10 + x things I miss about Istanbul

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A few weeks ago, I finally decided to write down some of the experiences from my semester abroad in Istanbul. These memories were haunting ones and I’m glad to have them off my chest – but I realized while writing that there are many things I happily recall and miss about Istanbul quite a bit. In those first remembrances of Istanbul, there hasn’t been a lot of room for all the beautiful and inspiring things I found for myself in the city – although there have been plenty. That’s why I want to share some of these experiences with you: Because if someone had asked me yesterday, “Do you want to return to Istanbul tomorrow”, I would already be gone – so I hope the picture I drew before, I can set right today.

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The long and ugly story of how I (almost) lost my mind in Istanbul

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When I left for my semester abroad, I was full of anticipation to spend five full months in the exciting city of Istanbul. A mere three months later – after having struggled with sexist police officers, stone-hearted doctors, indifferent university officials, after battling the language barrier in a million confusing phone calls, after tantrums, crying fits and endless hours of conversation deep inside someone elses’s spiritual abyss, after all this incredible madness – I left the country as a desperate mess, looking forward to nothing more than hiding from the world under a blanky at my parents house. A recapitulation of What the fuck. Continue reading

A Paris Story

It is as it always was: She is chaos. And she is peace. She is everywhere and nowhere really. In this case, she is at the breakfast table on the sunny side of her apartment, dipping croissants in her café au lait and chatting an hour away with me. But in her head, she’s done a million things today.  Right now, she’s mentally already left the room, only that she didn’t tell me.

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Meeting the unknown species in Italy

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Unlike many girls my age, I have never been much of a kids kind of person. Tiny animals, yes! Tiny humans… well, not so much. Obviously, my mid-twenties are biologically forcing me to marvel at drooling newborns and “awww” at kids dressed up like Elsa, but this is pretty much where my excitement for the world of children comes to an end. Needless to say I have never EVER thought of myself as a teacher. And still – in a very urgent need to leave Germany and plunge into yet another adventure abroad, I signed up for an internship that allowed/forced me to be just that: a teacher. Continue reading

Fancying Florence (foolishly)

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I was wondering how long it would take for me to start missing Florence after I left. Well, the answer is: precisely 3 weeks. To be honest, if it hadn’t been for the holidays in between (equal to lots of time spent with wonderful humans) this might have happened even sooner. At least it’s January now. It’s so grey, cold and despicably wet outside that I don’t feel too silly being caught by yet another fit of the grass being greener on the other side. So here I am craving to stroll along alleyways and trip on bumpy cobblestone like the hopeless idiot I tend to be. Continue reading

Tuscany’s most underrated city: 8 ½ reasons to get off the beaten track

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Ok, I get it, anything that is located in the close vicinity of Florence, one of the world’s capitals of arts and awesome, is hard to appreciate. But even apart from the home town of Dante and many others, Tuscany is a particularly gorgeous spot on the world map – and you could say it is highly appreciated by travelers. You could also choose to say that it is SWAMPED by tourists, which would be the much more accurate description. Continue reading