The Anxiety to Return to Normal

The restriction measures around the world are now being lifted and along with the relief that we will be getting back to normal, the anxiety that the virus might become strong again or that one could get sick started to be on many people’s minds. Should we embrace or fear freedom?

Like in many other European countries, Romania will start relaxing the security measures for Covid-19 starting this week. The population was divided between those who were looking forward to going out and those who want to stay indoors to protect themselves. As a disclaimer, the measures in Romania were strict, people were only allowed to go out for urgent matters, work if that cannot be performed from home or shop.

Just as the animals from the circus, when facing freedom, many get scared and want to return to the cages, so how dangerous will it be to go out? Are we slaves to a false sense of security? Should we stay indoors forever? Should we go out and meet our friends and families? And how will we calm our anxiety about what is coming next?

Getting out of the house always meant risking, you could always get run over by a reckless driver, fell down and hurt yourself, get mugged, contact a contagious disease, and many other fatalist scenarios. Yet living means taking risks, we cannot place ourselves in a bubble and always be safe. Each time you get in a plane there is a risk of it crashing, each time to get behind the wheel there is a chance you might die. Unfortunately, the only certainty in life is that it will end, but before we die we first need to live, and as a result, take risks.

Like in every aspect of our life, we need to make sure there is a balance, we should not be meeting with many people, we should keep a safe distance and we should avoid elderly family members.

Another thing that is nowadays happening is the parties with Covid-19 positive people for the healthy ones to get the immunization. That is not how vaccine or medicine created from the plasma of the healed patience work, that is just plain stupidity. I am not surprised thou by the idiotic behavior since we are living in the era when the cinnamon challenge was a thing.

Learning to live with this virus, dealing with the risk of contracting the disease sometime in our lives, and also dealing with the anxiety that we are going to die someday is what we should be focusing on. None should be blamed for being afraid, yet we need to identify where this fear is coming from and work on solving the root cause.

In the last years, we lived in a society that made us afraid of everything, media and social media has always told us to look out for all the bad things that are happening in the world and that we need to get more and more layers of safety nets around us. Kids these days are raised with their parents doing everything for them and end up having zero exposure to real life. For many people out there, social distancing was not even an issue, since they were already living that lifestyle. Working from home, along with having a few or even none real-life friends, made them feel no difference. Even more, they were now told that their lifestyle is the correct one since it’s the safest.

Humans are social beings, we need the company and the presence of our families and friends to live a healthy and happy life. We need a partner to have a family of our own and the kids that we raise need to be independent enough to explore the world knowing that we are in proximity to help, “IF” needed. Also, after a certain time, we need to let the kids fly from our “nests” and create their own.

The coronavirus showed us not only how vulnerable we are when facing a pandemic, but also how affected we are by the smallest change in our routine. We are so used to living a safe and secure life that we are completely losing it when something disturbs our balance. Humanity has been through a lot and it has proven how adaptable we really are, this is not the first nor will it be the last pandemic that we will see.

Freedom is a basic need and right for every living being, or at least it should be, so gaining it back should bring us relief and should make us want to live a better life starting now, not scare us of what might happen “if”. There will always be “ifs” in our lives, we just have to do our best to live and work around those.

Note: This is not in any means an invite to be reckless in the time to come, we should maintain the social distance and follow the rules that are imposed by each country. I am positive that in the months to come, the virus will have fewer victims and by keeping the numbers low we can help the health system and the scientists that are working on creating a vaccine for the virus.

Life in the Time of Covid-19

It has been a few weeks since the quarantine life took over our normal lives and I feel like we are now starting to feel more and more anxious about it being over. Getting back to a now lost normality is on everyone’s mind and we cannot wait for the lockdown measures to be lifted so that we can once again go outside and enjoy what is left of spring. When this is all going to be over, what lessons should we remember?

It’s all a matter of perspective 

Whether we like it or not, the crisis that was started by the virus was one that we might’ve needed to set our priorities right. We are a guest on Earth and we need to respect nature. The virus could have been a lot worst, and even more, people could have died in case the measures of the lockdown wouldn’t have been taken.

Understanding what are the things that matter most in life was a lesson that we were all faced ti take at once. Freedom, the ability to see our friends and family, socialization, traveling, and in some cases work, were all striped in a second.

