I lived in Istanbul between the months of April and December in 2014. Istanbul is the biggest city of Turkey and is divided into a European and Asian side, and these two sides themselves are a conglomeration of many different neighborhoods. Just like New York, Istanbul is an incredibly cosmopolitan city, but the reasons as to why it is cosmopolitan is different. For many centuries, Istanbul was seiged by various different empires and religions, resulting in each and every neighborhood having the architecture of its own country. You can often feel as though you are traveling inside of the different parts of Asia and Europe itself just by traversing the city.

For example, Tarlabasi, the neighborhood I lived in, is a place famous for the Gypsy and Syrians to dance or break glass in between the residences over the hills. Fatih is most famous for its tourism. It is the home of the Aga Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and many smaller but more intimate mosques equally as beautiful to the eye. Fener is the Greek neighborhood where one can find much of the Greek food and character. Besiktas is the place where the youngsters and students go out, partying until midnight in between Ottoman palaces and residential apartments by the coast. Taksim is just as equally as important to those who seek a good party. Right by Gezi Park, infamous for its 2014 protests against the building of a shopping mall, all one has to do is step in between the small streets and corridors in order to find the trendiest of restaurants and bars. For those seeking the peaceful side of life, Kadikoy is optimal. The streets are wide, there is a lot of space between buildings, and there are plenty of hipster cafes and humble abodes to consider.

A day in the life of Istanbul is like this. To go between the freshly colored bricks of a neighborhood, to host host parties with your friend who lives between Goa and Istanbul until the early morning, to treat your Slovakian friend to a trip to Asia by simply taking a ferry, to sip tea on the other side of the Bosphorus River with your shoes off, to learn to live, with beauty and art and friendship and compassion, at once.

Everyday, in other words, was a day to be lived in Istanbul. every day, depending on the neighborhood I gallivanted in, was its own adventure. For the traveler, one cannot ask for anything more or anything less. For the traveler, Istanbul is the place where one can find every great quality there is on this planet Earth.