Adrian moved to Istanbul three years ago and has been fascinated by this captivating city ever since.

Turkish bazaar (photo: Postcards from Istanbul)

In her blog, Postcards from Istanbul, Adrian writes about the setbacks of living in Istanbul as an expat and about its envy-inducing side, like her commute across the Bosphorus and its wonderful sunset. It would brighten anyone’s day! In a post titled Turkish traits of my own, Adrian describes how local culture has changed her and she has adopted local habits. Adrian got married in Istanbul and she describes the different traditions in great detail, like their engagement celebration, during which a piece of cake mysteriously found its way to the groom’s face.

Postcards from Istanbul is chockablock with advice for travellers, from essential Istanbul experiences to street food  to neighbourhoods and places to see. It provides a wealth of information about this fascinating city and an insight into expat life. I had the chance to ask Adrian a few questions about herself:

What made you decide to move to Turkey?

During college, I spent one semester studying in London. Every day was a new adventure. I had friends from all over the world and I travelled on a regular basis. The moment I returned to US soil, I felt inhibited and yearned to return to life in a global city. As I approached my college graduation, I was full of wanderlust…I also found myself head over heels for a wonderful Turkish man whom I met in New York City. I purchased a one-way ticket to Istanbul determined to act on my wanderlust and follow my heart. I came with the intention to live in Turkey for a year. Three years later I am still here…and we are now married;)

How easy, or difficult,did you find the transition?

My first months in Istanbul were a roller coaster ride. Daily successes became simple purchases or bus trips that would be non-events in my life at home. I learned to accept bird noises as apartment door bells. I struggled to find a network of interesting and curious adventurers in order to have a community of my own. I had to learn how to cook the foods I missed the most from home.

Istanbul is a city of 13 million. Life is stressful and chaotic, but also lively and full of opportunities. There is something for everyone in Istanbul, however I learned it takes some time to find it. After two years, I found a community of Turkish coworkers and expat friends. I have a niche. I have learned to embrace what makes me unique here, while also adopting the very best Turkish culture and Istanbul have to offer. It was a difficult albeit exciting transition!

Why did you decide to start your blog?

I started my blog, Postcards from Istanbul because I craved a way to document my experiences and share them with friends and family. Additionally, after two years of teaching I craved a creative outlet and the opportunity to enhance my writing abilities. It has also proven to be a wonderful excuse to learn about Istanbul and Turkey, and connect with other ex-pats.


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About the author

Ana Astri-O’Reilly is from Argentina, where she lived until five years ago. She currently lives in Dallas, USA with her British husband, but they move a lot. Previously a translator and English and Spanish teacher, Ana first started writing to share her experiences and adventures with friends and family. She speaks Spanish, English and a smattering of Portuguese.