Many people lost their jobs, businesses are struggling and many life events were put on hold. Some got sick, and others lost loved ones in the battle with the virus. The world’s economy is now in danger and the tourism industry is on its knees. There will be an aftermath of this, even long after the restrictions are lifted, but we should be keeping in mind today’s feelings.

Even in times like this not all is lost, we should start looking at this from a different perspective. A retrospection of our lifestyle will be needed to realize what we can change to reduce our footprint on Earth. How we can do better and perhaps better prepare for next time.

The lucky ones

Being able to continue my work from home, having a stable environment and enough savings to make sure the effect of the virus will not be felt made me realize that I am among the lucky ones. I was in isolation along with my partner and he was still allowed to go to work, even if the business has suffered a major hit.

My family is still safe and I was able to go out for exercising and for walking my dog, even if for a short period of time and close to my home. The supply from the supermarkets was never low and the people quickly understood that there is no need for hoarding food, there is plenty left for everyone.

If you are one as well, together we need to help those who weren’t so lucky. Buying local should be on everyone’s mind today,  helping out people how are in need, volunteering, and trying to make a difference for those how took the fall.

Savings and investing during the pandemic

I am not in the trading domain and I do not have any experience with investments, therefore I went with the safest (for me) way and I decided that during this time I will not make any big purchases or invest in any companies. Perhaps many will say the exact opposite and perhaps they are right, but given my circumstances and the information that I have, I decided to play safe.

I was on the market on buying a house or land to build one, but I have put that plan on hold until the market will be a little more stable. Also, I have put on pause any big investment items that I thought about purchasing (car or designer pieces) since I am not sure if there will be an economic crisis and how bad it will be.

Even if I have always focused on paying my debts and on saving, during this time I think we should all understand that having a safety buffer for things like these is extremely important. Adjusting the budget and maybe evaluating the spending habits are definitely worth investigating.

A traveler in your own city/country 

This year will definitely not be the best time for travelers, but fear not, there is always a solution. The list of local places that I have always thought of going but never actually did, will now be used to schedule short trips. The restaurants that I want to check from my home town are on my plans as well.

Yes, it will be hard not to look for plane tickets and delay all the plans that I had for this year, yet I know that right now it’s the best and safest option. All of those places will still be there next year, so there is no need to rush things.

Apartment vs house 

All of my life I have lived in the city and in an apartment, therefore when I decided to buy one that was the most logical decision. Now, after experiencing life indoors I realized that having a house might actually be worth the commute.

I do believe that many will feel the same and in the upcoming period, we will all be hunting for a house. I do not know if the real estate market will be affected in the long term, but right now what I have seen is that houses are staying less than ever on the market. So if you are like me, then brace yourself there will be a battle to get a house these following months.

The virus has changed our lifestyle but this will not last forever. We will eventually recover and move on with our lives. We will be allowed to get out of our houses and many countries are lifting restrictions right now. The economy will bounce back in time and we will all heal from what happened. What we should still keep in mind though is how we felt during this time and the promises that we have made to ourselves.

In the end, it will be ok, if it’s not ok yet, then it means it’s not the end. #staysafe

 

Most Heroes are 3 feet Underground

Leaving aside the Hollywood interpretation of a hero with underwear showing and the ability to fly or move mountains, the “human” perspective of it can be found all around us. People who put themselves second and do good for the sake of others, they can be doctors, police officers, or just a random person jumping in a river to save someone else. But are they glorified or are they just waiting to be killed by their lifestyle?

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In the context of the pandemic, where many doctors got sick and even lost their lives, can we really blame the ones that decided to quit or retire when they were most needed? Is this a sign of betrayal, self conservation, or just a cry for help? Many will qualify this as a soldier deserting and running from the battlefield, others will say that in countries where they didn’t have protection or they were asked to come to work even if they were positive with COVID-19, they are to be understood. I do think it’s wrong to run, I do think that we all chose our careers knowingly and we all take into consideration the risks, but I also know that in times like these, being the hero means absolutely nothing. Going to war without a weapon is suicide and let’s face it, none will even remember their names once this is all gone.

During his 20s, my dad used to be part of the rescue team from the mountains. He would go save anyone who got lost, trapped in the snow or injured. A team of a couple of people would always risk their lives to save others, but as impressive as that sounds the truth was a bit different. People would be so stupid or stubborn to go behind their backs, not dressed appropriately, sometimes wearing sandals when on the top of the mountain snow could be found, with kids or alone, going off the trail, or on closed trails just because they could. When they would get in trouble those idiots would call and demand that the same people who told them not to climb, now come and rescue them.

