I’m Lisa Morrow.

I’m Lisa Morrow, a sociologist, author and travel writer originally from a quiet leafy suburb in Sydney, Australia. Istanbul has been my home now for more than 13 years but my journey here was anything but direct. After finishing high school I went straight to university where I failed to find my niche.

I dropped out and worked as a public servant, cleaner, sales assistant, waitress, bar maid and car counter. Eventually I saved up enough to go overseas and hitchhiked through the UK, camped out in Europe and arrived in Turkey just as the Gulf War was starting.

Two months in the then small central Anatolian village of Göreme changed my life. I went back to Australia and graduated with a BA Honours Degree in Sociology from Macquarie University. An academic career beckoned but the call to travel was louder and I eventually moved to Turkey permanently .

I’ve now lived in Istanbul and other parts of Turkey for more than 15 years, and have travelled around the country for even longer so according to my local friends I’m almost Turkish. I speak Turkish too and have made it my mission to uncover lesser known sites in Istanbul and elsewhere.

Website, guidebook, audio walking tour & more

If you’re passionate about travel and want to experience and learn about the Istanbul and the country the Turks call home, I’ve got you covered. Armchair travellers will love my three essay collections and travel memoir and can also explore Istanbul through this website.

Inside Out In Istanbul is the first stop for planning your trip to Istanbul and Turkey, while my alternative travel guide Istanbul 50 Unsung Places lets you discover the city with confidence, without getting lost. That’s because each entry not only includes history and anecdotes, they also come with detailed information on how to get there by public transport, right down to the name of the stops and which way to walk once you alight the ferry, bus, train or tram. Half the entries are on the Asian side of the city, still largely overlooked in major guides. My audio self-guided walking tour of Istanbul called Stepping back through Chalcedon: Kadikoy Walk, available through Voice Map, is the perfect addition if you want to dive deeper.

What I’ve learned over the years also inspired me to write four other books. There’s my memoir Istanbul Dreams, about what it was really like to move to Istanbul for good. It’s been described as blisteringly honest so hold on to your hat! Then there’s my three essay collections.

They range from reading to be in the moment as I lead you through daily life Inside Out In Istanbul, learning as much about myself as about Turkey when I travel from the known to the unknown in Exploring Turkish Landscapes (also available in Turkish) and Longing for Istanbul, my tribute to a city I love dearly because I’ve seen it from both sides, the good and the bad.

Freelance Work

My byline has appeared in The New York Times, CNN Travel, The Guardian, BBC Travel and elsewhere. You can see more of my writing by clicking the tab at the top of this page. If you want me to write for you, get in touch via the contact tab.