What is #AirbnbBookProject ?

It was about two months ago. I was sitting at my dark, little office doing very important finance stuff very important finance people do (Meaning automated excel calculations, which we don't even do. Excel does.) I suddenly felt overcome by a feeling that was all too familiar yet too scary for me to act upon ever since I launched my hospitality career in New York.

I don't know exactly why I had felt scared of, but only that I was in my dream career of hotels and that I needed to feel satisfied and grateful for having achieved what I did. Except...I couldn't.

Two months ago, on that day, I finally felt less scared to take a break from finance and just do what gives me pleasure: write about traveling. 

Being a host on Airbnb for many years, I decided that it was time to become a guest and just travel a little bit. With that came the


I will be traveling all over Turkey during July and August, staying at different Airbnb homes, sharing my experiences on Instagram and Twitter under @duyguaktan with the hashtag #AirbnbBookProject. At the end of this travel period, I will write a book about my journey and my hosts' stories in life. Being a strong believer in human connections, especially through travel, my focus will be to reflect the essence of what makes each of my hosts' stories unique and interesting.

I finally know that what attracted me to hospitality was never finance but always the people, places and cultures. It is with this revelation and such excitement that I am embarking on my journey, which is beginning in Istanbul on a wonderful, sunny Tuesday. 

My first host is an Italian lady named Lina; she is an antique collector and has moved to Istanbul 8 years ago with a passion to travel and live in different places around the world.  I can't wait to hear what brought her to Cihangir, the most bohemian and artistic neighborhood in Istanbul.