Last weekend, a vision of Istanbul popped into my head and wouldn’t pop off. I saw myself getting jacked up on strong Turkish coffee before strolling through a souk to bargain for spices, bracelets, and rugs. I love a souk state of mind, and the prices of the Istanbul flights seemed too reasonable to be true. The only thing keeping me from pulling out my debit card and snapping one up was the uncertainty about traveling alone in that part of the globe. I have a female friend who’s been to this city on business and for pleasure. She considers it safe enough, but I decided not to go.
The very next day, one of the first news bulletins I read reported on a 33-year-old New York-based woman who was vacationing solo in Turkey and had gone missing. Her husband and brother were flying to Istanbul to help with the search efforts. A couple of days ago, she was found dead, near some ancient ruins, and another vision planted itself in my head – the day an unescorted woman can even semi-carefreely take advantage of a cheap flight that’s headed to any spot on any map won’t dawn in my lifetime.