The Turkey Diaries: New Year's Eve in Istanbul
Guys. I have never had a more epic New Year's Eve in my life and I've had some pretty amazing ones in my lifetime. Jeremy and I wrapped up our second night in Istanbul pretty early so we could head to the New Year's Eve party hosted by the hostel we were staying at. We weren't sure what to expect but it led to a crazy and incredible night - the perfect kind of night to ring in any year.
The hostel decked out their indoor/outdoor rooftop, which is usually home to their communal lounge and dining area, with New Year's Eve decorations and served us some delicious dinner to start off the night. Jeremy and I didn't know anyone else but since it was a hostel the party was full of other travelers from numerous countries. We ended up meeting people our age from Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, and Spain. The owner of the hostel was Turkish but he had worked in New Jersey for a few years which we bonded over for quite some time.
As the night went on, the owner of the hostel kept encouraging us to start raging, even taking away chairs and tables to force us to dance. Many of the Germans that traveled together remained sitting and the owner kept cracking jokes about them and prodding them to get up. In the meantime, I was taking advantage of the open bar. The drink selection was pretty limited which I blame on the amateur bartender (Turks aren't the biggest experts on drinking for obvious reasons), so I spent the majority of my night drinking one too many gin and tonics and taking pictures with strangers who quickly became friends. I'm also pretty sure I was the only girl doing any dancing.
Love Culture Black Peplum Top (similar)
H&M Raspberry Skirt (similar)
DKNY Black Tights
Wet Seal Back Bow Heels (similar)
The one letdown of the night was the lack of fireworks. The hostel claimed that we would be able to see all the fireworks over the Bosphorus River from the rooftop, but we weren't nearly high enough to see even the biggest displays. Once midnight hit, Jeremy and I drunkenly sprinted out of the hotel to Galata Bridge in hopes of seeing the last of the fireworks. Because I was wearing heels, I made a quick and dirty decision to take them off and run in my tights. I wonder what passerby-ers thought when a little, shoe-less, Asian girl sprinted past them cackling into the night. In the end, we saw a total of three miniature fireworks and snapped a picture to remember the moment before heading back to the hostel.
By the time we got back to the party, everyone was getting restless and itching to see what the scene was like out on the streets. Stephan, the Italian I'm pictured with above, kept telling us to "follow the sounds of the night" and although I'm pretty sure I heard absolutely nothing, I was in the state of mind to believe anything. We ended up wandering all over the streets of Istanbul with a giant group of Europeans for hours on end until we ended up at a bar that I still don't remember the name of. All I remember is dancing my butt off, laughing continuously, and spending hours trying to convince a guy from Brussels that no, I was not the love of his life. Good night? Great night. I love Europeans.
I'm starting to think I should ring in all my New Year celebrations abroad.