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You have before you a blog post of meditations on quotes about pilgrimage. The deepest book on meaningful travel I’ve ever found is Phil Cousineau’s “The Art of Pilgrimage:  The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred”.  Cousineau seems to have been influenced by Jung, Thoreau, Kant, and Ibn Al-Arabi, and so his intellectual breadth cuts […]

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  Though controversial, I love Edward Said, Palestinian professor who wrote Orientalism in1978. I get his thesis completely: that Westerners do not understand Easterners because they gaze with an ‘orientalist’ gaze, meaning, upon people they believe to be culturally beneath them, and with an exoticized fascination which wishes not to honestly encounter an ‘other’ but […]

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I admit to a passion for the Ottomans. Exploring the sultan’s palace in Topkapi, Istanbul a few weeks ago, I envisioned myself living in the lap of luxury, reclining on cushions being served figs and dates by eunuchs and only awaiting the birth of the son which would elevate my status to favored wife of […]

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As part of the McGhee Center’s orientation tour, our Georgetown group visited the ‘Virgin Mary House’ in Ephesus (Kusadasi) Turkey. In preparation for the visit, I’d researched its history and significance to Christians, but visiting the site rearranged its significance for me. Historical sources do indicate that Mary of Nazareth was associated with Jesus’s disciple […]

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Preparing to Destabilize

What is it about us that makes us want to explore the world? Why are we willing to destabilize our comfort zones to grow and learn? These are the questions I pose to myself and my future students as I contemplate What The Heck I’m Doing To Myself by moving to Turkey to teach for […]

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