5/30 Packing for Istanbul is as Strategic as Leadership



If you look at my back, there remains a small trace of a white, x-shaped tan line from last year’s swimsuit.

Our boat had stopped in an inlet for the daily swim. The island featured a lush green forest, with trees, hundreds of years old, pointing to the sky. As the second mate tied the rope to the shore, I rushed out on my paddle board. Normally the kids beat me into the water. Today, I was first in.

The trip was a year in the making. Now it was drawing to a close. I wanted to soak up every one of my last few hours in the Mediterranean. I paddled furiously for 3 hours, the sun slowly etching the lines of my Athleta crop top bikini into my back.

Come August, my next client offering is a 7-day sail of the Turkish Coast. The yacht is a boat native to Turkey called a “gulet.” All wood on the exterior, but given that the vessel was constructed in 2022, all the bedrooms and amenities are modern and new. Everyone flies into Istanbul, a solid 9 hour flight from New York. Matt and I are booked into an old French primary school turned hotel in the Galata district. 

To me, packing is as strategic as leadership. I am packing for activities planned, scenarios anticipated, and the hot hot temperatures.

While Turkey is a Muslim country. In certain contexts, I do need to be respectful of the culture, and pack, for example, a head scarf and longer sleeved cotton dresses in 88 degree heat.  We will be in cities, islands, and boats, so I have to pack for different scenarios. There will be several transfers between airports and getting to port, so Ill be limited in that I am only packing a carry-on suitcase.  

I watched the Turkish drama “The Tailor” on Netflix recently, and was delighted to see that Istanbul is pretty metropolitan.  Sleeveless dresses are all okay, but I do wish to be respectful of the culture. With temperatures hitting 96 degrees during the day, I will wear breathable fabrics—- linen, cotton, and poplin. This navy poplin dress from the Spanish company Ecoalf, my Panama hat from Cuyana, and my Skechers will be great for touring and walking the city. This high neck linen dress from the Australian company Dissh is ideal for visiting the Hagia Sofia or any of the mosques in Sultanahmet because I’m covered down to the ankles.  I will stuff a white linen shirt in my straw bag to cover my shoulders and a white linen scarf to cover my head.  Folks are known to really dress up at night in Istanbul. For dinners out, this balloon bottom dress from Dissh really evokes Turkish vibes for me. I also love this easy breezy pajama-set feel from Gerard Darel. I can match these sandals with a kimono top and pants.

To board the boat, we have to hop a local plane to the South part of the country.  This caftan from Everlane is made of flax, but weighty enough to insulate me from any unpredictable drafts at the airport. Once aboard the boat, or at any of the island towns, anything goes. Beachwear and swimsuits are welcome. I have this one piece from Summersalt. Throw on this wrap skirt, and I’m ready for some delicious sea food brunch at any of the outdoor restaurants. For swimming, I favor the sporty swim boyshorts and Conscious crop bikini top sets from Athleta.  They can be paired with these shorts in beige, white, and black.  If I gotta throw on a dress, this strapless dress and this buttery soft square neck dress from Beyond Yoga are no muss, no fuss.  


l love a good sail. I hosted them all throughout the pandemic. I would do a buyout of a boat and small groups of six could continue to network in the open air. I would include their spouses.  

Out to sea, people on board have one thing to do: meet with and engage with one another. 

In 2022, as my business turned 10 and I turned 50, thirty women leaders and their families helped celebrate aboard the MS Riva on a 7-day sail of the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia. It was my most ambitious project to date. Video here.

Each day, we would dock on a different island, with different activities: dune buggying, wine tasting, biking, kayaking. Different combinations of folks were attracted to each activity. Over the 7 days, all 20 adults got to engage and meet one another at a much deeper level. The jacuzzi was usually ‘kid soup’ with 10 kids jammed in, hosting their own brand of networking.

If you would like to join a future sail, fill out this waitlist form

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