Hi guys! I am super excited to bring to you the fifth and final edition of my travel series of guest posts on the blog called Travel Log! While I am in Italy traveling without a laptop, I have invited a few of my favorite blogging gals who also have been bitten by the wanderlust bug to share some of their favorite travel experiences with you guys! So please welcome Jen of JennifHsieh who will be sharing her beautiful trip to Turkey with you guys!
Oh, hey there. My name is Jen and I run a little blog over at JennifHsieh where I document my personal style and ramble on about little moments about my life. I'm currently living in New York City and working as a production manager within a social media company. Also, I can never say no to a good plate of hot wings.
What is a favorite or most interesting trip that you've taken and when did you go?
My favorite trip that I've taken within the past few years was to visit my boyfriend in Turkey (he was teaching abroad there for 10 months a few years back). I've always wanted to go to Istanbul but it was even better since it was kind of like a mini-reunion to break up those 10 months into two parts. Leaving was definitely beyond hard though.
What specific areas did you go to while there?
The two of us spent a few days in Istanbul to ring in the New Year and then traveled to Malatya, the town he was living/teaching in, located in the eastern half of the country.
For someone else thinking about traveling here, what were your top 2-3 favorite things that you did while there?
I'm going to focus strictly on Istanbul, since Malatya is not much of a tourist city at all. My favorite things that I did was definitely (1) staying at a hostel instead of a hotel (it gave you a better sense of community and you were more likely to meet friendly strangers), (2) taking the ferry to visit the Asian side of the city, and (3) just enjoying some Turkish tea while playing late night games of backgammon. Oh, and of course the Blue Mosque. Absolutely stunning.
What do you like to wear while traveling? Any tips for looking cute but still being comfortable and mobile for a day of exploring? If you have a favorite outfit or two that you wore while there I'd love to see!
Turkey is a bit more conservative and it gets really cold in the winter months. For the most part I stuck to comfortable walking shoes and long pants (using colored pants to spice up my looks). If I did wear dresses or skirts I made sure to pair them with thick tights to cover up my legs. A big tip is to always bring a scarf with you; they come in handy when you visit mosques to cover your head out of respect (mainly for women). And socks, in case you have to take off your shoes.
Discovering new foods is one of my favorite parts about traveling! What was the best thing you ate while there? Is this something that the area is known for?
Although there are a million typical things (like the kebabs and the baklava), I have to say my three favorite foods were more off the beaten "tourist" path. To drink, there was nothing more refreshing than freshly squeezed pomegranate juice. To snack on, grabbing a "wet hamburger" was absolutely perfection, even though the name wasn't too appetizing. So cheap and easy to eat on the go. Finally, to eat, I couldn't get enough of the fish sandwiches that you could get underneath the Galata bridge. Incredible and I miss it every day.
Lastly, What is your favorite memory from the trip?
Jeremy and I celebrated the New Year at our hostel since they were hosting a mini-celebration right on their roof top and we thought it would be a great way to meet some new people. We ended up celebrating up a storm with a handful of people from all around the world (not to mention a ton of cute European guys) and drunkenly running outside (without my heels on) to catch the fireworks over the Galata Bridge, only about 10 blocks away. So magical and so reckless.
Thank you so much for posting Jen! Your photos and stories are beautiful!