I know this will be harsh but some people are so tiny that they cannot imagine someone wanting to do something for others!
I will NOT take accusations of self-promotion. Where is the self I am promoting on these pages?
I'd have hoped that everybody would be able to see that I am trying hard to promote ideas for a better and juster world by having a quick look at my website. Apparently not. People are not so smart. Or rather, are quite dumb. So even though I loathe to say the following, I'll need to spell it out for some people to understand. Adding the details that you do not find on the Travels or the Me section.
I have done three round-the-world tours, one by land, one by sea, one with my family. I am the first person in Turkey to do a round-the-world tour backpacking. I met my Italian husband on my second rtw tour. I have a very romantic story to which I can add some really sensational details like starting the trip running away from a marriage where a gun had been taken out (Yeah yeah, I know. I realized after I wrote. To the people in the US, that wouldn't mean much, they're inured. But to us over here, it is still something unusual even though there are always some third-page news), ending the trip I started solo as three, a man by my side and a baby in my womb. The handsome Italian I met on the shores of Port Fuad at the entrance of the Suez Canal gave me a dolphin tail necklace to bring me luck as I had been kicked out of the boat I was a crew on. He followed that tail to one side of the world first, to the other side of the world afterwards. Then he picked me up in Barcelona, took me to his home to Italy. Introduced me to his mother the next day. We found out about a tiny embryo within me in the cradle of mythology, Delphi, on our way to my country. A 15 minute chat has led to a lasting solid relationship.
As I wasn't yet divorced at the time and was already pregnant from another man, we couldn't get married. The laws did not allow us. Yeah, but which laws? The laws of Turkey and Italy. Yet those same laws would consider the baby from the new husband if by some mistake or overlooking on their side we got married. So to get out of complicated bureaucracy, we were “forced” to get married in Las Vegas. Married at the Little Church of the West where so many celebrities had gotten married. Betty Grable, Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Dudley Moore, Cindy Crawford & Richard Gere, Angelina Jolie & Billy Bob Thornton, and even Elvis Presley (Well, sort of… He and Ann Margaret recited their vows there in the movie “Viva Las Vegas”.)
That was my 40th birthday. There wasn't anyone with us but the pastor. Not even witnesses. The people working in the church signed the papers as witnesses. Before the wedding we had slept at the pyramid shaped Luxor Las Vegas. (After all, we had met in Egypt. Egypt had a special place in my heart. Apart from being the country I met my precious husband, it was also the first country I had travelled to.) After we got married, my newly-wed husband took me to a hostel in the Death Valley. We slept in a bunk bed in a hostel in the desert. I joked that he had fooled me and showed me the reality right after marrying.
Lavinia was born on the exact 40. week of my pregnancy with an Apgar scale of 10. A perfectly healthy baby. My fears of giving birth at a late age had been unfounded and had not come to pass. Only they had not been and worse was to come. The next morning, I was to live the worst day of my life. The death of my baby.
A year passed before I conceived again. Naturally. Even though I had never been a baby-craving woman beforehand, having a baby and losing her made me crave a baby. A craving so few can understand. And even though we wanted another baby so badly, we had decided not to go through artificial means. Well... It happened.
But Lara came with so many more fears. When she was four months old, we got married again; this time in a church in Farfa, Italy. It was my husband's 50th birthday. All his family and friends joined us.
Then I/We did the third around the world in 99 Days as a family, returning on my daughter's 4th birthday.
It was the beginning of this third round-the-world tour that my project of going to every country and then burning my passports to protest what I call Injustice at Birth kindled. At the end of that tour I was at 107+2 countries. Now, I am at 145+2.
If all this is not enough for you, I can add some more sensational details to my second round-the-world story. How about some gossip about our intimacy with the familiar stranger who was to become my husband? But those are too personal, I'll share them one day in my book if ever or when I find the time to write it. When its turn comes...
Or I can add how I heard a voice in my head in the middle of the Indian Ocean saying "At the end of my tour, I'll come and have a baby from you."
"What what what??!" said my rational brain. I had never really wanted a baby, never really thought of having one; besides, what was this stupid idea about a man I spoke for so little and knew nothing about?
Well... It came out to be true. A prophecy?? I don't know...
But there is another one. The captain who kicked me out of the boat... We had had a row as you can imagine. When talking to him I said "You won't be able to make it but I'll be getting to Thailand."
The moment those words got out of my mouth, I was startled. It wasn't me speaking. It couldn't be. We are taught not to "talk big" in Turkey. Who can know the future but God? It is deemed insolent. It is not knowing your place. Besides, what did I know about sailing? Nothing! What made me utter such a bold claim?
Don't know... But that came to happen too.
So... If anybody does not see it and I need to state it: If I wanted to self-promote, I'd have used my personal story and I'd have easily been a celebrity definitely in Turkey and in Italy too.
I did NOT take that road.
Perhaps I should have. If I had spent my energies on finishing that world tour book instead of concentrating on the stupid things travel entails, movement around the world we were all born, I might have been somewhere by now. Then, people might have taken me seriously or listened to me.
I have hundreds of pages, almost all on different aspects of freedom of movement; articles on other related issues connect to the right of free movement, other issues are all related to philosophical essays on world politics. Nobody would go to such great lengths to write about this stuff if s/he did not really care about it. If I chose to spend my labor on this, it shows where my priorities and loyalties lie.
Nobody would write all these hundreds of articles, spend so much time and effort on these matters just to self-promote. That would be a ridiculously laughable claim. It's obvious that the way of self-promotion for me would have been emphasizing my travels and life. That's where the glamour is. Where all the glory and fame is. Okay, let's not call it fame but all the praise is. I'd have had many fans if I took that road.
Where I stand is lonely.
I called people tiny not because they are selfish, but because they cannot imagine anybody doing something for others. (Also because they try to smear such people with ridiculous accusations.)
I am selfish too. First, I want to cover my ass. But after I have done that, as I have done with passports (I now have a Western passport and a Muslim one which covers me quite well around the world) and the Djibouti ticket, I want to cover other people's asses too.
I'd like to do the Smart Donkey...
But in this case it is not so easy, I cannot remove that obstacle by myself. Even though it's imaginary, it doesn't mean it's easy to make people unbelieve it. I need people like you. But putting a “like” is the laziest and lamest passive support. Not even sharing posts is enough. Just SPEAK UP, say you agree, say more people need to speak up, pass it on adding your voice to mine.
Share my website, share my posts. I have so many pieces. I know they are long, but they are well-thought arguments. I'm sure you'll find a few you will like enough to share. I'm sure there are people who are capable of reading analyzing articles. I'm sure you have friends out there who would like to be a part.
Let's Strike at the Root.