On my wedding day, my father told me I was a good traveller.
He encouraged me to be brave and see the world, and then to put down roots. He wouldn’t tell me where I should do that. He wouldn’t tell me which community to choose.
I can’t choose. Or at least not yet. There are more places I need to see and communities I need to explore before I can know where to be.
In fact, to me, that is what matters most about travel: connecting to a new community.
Trying to grasp, if only for a few days, the beauty the drives different people in different places.
Search of community is what drove me to explore, to move to Italy, and to stay.
Istanbul is one of those beautiful places with a rich history.
Its ties to Rome are deep, but ultimately it is a place of its own making.
It was inaugurated as Constantinople – the new capital of the Roman Empire in 330 AD, by Constantine (of course).
He abandoned Rome, and chose to start again in Istanbul.
The empire fell, but Istanbul continued.
I visited the city a few years ago with a dear friend and a dedicated traveler.
The Blue Mosque was our first stop.
Built between 1609 and 1616, it still stands proudly today — elaborately decorated with blue tiles and stunning arches.
Though widely visited, it remains a place of solitude and peace.
What I do understand is how important it is to travel. To see places and meet people and learn.
I hope you keep exploring — I will.