The first time Lisa Morrow went to Turkey she was just one of many young people on the great pilgrimage to Europe and beyond. The colourful sights, sounds and smells of foreign countries appeal to their need for adventure and excitement. When the enterprise becomes too trying, there is always the safety of a return ticket to fall back on. After a given period of time they're expected to return, a little older and a lot wiser. While some go for a year, others never make it back. At first Lisa only travelled across the vast expanses of Turkey as a visitor, but then she began to stay for longer and longer periods of time. Her initial glimpses of a culture less western than eastern were replaced by an awareness that Turkey is at times both and yet something more. These experiences became a metaphor for an inner journey from the kwn to the unkwn and back. The uncompromising nature of Turkish culture and society meant she had to accept what she saw without changing it. In so doing she started to question who she was and look for an alternative way of being. Exploring Turkish Landscapes builds on Lisa Morrow's first collection of stories, Inside Out In Istanbul. This latest collection offers a much more personal insight into Turkish traditions and beliefs, and also takes us on an emotional journey as one woman rediscovers herself.
Lisa Morrow was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up in a leafy middle class North Shore suburb. After finishing high school she went to Sydney University but failed to find her niche. She dropped out and in the following years worked in numerous jobs, including as a public servant, cleaner, sales assistant, waitress, bar maid and car counter, before going overseas. Once there she hitchhiked through the UK, travelled in Europe and arrived in Turkey just as the Gulf War was starting. Her three month stay in the small central Anatolian village of Goreme changed her life. She spent the following years moving between Australia and Turkey, but made time to go back to university and graduate with a BA Honours Degree in Sociology from Macquarie University. An academic career beckoned but the call to travel was louder. After several false starts she moved to Goztepe on the Asian side of Istanbul. She has released two collections of essays called, Inside Out In Istanbul: Making Sense of the City and Exploring Turkish Landscapes: Crossing Inner Boundaries, writes for various international and Australian magazines and websites and her regular blog, and has a monthly spot on San Francisco Turkish Radio. Her full length travel narrative, Waiting for the Tulips to Bloom: Adrift in Istanbul, will be released in October 2015.