#36HoursInTheBul: Exactly What I Needed

Dear World,

Back in December, I flew to Italy to celebrate Christmas abroad with my mother. However, on the way there, I booked myself an extended layover in Istanbul - 36 hours to be exact - to try to knock everything off of this to-do list I put together. 

After my semi-failed attempt at traveling alone (while enjoying it) in Malawi back in September, it's safe to say I was extremely hesitant about trying a bite of solo travel just a few short months later. However, I couldn't have been more pleased with my experience!

Istanbul is a magical city. A large majority of the sites are packed close together, and between walking and their metro/train system, getting around is an absolute breeze. I was able to accomplish everything I wanted to from my to-do list (but didn't do them all because I exchanged out some things!)

In Istanbul, I fell in love with ceilings. And walls. And murals. The architecture is absolutely stunning; some of my favorite moments were just soaking in views like this:


And the food! You might have noticed I did have a meal at Burger King (old habits die hard) but I  ate the rest of my meals in tiny hole-in-the-wall establishments, which provided me with insanely delicious food without a ton of other tourists around.

I also confirmed that the places you stay when you travel alone can make/break your experience. I met two fantastic guys at my hostel, and while we spent most of our time following our own itineraries around the city, it was really nice to have people to share meals with, chat about life over evening beers, and wish you well for the next portion of your journey. 


Would I go back to Istanbul? 
In a heartbeat. I might even consider living there for a stint...


but for now, there are so many other great places to explore. See you later, Turkey.


xoxo,
M



PS: In case you missed it, my Istanbul photo diary is here

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