Flannery O’Connor is credited with saying “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say,” and this is true for me when it comes to figuring out my cross-cultural relationship.

This blog documents the ongoing road trip through the cross-cultural marriage of one American woman married to one Turkish man. Just one half of one Turkish-American couple, making sense of what goes on in day-to-day life.

Part of acculturating to my own cross-cultural relationship included getting in touch with the Karagöz shadow puppets that took residence in the back seat of my head (and the car) both Stateside – and in Türkiye.

Karagöz Oyunları, or the particularly Turkish art form of shadow puppetry, is famous for heightening stereotypes and truths about the nature of people, places and things in the way that only puppets can.

Depending on the situation, my Karagöz puppets take on the roles of the yea-sayer, the naysayer, the devil, the angel, the manners expert, the feminist, the religious person, the sloppy drunk and many more…let’s see how they do as relationship coaches!

What better country to use as the foil for a discussion on cross-cultural relationships than Turkey, famous for connecting east and west despite the at-times trite-ness of the metaphor. The Karagöz tradition of heightening stereotypes first noted during Ottoman times is, I hope, an interesting conceit for writing about one couple’s own road trips through Turkey on their quest for the marriage model that fits them – their own merger of east and west, similarities and differences abounding.

This blog is offered in semi-chronological order starting in 2004 and continuing in 2015 and beyond. Although this blog is written by me, it is important to me that readers know that the decision to “go public” with our stories about our cross-cultural relationship was mutual. I post when the spirit of the puppets moves me – i.e. occasionally…and I am thrilled that this blog was added to the “ultimate list of expat blogs” by the Daily Sabah in July of 2014!

A note on copyright ©
I would love to share my own photos with you (they are taken by me unless otherwise noted). I would just like to know how you are going to use it first. If it is for non-commercial use just send me an email (ecmaclean at gmail.com) telling me what you want to use the picture for. After receiving permission to use it I kindly request that you publish it with my name, Liz Cameron and a link to my homepage, http://www.slowly-by-slowly.com. Thank you. ©
All photos are Copyright and may not be used for commercial purposes without payment. For commercial use please send a request to ecmaclean at gmail.com. All rights reserved by slowly-by-slowly.com

For more information about Liz Cameron, and excerpts of her personal writing, click here.  

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59 Responses to About

  1. Hi Liz, I have a quick question for you regarding the formatting of your blog, and wasn’t sure how else to contact you. I am also using Coraline, with only one sidebar. Your blog appears much wider than mine. Is it because you have 2 sidebars, or did you alter the html or css to get this look? I appreciate your help!

  2. Liz Cameron says:

    Hi Terry – looking forward to connecting – am in midst of wilderness camping & typing on iPhone from middle of a lake where I can find a signal! Will write next week when am back home!

  3. Liz Cameron says:

    Hi again Terry – back now from vacationland – I used the 2 sidebar approach…no tweaking of html or css…blogspot has the capacity to grow or shrink the amount of space you take up with sidebars, but have not found an automatic space-changing function such as this on wordpress – though I love it better for many other reasons! Thanks for putting me on your blogroll – looking forward to keeping up with all your Ankara-goings-on there!

  4. Thanks for the info! I actually stumbled upon the two-column sidebar and gave it a try. By the end of the day, I just didn’t like it as much on my blog. Hmmmmm. So I went back to the single column. Unfortunately, I lost everything from the single column and had to figure it all out again. One day I will take the time to figure out this CSS thingy!

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  8. Hi there!
    I nominated your blog for the “Versatile Blogger Award”. Not sure what this means for you (or me, or any blogger), but maybe we’ll find out! Keep writing and traveling! Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Liz Cameron says:


    I am so honored – not to mention surprised – to get your note – thank you!!!! I am looking forward to visiting yours soon! It is such a labor of love – versatility in self-expression and sharing with the world I suppose is what’s in it for me. Thank you so much – and will look forward to being in touch via our blogs!


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  15. Ricky Carbis says:


    How can I contact you? I am a travel journalist specialising on Turkey – I wondered if you was interested in letting me interview you for my website?

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  17. mbrovelli says:

    Hi Liz, I’m so glad you “liked” my post on my blog about our travels in Turkey because I now know about your blog! I look forward to following it.


  18. Liz Cameron, I love your concept (the puppets) and your writing! I just learned of your blog, because, I guess, you found my new one…Istanbul’da.

    I look forward to following it…and should I get homesick when we move from California to Istanbul at the end of this year, it may comfort me. (I don’t expect to be homesick…)

    A nom de plume is also an interesting idea, but I think I’ll stay uncovered.
    Ginney Uhl

  19. Dear Ginney,

    I am so glad we found eachother – can’t wait to e-commune on matters cross-cultural and Turkish!

    How exciting that you are making this move – I can’t wait to learn all about it!

    On the nom-de-plume, my partner and I made this decision in order to allow for a) best possible honesty about the challenges of cross-cultural marriage that aren’t often voiced and b) to, therefore, allow for some privacy for my partner, myself and our family. Different strokes for different folks re: purpose and intent, I suppose!

    See you around these e-parts!


  20. Hi Melinda,

    Thank you so much for the comment – and thrilled that we e-found eachother!

    See you around!


  21. Malte Zeeck says:

    Hello there!

    My name is Malte Zeeck, and I am with InterNations.org. I really enjoyed reading your fantastic blog! I think expats in Turkey and around the world could really gain some great insights [and have a few good laughs] on this page. The quality of the blog in general is very convincing, which is why I would love to feature you and your writing on the Recommended Blog on Turkey section on InterNations.org

    Not only do we feature and link to your blog prominently; we also would like to hear from you directly in our questionnaire! We have also designed a link badge for your blog.

