As I say Goodbye to Istanbul…

The view of the historic peninsula fom a departing ferry

The view of the historic peninsula fom a departing ferry

My time in Istanbul has come to an end and I am going back to the States tomorrow. I came here with certain ideas of how it would be. I was coming back to a city I knew so well, armed with all kinds of plans and ideals. Well, to say that it didn’t turn out as I had planned would probably be a gross understatement.

I was supposed to take classes in Byzantine and Ottoman art and culture to fill in the blanks of my education. I did take those classes, and went on every single class trip and attended every single seminar, symposium that took place in Istanbul that related to the classes I was studying. I traveled only a little bit but my experience in the city I supposedly knew so well was a brand new one. I discovered a whole new Istanbul – there are many Istanbuls to discover if one is willing- where I was riding public transportation everyday with Erasmus students, meeting kids from all over the world, taking classes with grad students, participating in intellectual discussions with some of the world’s most renown scholars in Late Antique, Byzantine, and Ottoman art and history. Everything was different about this Istanbul experience, everything brand new.

Some travel to get lost but others to find themselves. My journey was about going full circle to the place where I had called home only to discover that there was so much I did not know about the place or the person that I was. It was an eyeopening experience that left me enriched and craving for new challenges. It’s an experience I heartily recommend to everyone!

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