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Carouge, Geneva’s Alter Ego?

By Leyla Giray Alyanak | August 27, 2016 | 4 Comments

Like siblings who can either be in synch or at odds with one another depending on the minute, Carouge teases Geneva by being so close, yet so distinct. To Geneva’s solid tradition Carouge serves up rebellion, thumbing her nose at the broody burghers of Calvin’s city. And if your first approach to Geneva seems a bit severe, along comes…

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Part 10 – Anatomy of a Solo Female Backpacking Adventure: Finding a Place to Stay in Kyrgyzstan

By Leyla Giray Alyanak | August 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

Finding a place to stay in Kyrgyzstan, part 10 of my real-time series on preparations for a month of solo travel in Central Asia.

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Part 9 – Anatomy of a Female Solo Backpacking Adventure: Blogging Tools of the Trade

By Leyla Giray Alyanak | August 19, 2016 | 1 Comment

(Back to Part 1) In ten days I’m off on what part of me wishes were a calm vacation, swooning in gentle relaxation along a balmy seashore, watching the palm fronds tickle the horizon. Instead, I’ll be going to the office. I’m incredibly fortunate: I have a job that allows me to travel and write so for the next…

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Part 8 – Anatomy of a Female Solo Backpacking Adventure: Researching Central Asia

By Leyla Giray Alyanak | August 15, 2016 | 2 Comments

(Back to Part 1) That little bit of research I undertook to plan my initial itinerary barely counts. I now have to engage in more serious research. My pattern tends to be the same wherever I go: I start off with a long list of things to read and do, and feel lucky if I make…

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Part 7 – Anatomy of a Solo Female Backpacking Adventure: Travel Health in Central Asia

By Leyla Giray Alyanak | August 10, 2016 | 4 Comments

(Back to Part 1) When the travel doctor told me I’d need a typhoid vaccination, I clenched my teeth, envisaging a long, thin needle creeping closer. No such thing. All I did was swallow a little pill every other day for three days. Bliss. It’s not always this easy, and depending on where you travel, protecting…

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Part 5 – Anatomy of a Solo Female Backpacking Adventure: Breaking the Central Asian Language Barrier

By Leyla Giray Alyanak | August 5, 2016 | 3 Comments

(Back to Part 1) Communicating with people is one of the greatest gifts of travel. We can do it in many ways – art, gestures, expressions – but to me, language is the most complete, allowing for nuances, emotion, information and even the intangible. Language helps us walk into someone else’s world and sample it from their point of…

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Part 6 – Anatomy of a Solo Female Backpacking Adventure: My Central Asia Itinerary

By Leyla Giray Alyanak | August 4, 2016 | 0 Comments

(Back to Part 1) Every trip starts with an arrival destination – but it’s anyone’s guess what happens after landing. Some trips are highly organized, with sights and facilities reserved each step of the way. Others, like my own trip across Africa, are more hit-and-miss, with few plans beyond landing. This time I need some sort of plan,…

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Part 4 – Anatomy of a Solo Female Backpacking Adventure: My Central Asia Travel Budget

By Leyla Giray Alyanak | August 1, 2016 | 6 Comments

These are my Central Asia travel budget preparations as Part 4 of a step-by-step look at planning a one-month backpacking trip.

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Part 3 – Anatomy of a Solo Female Backpacking Adventure: Security Concerns in Central Asia

By Leyla Giray Alyanak | July 27, 2016 | 8 Comments

(Back to Part 1) “Weren’t the Istanbul Airport terrorists from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan?” Yes, they were. Scared, no. Cautious, yes. “So why are you going to visit those two countries? Aren’t you scared?” And that’s been the gist of my email Inbox for days. I’m planning to travel through Kyrgyzstan the first half of September and…

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Part 2 – Anatomy of a Solo Female Backpacking Adventure: Coping with the Unexpected

By Leyla Giray Alyanak | July 22, 2016 | 8 Comments

Part 2 of a step-by-step look at preparing for a one-month solo female backpacking adventure. Here’s what happens when the unexpected hits – and how even the simplest of plans can go haywire from the beginning, and how to deal with change.

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