    If you are interested, please feel free to contact me via email: maltezeeck@internations.org

    Malte Zeeck

  22. Dear Malte,

    Thank you so much for your note – I am very appreciative. I will be in touch via email!


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  24. Ben Brown says:

    Hi Liz,

    My name is Ben and I work at PublishersNetwork.com.

    I have just read your blog and I thought I should contact you regarding a small project I run that may be mutually beneficial.

    We are currently seeking high quality publishing partners to post a unique article. We would write the content to your brief and you would own that content. It would not be published anywhere else. We would place a link back to one of our content clients within the editorial. This link would be completely relevant to both the article and your site.

    If you are interested in working with us, please contact me as soon as you can.

    I look forward to hearing from you

    Kind Regards,


    Editorial Manager

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  27. Lois says:

    I’m looking forward to reading your blog – your life sounds fascinating!

  28. E. says:

    Well my goodness – thank you! I am so glad you have found your way here – and will look forward to e-hanging out here!

  29. Hello,

    My name is Ron Banks from American Citizens Abroad and I would like to introduce you and your readers to ACA and to ask for your support.

    American Citizens Abroad (ACA), the voice of Americans overseas, is a non-profit, non-partisan, all-volunteer organization that represents the interests of Americans living and working outside the U.S. to the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government, the U.S. Congress, and the U.S. Federal Judiciary to insure that Americans overseas are treated with equality and fairness.

    We would like to inform your readers about ACA and invite them to visit our website at http://www.americansabroad.org to get information about the issues that are important to American Citizens living abroad.

    We would like to encourage your readers to become an ACA member and to help support ACA on its global mission to be the voice of Americans overseas.

    So how can you help?

    -Inform your readers about ACA on your website

    -Place an ACA logo and link on your website, Facebook and Twitter in exchange for a link to your website (subject to approval) on our page

    -Advertise with ACA please see link for more details: http://americansabroad.org/support/advertise-with-aca/
    +The ACA website has 10,000+ visitors per month
    +News Update sent to 3,000+ people ten times a year

    We look forward to hearing from you, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

    Best Regards,

    American Citizens Abroad
    Vice Executive Director

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  31. E. says:

    Dear Ron,

    Thank you for your comment – I will look at your materials and will respond privately!



  32. Hello Liz,

    Thank you, I look forward to working with you and I hope to hear from you soon. As soon as you have included us on you webpage please let us know so that we may add you page to our new “links to blogs” section:


    Kathryn Hennessey
    ACA Coordinator

  33. Lynn says:

    Hi Liz!
    I am a big fan of your blog – I haven’t commented until now but I wanted to come out of the dark and hopefully connect with you. I am also an American woman beginning a journey with my Turkish partner. Your blog has been an inspiration for me to work more on my own blog about my experiences learning the Turkish language and culture. I would love to connect with you – couldn’t find an email address so I figure this is the best way. I know you are out of commission with your injury (geçmiş olsun!) and can’t write much – but I wanted to say hi for now!


  34. E. says:


    I a *SO* thrilled to find your note! Thank you so much – I am so glad to hear your thoughts on the blog! Please write to me at ecmaclean (at symbol) gmail (dot) com.

    I am looking forward to getting to know you!!!!!


  35. I love your updated blog design. The headline photo is beautiful.

  36. E. says:

    Thank you SO much! I think it is quite spiffy – the puppets do too. working with artists friends on new illustrations for posting, stay tuned!

  37. I can see your development. It’s great to see how people use the blog to change their lives.


  38. Pingback: Searching for the red thread: On structuring a Turkish-American marital memoir (Part 1) | Slowly-by-Slowly

  39. Hi, Liz,
    I just received an email letting me know that you’re following my blog (Holding Breath), and came here to see what you do. I’ve only read a little so far, but it seems that you’re a wonderful writer! As a veteran of a “cross-cultural” relationship (American/Egyptian), and a writer who’s done a lot of travel writing (and, obviously, traveling!), I think that I’ll enjoy your blog a great deal. (Years ago I spent a day in Istanbul and another in Ephesus–yes, it was during a cruise–and I thought that what I saw was astonishingly beautiful. I always remember Istanbul, for some reason, as being like pewter–silvery and kind of brushed. Ephesus simply blew me away altogether. Since then I’ve wanted to go back and really see a lot more of it… some day I will.)

    “See” you around!

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  45. Hi Liz,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Your blog is amazing, the content and the photographs! Thanks for sharing.

    Jennifer Wilcox
    Walnut Cottage

  46. lizcameron says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    You are welcome – and right back at you! Thanks for visiting, and for the compliments!



  47. ruth kallens says:

    Hi Liz –

    I was tooling around and found your web site. I’m an American currently living in Brooklyn, NY. However, I have plans to move to Izmir this summer and study the language. I was hoping we could email as I have a few personal questions about American/Turkish relationships and what expats mostly do for work.

    Hope to hear from you!



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  54. katmcdaniel says:

    I’ve given you the Very Inspiring Blogger Award because you have lifted my spirits and given me awareness of things that I wouldn’t have found otherwise. Consider this a big thank you and pay it forward to someone who has been an inspiration to you. If you aren’t into this sort of thing, then just know that someone out here admires your work.


    kat at synkroniciti

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  59. robbieeb60 says:

    My contemporary folio
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