Istanbul Through Instagram (2014-2017)
I'm coming down to my last days in Istanbul, after living here for three whole years, and it's been an emotional time to say the least. Luckily, there's still so much I love about this city, but that's what makes it hard. I'm moving back to Toronto to finally give a chance to the city I grew up in, in my adult and professional life. It's a journey that I'm excited to take, despite the sadness I'll feel leaving the beloved 'bul, but that doesn't make it any easier.
Speaking of journeys, it's quite a thing to be able to look back and trace your steps from beginning until end. Thanks to good ol' Instagram, that's exactly what I can do with my three years in Istanbul. I've literally gone back through years of Instagram posts to put this together and provide a picture of my life in Istanbul over the past few years, through the pictures that I've posted. On their own, the pictures don't add up to a whole lot, but while putting them together, it's shocking to see what a complete snapshot of the city and my life they provide.
You'll likely notice a transition from an iPhone 5 filter happy individual, to an iPhone 6s with more of a filter aversion, and eventually a greater emergence of DSLR camerawork. You'll notice an exploratory tone to more of an assertive and understanding tone. You'll notice that I've taken the past three years to ensure that I've left no stone uncovered. You'll notice that I've spent time growing my travel blogging brand and that in 2014 it wasn't unusual for me to have a few dozen likes on a photo or less. You'll notice, perhaps, that I've done a lot of growing while I've been here.
Naturally, this will be a photo heavy post, but it's a fun thought experiment that I think shows what my life has been like in this city over the past three years, and even my life in general. It shows the transition from Istanbul as a city I wanted to get to know better, to Istanbul as my second home.
I've purposely chosen photos from my time here that map my journey, not necessarily for their innate "beauty" so to speak. Perhaps unintentionally, this may end up being one of the most revealing and intriguing posts on my blog.
Not too shabby! I finally accomplished what I set out to do from the beginning and got my name in print here in Istanbul. You can find my article on volunteering in Istanbul in the May-June edition of The Guide Istanbul! As a bonus, I met with some folks from yabangee.com today, and you should see some of my writing on there in the very near future. I'm feeling seriously fortunate at the moment. Thanks for the love and support fine people of social media.
Yesterday was my first visit to the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum in Sultanahmet, and it was very humbling. Take this colourful, gilded Koran from the 16th century for example, which was far from the only extremely impressive piece in their collection. The whole time I was snickering to myself, imagining Trump supporters walking through here and having to reconsider, if only for a moment, their own wild sense of self-importance and misguided feelings toward Islam.
That moment when your Turkish barbers give you homemade vodka with a splash of orange juice, just so it doesn't look like you're sipping on straight vodka and getting a haircut. In three years in Turkey, I've never gone anywhere else to get my haircut, because these guys are just about my favourite people on the planet. It's the place I get to practice my Turkish without a care. And, when I forget, when the headlines start getting to me, they remind me why I love this country.
Firstly, if you made it to the end, I congratulate your capacity for scrolling. You may have guessed that my aim to provide a full and complete picture of my time here through Instragram. If you have any comments, please leave them below! Have you been to Istanbul? Do you live here? Did you like the post? Any and all comments are welcome, and I'll get back to folks individually guaranteed.