Note: Due to the tensions in Turkey, this trip is being postponed. Check back as the country stabilizes. Instead, please see Writing Retreat in Becket MA July & September 2016. Thank you. May peace be restored soon.
Writing For A Week In Istanbul: Creativity and self-discovery through travel
Join me for a week of exploring the many faces of Istanbul by walking the great sites and neighborhoods, visiting unusual museums, taking a cooking class in which we prepare our own lunch, learning about textiles and carpets, visiting the Asian side to sample foods from different regions of Turkey, all while staying in the coziest of hotels overlooking the Blue Mosque and writing about all this and its impact!
Friday March 25 to Saturday April 2, 201?
What the trip includes: accommodations in the spirited Blue House Hotel in front of the Blue Mosque with lavish breakfast included/ transport to and from Istanbul airport and the hotel / Welcome reception with wine and mezes at the Blue House / 7-day journal writing program woven into the varied schedule of each day / Guided tour of major monuments and residential areas / Lunch on the Asian side at Çiya Restaurant noted for serving the “lost” foods of Turkey /Lesson in carpets and textiles at Tolu Design / Cooking class and lunch at Alaturka Cooking / Istanbul Museum Pass for major sites / Entrance to Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence based on his novel! / Daily trips into the old and new cities for those wishing to join the group for the day / Marco Polo City Map / Journaling supplies / Welcome gathering with wine and mezze and Farewell dinner at an exceptional Turkish restaurant / See www.bluehouse.com.tr (click on virtual tour on the left-hand sidebar to walk through the hotel!)
Cost: $2250 with $375 for single supplement
Maximum travelers: 12
Not included: Airfare, most lunches and dinners / trip insurance /Turkish visa ($25)
If interested in extending your stay, I have ideas and resources for you.
*If you have questions and suggestions, please be in touch. (email@example.com) or 781.640.9957 cell / Kendall
The Writing: Each day will offer different opportunities for writing, either as a group following breakfast at the hotel or on the road, in cafes, ferries and museums. We’ll have prompts (quotes, questions, readings, music, lists, etc.) each day with opportunities to share our writing on a voluntary basis. I will offer techniques for keeping a daily journal and invite new ideas for doing so. For those bringing writing projects with them, there will be time to work on them. Time and occasion permitting, we will contribute to a shared journal at the end of each day, recording in a brainstorming way, responses to the day. All daily activities are optional so if you want to strike off with a buddy or spend time on your own, you are welcome to do so. After the trip, you will be invited to contribute writings to a shared journal.
Why Istanbul: From the first call to prayer, you are aware of being in a Muslim country with sophisticated roots running in all directions. The city is alive with residents and travelers from Europe, the Balkans, former Soviet states, and the Middle East. The architecture, food and culture reach deep into the present and past. To be here is a window into the modern Middle East and the bridge between East and West that Istanbul has traditionally offered.
Some of our itineraries:
- In the old city we will visit Sultanahmed (The Blue Mosque), Hagia Sophia, the Hippodrome and Cisterns; Topkapi Palace; the Grand Bazaar and surrounding caravansaries; Suleymaniye Mosque complex, residential areas in the old and new cities, the Egyptian Spice Market, Rustem Pasha Mosque; the Chora Church (Byzantine), the fish market and the harbor
- In the new city we will visit Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence, the Contemporary Art Museum, Taksim Square and Istiklal Cadessi, the Pera Palas Hotel, and Pierre Lotii Café among many other sites
- On the Asian side, we will visit Kadiköy, the market and Çiya Restaurant; and the Haydarpasa Railroad station that linked all of Turkey and went on to Baghdad.
- If you have very specific interests, I will work with my trip consultants to design custom itineraries for you.
- Please pass this information onto your friends and point them to :www.writeyourvividjourney.com
The Fine Print: If You Want to Go
- If you wish to secure a space: Please send a refundable check for $500 made out to Kendall Dudley, ASAP: This is a small group, only 12, and many have expressed interest already.
- Please send your check to: 50 Grafton Street / Arlington MA 02474
- Final payment of balance will be due January 20, 2016; see refund cancellation schedule in next update (as you can imagine, hotel, guides and other contracted services each have their own cancellation policies that I will have to pay once their dates pass: NOTE Contractors are paid in Euros. Trip price is calculated at today’s rate. Should the price of Euros go markedly up or down, a modest adjustment will be made to the price up or down.)
- Please consider getting trip insurance. Travel Guard is one used by major tour companies, including the Smithsonian. www.travelguard.com
- Airfares: Currently airfares on Turkish Airlines are around $683 from Boston to Istanbul (as of 8/12/15). www.turkishairlines.com
Trip leader and Organizer: Kendall Dudley
Kendall is a career & life design consultant who also teaches life story writing, journal writing and leads groups to Morocco and Istanbul. He was in the Peace Corps in Iran where he developed an interest in Islamic cultures and architecture. He is the recipient of many grants for public art projects, runs Arlington Writes, a website for people to contribute their life stories, and is publishing his novel Speedway in 2016. For more information check out www.kendalldudley.com