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Meg Nesterov

Freelance travel blogger and publicist

37

3

Masallah, bebek: Vera's Istanbul

I was an American expat in Istanbul for over two years, and my daughter Vera was born there. It's one of our favorite cities in the world (and we've traveled all over, she's been to 13 countries in 18 months!), and an especially great place for babies. 

I write a lot about travel with a baby, especially in Istanbul, and I'd eventually like to create city maps/guides for travelers with children. We focus not so much on "family-friendly" activities and places, but stuff you can do while your child is still small (and not demanding trips to Disney!): cafes that can fit a stroller and you can sip wine and people-watch, quirky museums with fun things for baby to point at, local shops selling cool toys and nice old lady knitted things, etc.

For this first map, I'd like to focus on our favorite spots in Istanbul. This might be more personal (where she was born, our first apartment, etc) or it might be broader, with tips for good places with a baby. I might pull a lot from this neighborhood Google Map I created.

*Maşallah is Turkish for "God bless you," but it's not necessarily religious, you might say it to someone who just got a new job or good news. You hear it all the time for babies, we hear it several times walking down the street in Istanbul!

*Updated 3/11: A bit behind but adding my exercises.*

-For hand-drawn map, I drew the route I walked to the hospital in Istanbul when I was in labor with Vera. In July, you don't want to get stuck in the back of a taxi in rush hour traffic! It was *only* a kilometer, so I stopped every few blocks when I had contractions, my husband following behind with my suitcase. It's also the neighborhood we lived in for her first year (and for all of our two+ years in Istanbul, so this could also be a basis for the final project.

-For Imaginary Cities: I made a sort of conglomerate country using an American Airlines route map, crossing time zones, rivers, and borders. I call it "It's 5pm somewhere!" I might use some airline maps in or as inspiration for final project.

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