I was born and raised in Ankara, capital city of Turkey. Being the daughter of a lawyer and an economist, I had a culturally diverse upbringing. Thru my parents and their social circle, I developed an awareness and understanding of life in a formal capital city; at the prestigious private school I attended I had a rigorous academic formation; and I enjoyed being a country-side child during holidays and weekends I spent with my grandparents in their farm house in a tiny village on the Taurus Mountains.
I became one of the youngest certified national guides of Turkey in 1989, even before I graduated the university I attended, the Hacettepe University in Ankara.
My early assignments as a guide were concentrated around Ankara, these included the Hittite and Phrygian (Phrygia of Midas with the golden touch) sites and Cappadocia. I loved what I did. I was in awe of meeting new and interesting people and learning more.
After I graduated from the university, I didn’t need to think twice to stay in travel business and develop it into a life long career.
Thru the first decade of my career I worked for a wide array of travel companies both in Turkey and abroad; mass travel, sea-sun-fun type of companies; and those that provided educational tours. I even managed to fit in a year of working as the Sales & PR manager of a high-end hotel in Ankara. All of these experiences helped me to appreciate and accept diversity. Working at the hotel and Elderhostel (nowadays called the Road Scholar) contributed most to my approach, understanding and practice of the travel business.
Meanwhile, we managed to fit in many projects in our life, writing for Turkish travelers, building a small boutique hotel, serving at the board of Istanbul Tourist Guides Chamber, working on and co-hosting 3 Rick Steves TV shows about Turkey for PBS, and raising a family with two sons.
Today, I live between Istanbul and Cappadocia. I still lead tours, research and write for travel, provide consultancy and develop custom itineraries for travelers who doesn’t prefer the cliché.