The Art of Deciphering AirBnB Listings and Reviews

In our long-term travels in the past couple of years, we’ve predominantly stayed in AirBnBs.

AirBnB relies on a mutual rating system to provide trust amongst both providers of housing and conusmers of that housing. Just like Uber does, ratings are provided both to properties as well as to renters.

Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner wrote about a practice in their book Freakonomics (#aff) where Realtors would use code words to try to, as a friend of mine once described, “shine a turd.” By using euphemisms, Realtors tried to put a positive spin on the properties that they … Read the article

Our Expat Costs and Observations of Manchester, England

“We’re not arrogant, we just believe we’re the best band in the world.”
–Noel Gallagher

We recently spent 32 days in Manchester, England, covering the entire month of August. We had no real expectations of the city when we arrived, but were utterly amazed at how much character and life it has, and we wound up falling in love with the city. It is now one of the cities that we will have on our short list of places that we’d like to return to and spend more time in.

Our Activities in Manchester

Just like with all of the … Read the article

Costs of Long-Term Travel in Istanbul, Turkey: A Six-Week Trip Report

We spent the past six weeks in Istanbul, Turkey, evaluating it as a long-term destination for more extended travels. Istanbul is the largest city we’ve been to in our travels, with an official(ish) population of 16 million, and whispers of it having more than 20 million people due to the influx of refugees from the ongoing Syrian civil war. It was also wracked by inflation while we were there. We saw prices of common toiletries jump by 20% in our six weeks in Istanbul, and the currency exchange rate fluctuated wildly.


As a result, we wound up withdrawing 500 … Read the article

Izmir, Turkey: A LOT of Cigarette Smoke Prevents Us From Loving It

Yes, I know that’s a pretty sharp headline. The original headline was “Izmir: Turkey’s Ashtray,” so I did tone it down a little.

We just got back from a six day trip to Izmir, Türkiye. We wanted to love it. We first got turned onto Izmir when we saw how much Stephanie and Gillian of Our Freedom Years loved Izmir. So, we decided that when we were in Istanbul, we wanted to check out Izmir as well to see if we wanted to add it to the list of places that we’d want to return to for longer.

We … Read the article

A Visit to the Dentist in Istanbul, Turkey

I’ve had good dentists and I’ve had bad dentists in the United States. I guess I should not be surprised that my worst recent dental experience was with our high deductible dental insurance plan, which sent me to a dentistry chain where the hygienist had me do all sorts of treatments, despite previous dentists telling me all was well and normal with my choppers.

As a result, having been inspired by Ali’s experience with dentists internationally, I decided to try going the route of dental tourist in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. That experience went so well that, when we Read the article