently signed up to include Varanasi in their trip to India was warned by an associate of Indian heritage living in the U.S. not to go because  as he put it: "I don't recommend this Indian experience.It can be quite horrid and un-hygienic. There are far better pleasant places to visit. Its a holy place but a holy mess with innumerable holy cows doing their thing wherever and whenever. Monkeys also abound. The less said the better. The municipal corporation is in a trance or has ascended. Unholy things apparently flock there for their purification, I believe. It's too Indian, even for me. Diarrhoea (sic) is a serious possibility.”     Here's my honest perspective and what I advised...
Continue reading

In Pursuit of Pumas - Grettel's Osa Peninsula Adventure in Costa Rica

In Pursuit of Pumas - Grettel's Osa Peninsula Adventure in Costa Rica
OSA PENINSULA WILDLAND ADVENTURE Written by Costa Rica Program Director Grettel Calderon after her April 2012 trip   As a native Costa Rican who has traveled all over every corner of my country, I can say with conviction that Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula it is the most remote, wild and spectacular region of Costa Rica, with the greatest amount of biodiversity in an already very diverse country. The diminutive Osa Peninsula is host to almost half of Costa Rica's 860+ species of birds (that is almost 5% of the world's species!), 140 species of mammals, and 117 species of reptiles and amphibians. Almost 750 species of trees have been catalogued in the area, more trees than in all of the North temperate regions of the world combined.   My recent inspection trip followed our Osa Peninsula Wildland Adventure itinerary and after I experienced it first hand, it...
Continue reading
© . Wildland Adventures, Inc.
main_bg1