On our way to India to see family over the winter break we made a decision to spend a layover in Istanbul, Turkey.
My wife and I have had this as a destination for a while so it was exciting to finally make it happen. For me, Istanbul always represented a mysterious and exotic destination. The city literally straddles Europe and Asia.
I get a lot of email from folks asking for more details about things related to moving to Spain including how we got the courage to up and do it.
Late last year Lisa Hoashi was kind enough to interview me about our inspiration, fears, and other advice I’d give families considering taking a sabbatical. You can find my responses to this and more over at her site.
If you’re following on Facebook, you know that this has been a winter for us to remember. From November through January, in addition to Paris we’ve made visits to Lisbon, Istanbul, and a month-long jaunt through India.
Over a long weekend in December we were able to score cheap flights to The City of Lights. We had planned it a while back and only reconsidered for about two seconds after hearing about the terrorist attacks a few weeks earlier.
But in the end, logic and reason prevailed since living in fear is no way to go through life.
“Is there anywhere else you’d like to see?” My mom asked over a Facetime session a while back. “We’re thinking of visiting again and thought we could meet you somewhere to extend our trip a bit.”
“Lisbon.”, I said without hesitation.
Since my wife had already been and the kids were in the thick of school, I opted to meet my parents solo in what I later learned is the oldest continuously inhabited city in western Europe. Yes, it apparently pre-dates Rome by centuries.
If the photos this time around are a little lacking, it’s because I took mostly video clips. Feel free to check out the video summary of our visit at the end of the post.
There are plenty of scheduled activities that keep our kids busy. School, football, and music being the biggest commitments.
But when there is downtime, it’s nice to see the kids put down their iPads and do something, well, kid-like. Living where we do, there is still a bit of an old fashioned feeling of them running freely through the neighborhood, pushing boundaries, and sorting out their differences amongst each other – without parents helicoptering around as referees.
What has come of this are some fun activities that have kept our boys entertained and looking forward to unscheduled time.