Travel Stories

Travel Stories

A Monk's Initiation

I have a talent for getting lost.  This talent has taken me to places that I would never have found on a tourist map.  I’ve met people who had rarely seen Americans, and taken part in experiences that were not intended for foreigners.  I’ll go in the wrong direction, arrive at the wrong temple, eat dinner at the wrong restaurant, maybe even spend the night in the wrong hotel.  

This talent led to a transformational experience on my first trip to Thailand.

Kismet: My Journey to Turkey


Kismet: A Journey to Turkey

Joe Shakarchi


I stood on the rooftop of the small house built into the hill, looking over the strange moonlike rock formations of Cappadocia. I could see endlessly.  I was on the edge of the roof, but I knew I was in no danger.  I had hundreds of ancestors holding me, keeping me from falling.


    My first encounter with kismet occurred before I even touched Turkish soil.