Life in Laos through the lens of a diplomatic wife raising twin toddlers.

Istanbul Dreams

One of my favorite photos because I had to stand on tippy toes and hold the camera over my head through a window inside the Hagia Sophia to get this shot of the Blue Mosque in the distance.

I’m still dreaming about my trip to Turkey after sifting through photos for this week’s photo challenge. Sorry, no post for my “Honeymoon in Durfur” series today. It will have to wait until I flush out my reflection on a time when I truly enjoyed the kind of travel that allows me to experience a place as if I lived there, rather than merely visit as a tourist. I had one such experience during a month long visit in Turkey. One of my best friends decided to move to Istanbul having fallen in love with the city after going there for vacation. She had quit her corporate job much like I did and was enroute to do some backpacking in Latin America. She planned brief stopovers in Istanbul and Paris along the way, but after arriving in Paris and missing Istanbul terribly, she never caught her flight to Rio and returned instead to Istanbul – that magical city along the Bospherus that combines the feel of modern Europe with the exotic aura of Asia. My friend rented an apartment, managed to find some freelance work in her field of marketing, started to learn the language, and the rest has been nearly a decade of carving out a dream life in a city that she loves. She’s practically Turkish now and still lives there today with a husband and son.

Along the Golden Horn in Istanbul.

These photos were taken when I camped out on my friend’s couch for a month after traveling solo through Africa. I spent most of that month on her back balcony, hanging out with friends, riding the ferries along the Bosphorous, and touring through the wonderland of Cappadocia in central Turkey. At the time, I was a vagabond trying to find my way, traveling wherever the opportunity took me. I fantasized a lot then about moving to Istanbul and living with my friend. In the end I left only to returned again two years later with my husband for a short visit, and it still wasn’t enough. There’s something about the city and the country that has me dreaming to this day of returning…perhaps to live.

Click on a photo below to see a larger view and slide-show:

Where have you visited that makes you want to live there and experience more in-depth?

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7 comments on “Istanbul Dreams

  1. wayfarerwanders
    April 1, 2012

    I have felt turkey and Istanbul calling to me this year… It is great to read your blog and hear about people like your friend who change scheduled plans to create something beautiful and unexpected in their lifes paths. I hope to make it to Turkey this or next year… And to find my own unexpected home somewhere in the world one day.

    • Wanderlustress
      April 1, 2012

      Keep dreaming, planning, doing. If you need to know anything about Turkey, I can put you in touch with my friend. Just let me know.

  2. Louise
    March 28, 2012

    Oh no!! Now I want to go there!!! How strange – I feel homesick for a place I’ve never been to. Great photos. Love the ruins and the cave dwellings.

    • Wanderlustress
      March 28, 2012

      Turkey is at the top of my recommendations for must-see places and the cave dwellings of the Cappadocia region are amazing!

  3. shantarella
    March 27, 2012

    Turkey is an awesome place… I visited a couple of years ago for a short visit to Istanbul with my boyfriend. I guess that I felt the same way on my first visit to Cape Town. I spent 3 months here on a internship, and so I wasn’t really a tourist just here on holiday as I got to visit areas that the locals frequent. At the end of 3 months I knew I needed to find a reason to return so two years later I did with the reason of research for a thesis, subsequently met my bf and ended up moving here in 2010 🙂 Definatley a local now !

    • Wanderlustress
      March 27, 2012

      Cape Town is wonderful, too! So picturesque. Must be so nice to live there.

      • shantarella
        March 28, 2012

        It is indeed. Can’t complain… its definitely a big change from London.

        Please check out my blog : http://shantarella.wordpress.com

        Its very new so would appreciate your comments 🙂

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