EVENTS: INFLOW Travel Summit 2017 in Istanbul, Turkey

Have you seen those Instagrammers with like 4.9 million followers… or even 50k followers? Shoot, I’m impressed with 1k folks out there! Or maybe you follow a popular YouTube channel or website like this. They are travel bloggers, luxury lifestyle writers, or even just someone that records their life riding around on a motorcycle.

For a long time, Facebook was ‘my jam’! That was how I connected with others and I loved it! (I also admit that moving overseas for 4 years at a critical social media boom period was terrible for my tech savviness…) But now-a-days people have found ways to share their story through almost every kind of media out there!  And their growing popularity has given them the ability to work as online influencers with brands, hotels, and other companies seeking this type of promotion.

Last week Turkey held its first ever INFLOW Travel Summit. The INFLOW team created this Brand-2-Influencers (B2I) summit to bring brands together with leading influencers on an international scale! This 2 day event started with sessions by leading influencers from YouTube, Instagram, and Travel Bloggers with presentations from Turkish Airlines and Switzerland Tourism. The 2nd day was full of B2I meetings.

While most of the speakers and popular influencers were flown in (courtesy of Turkish Airlines) as part of a FAM trip, paid tickets were available for different levels of the conference. Tickets started with the 1st day of speaker sessions, and then you could choose up towards to a full 3 day regular ticket.

A few extra perks of the full 3-day ticket was 3 nights accommodations at the Swissotel in Besiktas, opening welcome dinner sponsored by Swiss Tourism, after party at the 360 Istanbul night club, closing dinner at the Divine Hotel, and more intimate time with other influencers after a busy day!


Our room at the Swiss Hotel
Cozy cozy bed!
Welcome dinner sponsored by Switzerland Tourism
Amazing menu – The lamb just melted in your mouth!
Best place to wake up at!

Here are a few reasons you might consider going to the next INFLOW Travel Summit:

  1. You are an influencer.
  2. You want to learn more about become an influencer.
  3. You are a brand or company looking for online promotion through influencers.

Why did I go?

  1. We have a podcast about our journey as an expat in Turkey and our travels. Make sure to check it out here.
  2. I have enjoyed travel writing and I would love to do more with it.
  3. Great opportunity to network with others.

BONUS: It was my birthday! Who doesn’t want to spend their birthday with a bunch of fun people! (Actually, I know Jason would not choose this for his birthday! Love you honey!)


Conference time! Day 1
INFLOW Welcome
Planet D and OurAwesomePlanet
Representing our home state of Iowa and our current country of residence, Turkey!
Day 1 Interview Sessions
Little excited to meet the Turkish YouTube Food star, Idil Tatari
Great start to a birthday morning with the view of the bosphorus from the Swiss Otel
Birthday tradition! Cake #1 for breakfast! My love is so thoughtful!
Food was on point at the Swiss Hotel
Celebrating my birthday at lunch – Cake #2 😉
Dinner Party at the Divan Hotel – Land of Legends Theme Park characters
Dinner Party at the Divan Hotel

My thoughts:

Overall, I really enjoyed the INFLOW summit. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the presentation, videography, and graphics were very well done. They had a translation system as well for both Turkish and English speakers. I only saw a couple of areas that could be improved; such as having the summit schedule sooner, and knowing more information about how to prepare for the B2I meetings.

This summit gave me a great motivation for moving forward with my website and encouraged me to continue pursuing my dreams. Since I live in Izmir, it was helpful to have a meeting in Turkey. I loved representing other expats at the B2I meeting, and it was helpful to start conversations about future representation with them!

Questions for you:

Would you attend something like this near you?

Have you attended a summit like this before?


Resources and Articles about the event:

Dolmabahçe Palace near the Swiss Hotel
Beşiktaş Soccer Stadium



HOLIDAY: Children’s Day “Çocuk Bayramı” in Turkey

National Cupcake Day, National Pancake Day, National Caramel Day, National Be Kind to a Stranger Day…

Jason and I recently listened to a podcast episode about holidays in America. It seems like all of these “National Holidays” came out of nowhere and we have no idea how they got there. But this episode explained how they all came to be. The short story is that Congress passed a lot of commemorative days back in the ’80s, but now a holidays are submitted to a calendar company for unofficial approval for just about any holiday you can think of.

But moving on…

because, you know, we now live in Turkey…

and there are a couple things you should know…

1. There are a few unique national holidays here that we don’t usually celebrate in the states. (or at least, I didn’t)
2. Turkey is serious about their National holidays.

Which leads us to Turkey’s national holiday in April known as Çocuk Bayramı.

Çocuk Bayramı, also know as “Children’s Day”, is a BIG HUGE deal. There is also a “Gençler Bayramı”, Youth Holiday, here in May, and all the school shut down for it… (P.s. – you just learned like 3 new Turkish words there! Çocuk – child, Genç – youth/young person, and Bayram – holiday)

Children Day Celebrations. Picture credit to TRT.

So what is Çocuk Bayramı?

The official name of this holiday is “National Sovereignty and Children’s Day“. In Turkey, it is held on the anniversary of the founding of the parliament in 1920, the holiday is viewed by Turks as a gift from Ataturk not just to Turkish children, but to children of the world (Told you, MAJOR bigtime).

Children Day Celebrations. Picture credit to TRT

So what happens?

Schools have special ceremonies to celebrate the day. Children all over Turkey dress up in special outfits or the national costume for Çocuk Bayrami. Boys who dress in the national costume typically wear baggy silk pants, a colorful vest, a white shirt and a sequined hat, called a tepelik. Girls wear a long colorful gown called a kaftan and an ornate veil. Many children perform in plays or musicals. We actually saw a large group of about 500 kids practicing for a ceremony.

Since 1979 the centrepiece of the holiday, TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Cooperation) and the state TV company sponsors a worldwide children’s festival in Ankara.  Children from many nations are invited to Turkey to take part in the creative and beautiful events. You can read more about it here.

Children Day Celebrations. Picture credit to TRT.

In the past, over 150 different countries have participated with about 30,000 children. While it is usually celebrated in Ankara, in 2000 other big cities of Turkey such as İstanbul, Antalya, İzmir, Bursa, Konya, Gaziantep, started their own celebrations. This year, Children Festival will be held April 18-26 in a city called Nevşehir which is in the central region of Turkey . About 30 countries are expected to participate to this festival. I encourage you to check out more pictures here.

Children Day Celebrations. Picture credit to TRT.


Children Day Celebrations. Picture credit to TRT


Children Day Celebrations. Picture credit to TRT

The celebrations do not stop there. Hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, and practically everyone else celebrates by having festivals or shopping sales! It is a huge celebration for families here which is a central part to the culture.

So if you are in Turkey, be on the lookout for children’s events near you! A few events I found in Izmir:
List of events via
Folk Art Towers
Mavi Bahçe
Swiss Otel

Questions for the readers:

Turkish readers:
How did you celebrate Cocuk Bayramı this year?

Non-Turkish readers:
Do you have a National Children’s Day in your country?
What is a cool holiday you celebrate near you?


Children Day Celebrations. Picture credit to TRT