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  • Writer's pictureJackie Almeida

Love at the First Sight - Istanbul

If you are following me here you know I've been living in Istanbul for the past two months. Luckily, traveling is part of my work routine.

My experience with Istanbul was not love at first sight. It took time eventually but I fell in love with this big city that is full of life. 

24 million people + vehicles = chaos. When I arrived and I came across the traffic jam I was frightened, spent hours in traffic on the way to casting calls and work, sometimes up to 3 hours. Here I learned not to complain about the traffic of any other city ever again. Everyone has a car and almost nobody uses subway, and also not seen any rider throughout this time I was there. I do not like to compare cultures, but in the situation in which our planet is, trying to help the environment is always very good. Here the air is very polluted, and the streets are very dirty. Everyone throws trash on the floor. The beaches prefer not to comment, if you follow me on Snapchat should have seen the snaps I made about the pollution of them. Dear Turkish friends, please take care of your beautiful city.

But like anywhere, there are things that please us and others not so much. I realised many things and I have to share this with you here.

Istanbul has numerous parks. In the early spring wow!... The flowers brighten up the city. The weather is crazy, in one day you have the 4 seasons, always you must be  prepared for any temperature. The city does not stop, enough things going on with a lot of life and excitement. People are very passionate and express themselves with a lot of energy. Yeah, people ... Awesome! They are very helpful and friendly. Even if you do not speak their language, they will always find a way to communicate. They are attracted to people with good energy, especially children. I had established wonderful connections with them everywhere I visited. That's what we are, and independent to the language that you speak this is the force that connects us.

What caught my attention was the amount of homeless animals, cats and dogs. They are many. I was sad to see them abandoned, but at the same time I know that the people there treat them very well. In the streets you always find houses on the  corners with food and water. Some people give access to the animals to  their homes when they want and can also eat and drink. And they eat enough because they are well chubby. 

Istanbul is divided between the Asian side and the European side. I liked most of the Asian side, it is more colorful, quiet and traffic is less chaotic. Both sides are beautiful I will never forget the sunset watching overlooking the Sultan Ahmed, the largest mosque in the world. The Energy is breathtaking.

I met amazing people on this trip. That's the best part of traveling, be guided by your instincts and be able to create connections that will remain for life.

Thank you Istanbul 🙏🏾❤️🇹🇷

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