In one year the snow was very heavy, a person got lost, although there was a restriction of going up the mountain, that person ignored it and now called to ask for help. The rescue team responded to the call and went to search for him, but not all returned, one of them fell because of the snow and died. He had a small girl at home and a wife. In the upcoming years, the old team would gather for Christmas to give candy to the little girl, but in time they stopped, they had families of their own or they just moved to a different city. Due to the stupidity of one, the life of another was lost. They ended up finding and saving the idiot but with the cost of the life of a hero. Looking back my dad says that he was crazy to do that, even though he loved the mountain it was not worth losing your life for others, yet the young him was convinced he was doing the noble thing. None even remembers his ex-teammate, his kid grew-up without her dad while the other one lived happily and told the story of when he was saved by the rescue squad.

Getting back to 2020 and the pandemic that is now going around the world, we have a new team of heroes that do their best to save as many lives as possible. Facing the enemy without appropriate gear, having to wash the masks that should be single-use, and with a system that is far from perfect to fight as well. Those are the ones that we now blame for wanting to save their lives, to put their families first. How would you feel if a parent, a spouse or a kid would be in the first line without the equipment they need? Would you judge them the same? Or would you find an excuse for them?

And even given these facts, the number of quitters is very small, the number of volunteers that decided to step in is huge. All around the world, there are campaigns to gather appropriate gear for the medical staff, restaurants and bars offer food and coffee for free and even cab companies offer free rides for anyone who works in the hospitals. New heroes emerge every day, people who genuinely want to do good. And right now the world relies on them.

If once this is all over the world would remember them, that is hard to guess, if you would ask me the answer is no, but that should never be the reason to do good in the first place. We act the way we do because that is what makes us feel good, not because of the fame or the gratitude that the world would express. There will be always those who change the course of history because they put themselves second, the ones who impacted lives with their abilities to fight and face the danger. Unfortunately, those will also be among the victims and will be forgotten in time, but that doesn’t mean that their effort would be for nothing, they will go by doing what they loved most.

There is a saying in Romania, that is better to live a single day as an eagle, rather than a full life as a chicken. The heroes that we now see fighting, those are the eagles that sometimes are saving other eagles and that is what counts. It’s up to each and every one of us to decide what we want to be in life, but also we need to understand that we have no right to judge from the comfort of our homes.

 

A Travelers Worst Nightmare

I think I speak in the name of quite a few travelers out there that we never thought that our passion will come to an abrupt end with the new pandemic that has taken over the world. Even though I know this might sound shallow, for many this was the fuel keeping us going and when this was taken away, we felt lost.

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Even though I know I am not at the level where I would travel full time and I could sustain myself from this lifestyle, I still feel like a huge part of my life was stripped and that now I might not be able to get it back just as fast as I initially thought. I monitored the situation ever since it began, especially with a trip to Africa planned at the end of February, but somehow I thought this will never become a world problem, but it will still be a China problem. As much as I would like to be politically correct, it’s the third time this happens for the same bloody reason, eating wildlife. I do not understand why there weren’t taken any actions taken after the last 2 viruses, but I will keep this speech for a different article.

Questions as: would we able to make it stop before we are all sick? Will we have a vaccine fast enough? Will we find a treatment that can save the lives of our loved ones? Those are all on our mind, along with: when will it be safe for me to travel again?

The past few years we experienced a boom in traveling on the plane tickets affordable to everyone, exotic destinations that became a norm on social media and we all took advantage of the wanderlust trend. But will it all be the same after this? Will the economy of the world be strong enough for the tourism industry, one of the worst affected areas, to bounce back? Or will we be thrown in a new game where traveling will be a luxury that only a few will afford?

I still see some nomads that refused to be chased by the virus and keep their current plans in place. A part of me thinks that it’s good that they kept going, but the other one knows that in times like these where countries could start a war in 5 seconds and when the medical system is down, it’s not a good idea to be far from home. Also, even the wild ones should listen to the authorities’ advice to stay indoors and isolated.

Following your passion should come second to responsibility, as much as you would want something, it’s important to understand that some reckless actions could cost lives, innocent lives. As much as it hurts me to make this call, we should all stop traveling, pause our pleasure, and think big, the action of the individual will change the history for generations.

