In September 2020 Sladja and I were in a delicate situation. After an amazing albeit stressful seven months stuck in Cambodia during the outbreak of the global pandemic, we felt the time was right to make a move back to Europe.
In fact, our plan was to try and settle in Serbia for a while, where I’d be able to apply for temporary residency as Sladja’s partner. But, as we quickly discovered, getting to Belgrade from Phnom Penh was a major ordeal. The best (and certainly most economical) route to Serbia came with two transfers. One in Singapore, another in the Turkish capital, Istanbul.
So we booked everything up with a mixture of excitement and anxiety. Then, we got a bit cheeky. At that time Turkey was one of very few countries around the world that was basically open to foreign visitors. Pretty much without any restrictions. Thus we decided to make a nearly three-week pitstop there so that we could finally explore a city that had long been on our wish list.
Our stay in Istanbul was enjoyable but absolutely exhausting. With online teaching schedules to fulfil in the afternoons, we taught during the day and set off on exploring projects around the city every morning and evening.
Happily we were rewarded at every turn. In fact, we felt mesmerised by the stunning Islamic architecture. And charmed by the friendly people who welcomed us with genuine warmth at what was clearly a dreadful time for the country.
Moreover, the food was wonderful, the museums and ancient cisterns magnificent. The views across the city from The Bosphorus breathtaking. In order to get the full story of our adventures in this fantastic city, why not visit Turkey through my travel articles from: