I’ve made the decision not to go to California this summer and to stay put in Istanbul. I will probably take a few long weekends to cities in Turkey, but overall, I want to start saving money and not always spend it on traveling. Traveling can be really expensive, and it tends to sneak up on you. It’s always the little things.
However, this decision caused a bit of panic because what am I going to do for six weeks? Most, if not all, of the people I work with are traveling which could mean a lot of Claire Time. Let’s be honest here… who doesn’t enjoy Claire Time but six weeks is a lot of anyone’s time so I knew I needed a plan.
Last night, I went out for drinks with a Turkish friend of mine. He’s from Istanbul and I was talking to him about the small bubble that expats can and mostly live in. It is very easy to hang out with just work people, particularly when they are nice and fun. However, I want a balance and a life outside of work with dinner parties and art galleries. You get the idea. So I have come up with a plan for this summer that I call ‘Becoming Turkish’ and it looks like this:
1) Take an intensive Turkish language course
2) Get a swimming pool pass from one of the hotels
3) Get Google Certified
4) Take ceramics course
5) Continue with Pilates
6) Explore the outer areas of Istanbul with new language skills
7) Relax and get ready for new job
8) Take a Turkish cooking class for desserts only
9) Develop a circle of friends outside of school
10) Continue to be awesome (sounded good)
Great plan, right? I am the type of person who enjoys a loose schedule so having this will help me focus on things that I want to accomplish but also to enjoy Turkish culture. I even bought a book called ‘The Essential Guide to Customs and Culture – Turkey’ – I already feel ahead of the game!