Azeez Abiodun is an MD who started his medical career in his native Nigeria as an internist and completed his Internal Medicine Residency Program in the United States, thereby becoming an MD. He obtained his certification in 2005 and has been practicing in Maryland ever since.
Coming from a well-to-do family in Nigeria, his parents instilled in him the value of education and his parents were very supportive of him. His pursuit of a degree in medicine was even made stronger when his mother died of cancer. After obtaining his medical degree in the US, he returned to his native Nigeria to give back to the people by doing volunteer work in poverty-stricken communities, which lack proper medical services.
One of the most unforgettable people he met in his career is the great Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela inspired him to continue his volunteer work for as long as he possibly can. He goes back to his native Nigeria once a year for two weeks to do volunteer work.
Tell us about a favorite trip you’ve taken
I make it a point to go on a trip at least once a year with my family and one of the favorite trips we have taken is my trip to Turkey. I spent two weeks in the country. I went to the grand bazaar and was in awe of all the things you can see and buy in there. They happen to have more than a thousand stores in that bazaar. We went to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia. These structures are some of the most beautiful in the world and deserve their place on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
We also enjoyed hot air ballooning early in the morning in Cappadocia and spent some time enjoying the natural springs in Pamukkale. Everyone, including the kids, enjoyed their time. I look forward to going on another trip with my family again.
What attracted you to Turkey?
I have always been fascinated by Turkey ever since I read the book, The Janissary Tree. I have always envisioned Ottoman Turks, the banquets, and festivities. Turkey has a very long history. It was once ruled by the Byzantine Christians, the Ottomans, and currently, although it is a Muslim nation, it is secular. It is located in both Asia and Europe and it has a wonderful cuisine.
When did you travel there and who did you go with?
My family and I went to Turkey last quarter of last year.
It was a quite a long flight to Istanbul and the children were a bit restless on the plane. When we finally landed in Ataturk Airport, everyone was so eager to see the rest of the city. Istanbul is a very colorful place. It is a unique juxtaposition of the old and the new. We went to Taksim Square to see the monument of Kemal Ataturk and we enjoyed the pedestrian Istiklal Avenue where we browsed through shops and my wife bought quite a handful of souvenirs.
We took a ferry through Bosphorus and enjoyed it. It was wonderful to see Asia and Europe at the same time. Some of the places we went to was the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, the Cistern and the Aqueduct. The city has both Roman as well as Ottoman architecture and it one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
We also went to Pamukkale to enjoy the spring and we also went to Goreme to see the fairy chimneys. One of the trips highlights is the hot air balloon early in the morning in Cappadocia. It was unforgettable.
What other places have you visited?
Aside from Turkey, I have also been to Paris, France; Rome and Vienna, Italy; Amsterdam; and Salzburg in Austria.
What advice would you give to a first-time traveler?
Everyone should travel. The world is such a big place and there is so much to see and learn. My advice for any first-time traveler is to have an open mind. There is so much in the world to see and learn.