Perhaps this was the awaking that we all needed to understand how lucky we are but also how fragile. Our fate can change in a blink of an eye and there is nothing that we can do about it. I have a feeling that once this is over the planes will be full, everyone will try to follow as many as their dreams as possible. The need to return to a once normality will be on everyone’s list, but the aftermath will still to be seen. If there will be another economic crisis, if we will be able to bounce back to our routine or if our days as world travelers will come to an end.

These days are the worst nightmare for everyone, we are trapped inside with spring-blooming outside and an invisible enemy lurking in the shadow. I look at an empty sky that was once filled with airplanes. I look at the deserted airports that are now closing because of the restriction and feel the loss. I turn to my travel photography to keep me dreaming of the moment I can resume my passion.

Working from Home: Tips and Tricks

I have to admit that staying indoors it’s not a big problem for me, furthermore, I can now avoid commuting to work and I am finally up to date with laundry :-p. But I know for many people out there the change of scenery came with a lot of headaches, so I decided to share with the world a couple of tips on how to be more efficient and how you can make this period seem like a blessing in disguise.

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In 2012 I graduated college and the first job was on an online platform, for about 8 months I worked completely remote until I managed to find a “real” job. I will not lie and say that all those months were sunshine and smiles, but a big part of it was more than OK, it was what I needed. Fast forward 8 years, I am still constantly working from home since the domain allows it a couple of days a month. Clearly, if I would have to chose I would go to the office, but given the special circumstances, I know that those of us who can work from home, are privileged. So here is my advice for doing it right.

Set up your alarm clock at the same hour as if you would go to the office

Trust me, it will help you once you go back, and also it will prevent you from oversleeping and starting the day in a rush. The morning routine should remain untouched.

Even more, with the extra time that you get because you no longer can commute, you can do some stretching or even a morning workout, read a few chapters and enjoy your morning cup of coffee in peace. Also, don’t forget about breakfast, you need to get food at regular hours as well.

Stay away from the TV

These are dark times and it seems like a good idea to open the TV and get the latest news but trust me it’s not. You do not want to start your day in panic mode, there will be plenty of time throughout the day to get your information. The morning should be for you and right now you are in the comfort of your own house, you are safe and the world can wait for a few minutes.

Have your desk prepared

This part might be easier said than done, because not everyone might afford to have a room designed for working, if you are among the lucky ones then you can proceed to the next tip, if you are among the others, well let’s make what you have work.

A big part of my life I stayed in a studio, so I had to improvise a working space. One of the key items is NOT to work from an uncomfortable position for your back ( trust me, back pain is real and is no fun at all). You will need a desk or a table and a good chair. You can use the kitchen table or any other space that allows you to have your laptop, mouse, and a cup of coffee/water/tea. The ideal minimum length would be as long as your elbows if you would set them on the table.

Another important aspect is the background. This can also be fixed with tools that will blur the background if needed, but if possible set your space in a way in which you can enable your camera and your dignity to remain intact (now might be the best time to clean the room and don’t forget dildos or other personal items in view sight).

If you can choose, pick a place where you can get natural light, idly near a window. It is important for your eyes as I will state in a future tip 😉

Start work at the same hour and follow the checklist rule

Same as with the waking up hour, it is best to keep the old habits alive, your team needs to know they can count on you just the same. For me, it’s important to have a look over what happened the day before and go through the emails before my team gets online so that I can better facilitate what they need and even forecast some of those needs.

At the beginning of the day, I always look to see what I need to accomplish if there are meetings or important aspects that need my attention and I ALWAYS write them down. Once an item is done, I mark it and move on to the next. Having a backlog of items allows me to better manage my time and effort. Also, I try to do most of these in the morning, when I have more energy and I always make sure the items that require me to pay attention to details are done when my capacity to concentrate is at full.

Take a break and “leave” the office

It happened often for me to be so concentrated that I forgot to get up and stretch. Or a full day to go by without eating or drinking water. Make sure you set up a schedule for breaks. It can be every hour to get up and do 10 pushups or go get a glass of water etc. Whatever works for you, but it’s important to do this regularly. If you see that you cannot follow through, set the alarm on your phone to remind you.

