Women Who Travel Podcast: Walkable Cities with Elif Batuman and Rebecca Mead

THE: I think what you said about just thinking that travel is somehow ethically complicated is really interesting.

EB: Yeah, it’s not… there are, these questions don’t have very clear answers.

THE: I think that’s partly right-

EB: Don’t be a disappointment on the travel podcast. [laughs]

THE: [laughs] No, no, that’s exactly what I want to talk about in this podcast. And I think that’s like accepting that the important thing is to ask those questions and maybe we haven’t found some of the answers yet.

EB: I don’t remember these questions being asked as a child when I was younger. So the fact that we ask them the question, of course, we are not yet at the answers. And it’s important not to get demoralized just because we don’t have the answers right now.

THE: About choosing where to live, and you said that, you know, you’re based in New York right now, how does New York compare to Istanbul? And do you feel like they each give you something different?

EB: They are so different, the worldview of New York and the worldview of Istanbul. And I felt like they were a very productive and fun alternation. This summer I was actually, I was in Istanbul and I was hanging out in Burgazada, which is one of the Princes’ Islands, with friends, and you know, you can go swimming there in the Sea of ​​Marmara . And the products were so wonderful. And, I mean, they’re going through a horrible economic crisis and people are really, really hurting. And therefore the dollar is very strong. It’s, you know, so there’s, uh, ethical issues everywhere. But, like, I just had a wonderful time there.

And human relationships felt so much more organic and it was so much easier to see people and there were more public spaces and outdoor spaces where we could kind of congregate and not feel like we were running away one place where you’ll have to pay $23 for a glass of wine at another. And there were kids and old people, and I was like, ‘Okay, this is real life. There are several islands known as the Princes’ Islands, and they are between 40 and 70 minutes by ferry from the mainland. So some people live there all year round, and they are popular for holidays. But they are part of Istanbul. But you, most of them, you can’t drive a car.

THE: I visited one of these islands when I was a child and I still remember the magical feeling of getting to know a place without cars. Finally, here is a lyrical description of an evening in Malta by Geneviève Aron, who sent us this dispatch.

Genevieve Aron: I decided to go to Malta solo, and my most memorable experience was in [inaudible 00:32:32] Bay is a narrow bay with steep cliffs on either side. And the south side has layers of five story apartments, a row, then stairs up to a boardwalk, then more stairs up to the boardwalk. And after dinner, I grabbed an ice cream to go and walked up the steps just above the water to watch the sunset. It was a Saturday night and someone lit candles all along the steps. I guess it’s so you know where to walk once it gets dark. And a pop-up stage was set up in the corner of the bay where live music played. And, like, even the night divers were getting in the water, and I saw their [laughs] flashlights go by.

There was so much life around me, but it was so peaceful at the same time. I sat there for almost an entire hour, being in the moment, not even really thinking about anything, just watching the fading daylight, the increasing glow of candlelight and city light and the gentle waves. It was a truly memorable experience.

THE: Thank you for your attention. I’m Lale Arikoglu and you can find me as always on Instagram, @lalehannah, and follow me with women who travel on Instagram @womenwhotravel. You can also join the conversation in our Facebook group. Allison Leyton-Brown is our composer. Brett Fuchs and Jennifer Nulsen were our engineers. Jude Kampfner of Corporation For Independent Media is our producer. Next week, the joys and unexpected adventures of complicated train journeys. For more stories from women who travelvisit cntraveler.com.

Comments are closed.