Recently, I wrote an article and submitted pictures for a guest blog post on the travel website, Fulltime Nomad, as apart of their “Living Abroad Series.”
Johnny & Radhika of Fulltime Nomad were nice enough to let me share my thoughts and experiences on their website on what it was like to live in Istanbul, Turkey.
In the article, I talk about what life is like for a foreigner in Istanbul, the unique food and culture of the city, and how best to navigate the challenges and adaptations that come with living and working as an expatriate.
Here are a few excerpts from the article:
What did you love about living there?
“I loved a lot of things about living in Istanbul. I really enjoyed the Turkish cuisine with my favorites being menemen, iskender kebab, baklava, lahmacun, borek, etc. I could go on and on about the food in Istanbul but you’ll have to visit for yourself!
Being within walking distance of the Bosphorus was a real treat for me too. I’m a big fan of history so I liked learning more about the Ottoman Empire, the founding of the Turkish Republic, and visiting all of the great museums and monuments that Istanbul has to offer.”
What are the local people like? Were there any challenges that you faced?
“Istanbul is an enormous city with a lot of different people from different backgrounds mixing together. It’s similar to a lot of other major cities where there’s a lot of hustle and bustle so people may not be as warm or friendly as they would be in smaller towns or communities. However, there are a lot of smaller neighborhoods within Istanbul that are unique in that they feel smaller and people look out for each other. Overall, Turkish culture is very hospitable and kind. When you’re invited to a Turkish person’s home, be ready because they will feed you, enjoy your company, and care for you as a foreigner in their country.
The biggest challenges I faced were battling the horrendous Istanbul traffic on a daily basis and becoming advanced in the Turkish language. I tried to avoid it as much as possible by taking Istanbul’s rapidly developing metro system but it’s inevitable that you’ll hit traffic 90% of the time. That’s why I encourage people who come to visit Istanbul to stay close to the major tourism spots and/or near to the cool, hip neighborhoods. The Turkish language isn’t that hard for foreigners to learn but you really have to memorize the grammar structures and be prepared to work on your pronunciation and vocabulary skills. It’s not easy but the local people will respect and admire you very much if you try to learn Turkish.”
And, finally, any advice or encouragement for someone wanting to take the leap and live overseas?
“Do it. Have a plan and know what you’re getting into but I highly, highly recommend it. If you’re young, want to explore the world, and have a little money saved up; it’s a worthwhile investment. It’s a lot different living overseas than just being a tourist but it’s a much more special experience. You get to experience the culture more, go deeper into the language, and a gain a more mature perspective of the world.”
You can read my full article here: Full Time Nomad – Living in Istanbul
I want to thank Johnny & Radhika again for letting me be apart of their ‘Living Abroad’ blog post series. It was a real pleasure for me to write about my past experiences and memories of Istanbul.
If you’re interested in learning more about the digital nomad lifestyle, go to Fulltime Nomad to learn more about Johnny & Radhika’s story. You can also like them on Facebook at FulltimeNomad and follow them on Twitter, @FTNomad.