Try to say away from distractions 

The opposite of being completely lost in your work is being unable to focus. For that, you will need to clear the environment and make sure you reduce the number of distractions. For example, don’t turn on the TV, if you want to see the news, use the internet and a reliable source for 10 minutes and then close the tab.

Facebook can also be a big distraction if you keep on scrolling to see what is new. The same goes for all social media platforms. You can take a break and have a peek, but only if you know you can limit yourself to that.

Even your pets can be a distraction and can make you lose your focus, so make sure you don’t let them interrupt you all the time. If they require your attention give it to them but don’t pet your cat for 8 hours.

Have a proper lunch break 

Try to avoid skipping lunch. Make sure you have the food ready or prepare it during your break. Never eat in front of the laptop and if you do, at least watch something positive. Take your time during this break and enjoy your food. Your brain needs to take a break and let it focus on digesting your food.

Stay away from snacks 

Being indoor and on a resting setup, the body might ask for more food because it can think that you are preparing for intense effort. So make sure you don’t let yourself fooled into eating all the time. If you want a snack, make sure you have some seeds, nuts, or fruits available and you say away from chips or chocolate. For me, this one is one of the biggest challenges and that is why you will normally don’t find any snacks in my home.

Take an eye break and get fresh air

The fact that you are looking at a monitor for a lot of time, your eyes also need a break. Therefore, give that to them by looking off the window to distant objects. If you don’t have a window near you, look away in the distance. Make this exercise as often as possible and from time to time, open the window to also get some oxygen.

Encourage people to turn the camera on

It is important to encourage human connections and using the web camera is one of the first steps. We need to know that we are still the same people and we are still working together. I have even used the opportunity to have a coffee break with my team where we would just discuss random stuff and enjoy our coffee.

I cannot stress this enough, the fact that we no longer work in the same place doesn’t have to mean we are not the same people. Keeping habits alive is extremely important.

Don’t forget to clock out 

Prepare for the next day by cleaning up the workspace, store your laptop away, and make sure you can use the space as it was initially intended if you don’t have a dedicated desk. It’s important to have a clear border between work and personal life, so make sure you don’t respond to email all night.

Working from home can be easily seen as an opportunity, perhaps to show the company that the teams cam perform just as well wherever they are. To you, to prove that you can focus on your work and maybe switch to a digital nomad lifestyle, to your loved ones to protect them and clearly to the world to help stop spreading this awful disease that took our freedom away. #stayathome #staysafe

What the Virus Cannot Take From Us

I have to admit that I have never thought it will reach up to this point, that the Coronavirus will get to impact our lives this way and that even if I knew some of us will get sick, it will create this epidemic of fear and hate. Perhaps this will be the biggest challenge that our generation has to face, but even in these dark days, there is hope.

The news of officially declaring the COVID-19 a pandemic caught me on the beautiful island of Zanzibar, the trip that I wanted so badly was interrupted by the horrible news of the virus infection spreading like crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I knew about it and I kept an eye out for what was going on, even before leaving at the end of February, but unfortunately, it all went south from there.

It was just two days before my departure, that I got to see the fear that took over the world. My initial route was through Belgium, and because of the news and all the fuss made by the people around us we ended up buying new plane tickets to go through Dubai. In one day, the relaxation and the good vibes were all gone. Panic mode was set, we spent quite a little money on the new tickets, and the stress level of not knowing what was going on reached new heights.

We arrived home almost 2 days earlier, but what we found here, was different from what the media was saying. Yes people were scared, yes we were advised to stay indoors, but the world went on with its normal course. Clearly, we regretted the decision to change the flights and the stress that we went through, but we agreed that it was the best decision given the pieces of information that we had.

Leaving aside the news, it’s important to understand that the virus is aggressive and it can be easily transmitted, yet it will only be a real threat to the elderly, people already suffering from a serious condition or for smokers. For the rest of the population, the virus might not even have any symptoms. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t look good, nor should be considered the ones that are vulnerable, unimportant, but we should also know the fact that our economy is now in great danger.

So, the one thing that the virus should and will never take from us is our ability to heal, understand, and keep calm in this period when it looks like all is lost. Humanity has been through worst and we are still here, so there is no real reason to panic.

We should stay indoors, but with our morals up that we will get through this, with the hope that once this is all gone, we will appreciate way more the small things, like the sunrise and the walk in the park. Also, we should continue to help each other, here including the support of the local businesses that rely on us, to continue their work.

