Hello out there, if anyone is reading this. It's been almost one month to the day that I wrote my first posting here, which is a long time in the blog world. But it couldn't be helped: I've been hard at work on another manuscript -- a reprinted and updated edition of my Tuscany and Umbria book -- and it just had to take precedence. But from this day forward I will be regularly posting and adding a whole lot of useful and cool stuff to this blog.
The best part about working on the editions in The Collected Traveler series is that I get to meet so many interesting people who share a passion for the destination. And often I meet one person who introduces me to someone else, and that person introduces me to still other people, and very quickly I feel a part of an entire community that has a special connection to a place.
Today I met someone who I've been communicating with via e-mail for over a year. Her name is Emma Levine, and she contributed some great information about attending Turkish football (soccer) matches in my Istanbul book. Emma lived in Istanbul for a while about ten years ago and she continues to keep up with the three Istanbul teams, Besiktas, Galatasary, and Fenerbahce (I don't know how to add Turkish symbols within this blog, but there are two squiggly lines under both s's in Besiktas and one under the c in Fenerbahce). Anyway, Emma is terrific. She's the author of the Frommer's Istanbul Day by Day guidebook, which is great (Frommer's guides in general have improved so much in the last ten years, I think -- I always make sure to peruse one now when planning for a trip, whereas I never used to) and she has lived and traveled in lots of Asian locales, including India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, and Sri Lanka. What she really loves though is photography, and she has some neat ideas for upcoming projects. And she loves sports! Track down her fascinating book, A Game of Polo with a Headless Goat: And Other Bizarre Sports Discovered Across Asia (Andre Deutsch, 2000). Emma's a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers, which is cool, but cooler is that she's a person with a great zest for life and adventure. One more person to add to my ever-growing bank of Remarkable Human Beings in the World.