Terrible news about the missing mom of two, 33-year-old Sarai Sierra, who never returned from her vacation in Turkey, where she went to take photos. Her body was found in Istanbul, according to reports. She was stabbed to death. And her two boys don't even know she's missing yet. Now they may not know she's never returning.

Last month, Sarai left her home in Staten Island for the trip, which she was originally supposed to take with a friend, but the pal backed out at the last minute, so Sarai went alone. She was hoping to meet up with some people she'd met through Instagram in order to take photos of the country's graffiti and old relics.

She was found by locals near some ancient walls. Police detained a man she'd been corresponding with online but then released him. Her husband has said that he always knew she was corresponding with people online about meeting up and that Sarai had been in touch every day up until her disappearance. Her last text message was to her sister.

I don't know what I'd do myself if a friend backed out on me at the last minute of a long-planned trip. I've traveled to a lot of countries by myself -- but not in a long time, and partly that is because of fear. As a woman in a foreign country, it can be an unnerving experience. Yet I know many women who do it all of the time, and who love it, and who have had nothing bad happen to them.

My heart goes out to Sarai's family, especially to her husband and two young children. They're only 9 and 11 and now they have to grow up without a mother.

Do you travel to foreign countries alone?

 

Image via eva.jane/Flickr