This weekend we went to Istanbul. What a magical city it is. The food, the people, the mosques, the clothing: everything. Ive learned some things in Istanbul, some ways that I will choose to live life:
1. Always say ‘yes’ (unless clearly you should say ‘no’): Kyra and I met the owner of a shop and his friend who invited us back to his shop twice to share his Iftar dinner with us which consisted of a meal, then some tea, then some hookah, then some fruit, then some tea, then some more hookah, then some baklava and some more tea. During this entire time we talked for hours as they taught us about their religion, Ramadan and everything philosophical in between. It all made so much more sense to me afterwards, and I was grateful to have learned so much from a local (thoughts that cannot be put into words really). So some may have said that going back to have dinner with some strangers we just met was maybe not the best idea, but I say always say yes because if you say no you won’t ever experience new things. Also as long as you listen to your gut feeling.
2. Always be willing and open to making new friends: I’ve stayed in many youth hostels before and on this trip especially I learned to always try to talk and get to know those around you. We were staying in a room with 3 other Australian boys who turned out to be (like most Aussies I meet) the most fun, open and genuine people. A crazy bunch they were. Some were uncomfortable with sharing a room with strangers, I say it’s an experience everyone should have. They have invited me to come Island hopping with them around Greece. Trusting in others is a beautiful thing when it comes to traveling around. Once again, as long as you listen to your gut feeling.
3. Find the light in not so light situations: Being constantly cat-called on the streets in Istanbul can get to you. As long as you laugh at it though, laugh with them and the entire situation, it was turned into a game of fun for me. We got “Charlie’s Angels”, “Spice Girls”, “You dropped something…my heart”, and some other maybe rude ones. Some were getting frustrated with all the calling, I say hey if they call on you laugh or call on them back as some others did. It’s never good to be stressed about unnecessary things (and this is me saying this knowing that I also do this a lot) however this trip made me realize to just not worry, be happy. As long as you follow your gut feeling.