My Happy Place

I found my happy place. My friend told me about the Antique Museum in the Al Quoz district. So this morning I went and found a warehouse full of handicrafts from something like 27 different countries. Sri Lanka, Morocco, India, Vietnam, Tibet, Syria… just to name a few. It was remarkable and for me, complete heaven. I loved discovering something from different cultures on the various shelves, all packed together, waiting to be unearthed. One of the highlights was discovering the drawer knobs/handles that I had first found in India. Even the gentleman that was helping me said these were only from India,…

#neverbeencool

I find myself talking about Istanbul lately. When I first visited the city on the Bosphorus, I knew within the first millisecond that it was the place I wanted to live.  In my head I know I made the right decision to leave, my heart knows it too. But for four years, that was my home where both my head and heart were smiling. In Dubai, I still feel too new to make a decision one way or another. There are many elements that I truly enjoy. For instance, everything is incredibly convenient here. Incredibly. Also, there is a TON…

Scratching the Surface

For the past four years, I was a California girl living in Istanbul. Come August when I fly off to my new destination, it will be difficult for me not to miss my beloved city by the water. So I thought it might be nice to put a small collection of some videos together as a tribute to my time in Istanbul. This compilation does not come close in demonstrating everything I experienced  or felt in this charming city, but if I thought too hard and spent too much time, I would never finish. Istanbul was an experience of a lifetime and as such,…

An Open Letter to Men’s Soccer

Dear men’s soccer/futbol players, I have been watching several of the games in both the UEFA Euro and the CUPA America tournaments recently and I played this beautiful game for many years. I am writing to remind you of a few insights that some of you may have forgotten. As you are playing a fast paced game, you are going to get hurt. Crazy, right? However you will, so stop rolling around on the ground. Get up, dust yourself off, and play. You will get fouled (some intentional, some not). Get up, dust yourself off, and play. Calls might not…

#iamistanbul

It was with a very heavy heart that I recently resigned my position at school. I am leaving my city by the water. I hope I am wrong in this, but I just don’t feel that the security situation in Turkey or in this region of the world is going to get better any time soon. As I look back, there are things I wish I would have done more of, or just better. There are things that I am terribly proud of and others… well just normal, really. Reflecting upon my decision, I understand that the light of the…

The Istanbul I Love

A ferry in the distance, a plane overhead. A couple having tea and a group of young men hanging around, enjoying the view along with everyone else. Small waves full of jellyfish rolling through time. Cement sidewalks wet with drops from splashes against the rocks. It is one of the reasons that Istanbul is so magical. In so many big and small ways, the Bosphorus is Istanbul. The attack last Saturday on İstiklal Avenue shook me up. Not just because it happened in a place that I have walked often, a short distance from my apartment, but because I don’t…

Beauty and Geometric Art

Within Istanbul there is so much design and beauty. When I first arrived, I fell in love with the geometric design patterns. So when I saw an advert for a workshop regarding Islamic Geometric Design (IGD), I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to learn more about this form of art. Eric Broug, the instructor, is quite an interesting person in and of himself. He is Dutch and when he was at University, he studied Middle Eastern politics. He realized it wasn’t his passion, quit, worked in a bookshop, and then started studying IGD. Now he lives in England with…

Happiness

The attack here in Istanbul last week left me a little shaken. I love this city but I also want to live in a place that is safe. However, as I look at the world around me, no place seems safe… just less dangerous? Is it time to head out of Istanbul before it gets worse? Will it get worse? To be honest, I don’t see how it could get better at this point. Many of the countries close to or around Turkey are hot messes. It’s already spilling over. It is with these heavy thoughts running around my mind…

A Rebrand and Some Brunch

Recently, a friend of mine suggested that I ‘rebrand’ my blog to not only write about my travels outside of Istanbul, but also about what I do in and around this charming place. Within this complex city, there are so many interesting aspects that exploring Istanbul should be considered a full time job. When I tell people where I live, they always ask what it’s like to live in a city with so much history; where the East and West converge. The best way that I can explain my fascination with Istanbul is the constant energy; sometimes when I walk out of my apartment…

A Different Country

I recently went on a small road trip through Eastern Turkey. Kars and Trabzon were two of the cities we visited but did not get to explore too much.  Away from the 24/7 of Istanbul, I found calm, quiet, lovely spaces… along with some stunning landscapes. For me, it was like a different country! It is very difficult to condense five days into a little over five minutes, but I did my best with the video below.  Enjoy!