Although I am among the lucky ones who can work remotely and will be able to pay the credit card bills at the end of the month, I know it’s important to keep my daily habits alive and don’t stock on toilet paper (what the hell is up with that??). Therefore, it’s important to still trust your favorite restaurant to deliver the food you love, your mechanic to fix your car and your favorite coffee place to send you via UberEats your daily dose of caffeine. The same goes for the other daily habits that we used to have.

For a generation like ours, that never had to face anything truly scary as World Wars, plagues or hunger, the amount of anxiety generated by the possible loss of freedom or the possibility not to be able to get the basic necessities, made it easier for other to spread panic and fear. The media is now poisoning us with terror news, with the idea that it will be the end of the world or that we will not make it to summer. People everywhere are canceling the summer holidays and demanding money back, even if there is no certainty that we will not be able to travel in the months to come. And many other examples, that are only feeding us more fear.

I am optimistic about my trip to Croatia this June, I want to believe that we are now on the edge of having a vaccine or a treatment for the virus and that spring is around the corner and will make this intruder disappear from our lives. Also, I am sure that once this is over, we will all be way more appreciative of the things we have and took for granted. Some of us will be able to open new stores with the amount of supply that was hoarded during this month. :-p

With this being said, I wish you all good health and high moral, we will all get through this together, just don’t forget about the little ones that need our support in the time to come. Stay safe, but don’t go on lockdown, be vigilant, but not paranoia, keep your hopes up and only get your information from reliable sources that don’t take advantage of the situation to create panic.

 

Traveling: Unlocking Istanbul, The Fairest From Them All

It’s been a few years since I’ve last visited Istanbul, yet I still consider it one of the most beautiful cities in the world, history, nature, and architecture, all combined in one of the most powerful ancient places, once named Constantinople, it will sweep you off your feet if you decide to pay it a visit.

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Since I first visited it in 2015 and I do not have the best memory I will try not to add prices, those will no longer be valid anyway. As a bonus, the pictures are with me with blond hair :D.

I always wanted to see the most famous city from Turkey and since it’s only a few hours’ drive from the capital of Romania, Bucharest, I decided to take the trip with one of my high school friends and her brother. We didn’t book anything in advance since the prices are much smaller if taken from there, indeed, you will not get any receipt and you have to bargain for it, but in the end, the difference is pretty big and it’s in your favor. We stayed for 3 nights at a hotel in the city center and we mostly went on foot.

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Probably the most impressive thing is the mosques, Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque, are beyond amazing, not to mention the surroundings. The line was a bit long, but fortunately, we didn’t have to wait in the sun for too long. Take into consideration this when you are planning your trip, we went in July, yet I feel that the weather now is much hotter in summer than it used to be.

We did go over the usual attractions as:  Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Galata Bridge and Tower, Dolmabahce Palace, Rumeli Fortress, Grand Bazaar. We crossed the Bosphorus bridge that links Europe and Asia and, probably the best experience:  the Bosphorus cruise at twilight. Even if I can say that some of them are better than others, if you go, you must see them, absorb the huge amount of history and beauty they offer. Perhaps it’s a personal opinion, but no other city has given me the vibe that Istanbul gave me.

We also tried going to one of the private beaches, yet I do not recommend those, the water was dirty and in 2016 there were just a few women in a bathing suit, perhaps this has changed in the last years, but to me, it was a disappointment. Another thing that was a bit on the bad side, is the huge amount of people trying to trick you into buying tickets, souvenirs or try to attract you to eat in their restaurants. They can be aggressive and I have to admit, this really bothers me, yet I know that for many even the bargaining can be fun.

The Grand Bazaar is beautiful to watch, don’t know if the prices are so good, rumors say that it’s the opposite, I wouldn’t know since I didn’t buy anything from there but from the shops that are lower on the street near the Galata Bridge. Turkish delight, the different baklavas, the fish sandwich that you can get at the docks, along with the famous kebab are all to try while here.

It is true, that if you would have asked me about the trip right after I returned home, I would have told you that is exhausting to keep on fighting back and try not to fall in the tourist traps that are set at all corners, yet the beauty of the city is worth the effort. To me, Istanbul should be on the bucket list of all travelers, since it is only here that you will get to see such architecture and find a history that dates back to the 11th century BC. To this day, for me, it’s the most beautiful city in the world. Not to mention, that is the only city that is on two continents.

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