When Marie left Istanbul, I had been in Turkey almost three weeks. After taking her to Ataturk airport, I remember heading home to our empty apartment feeling worn out, weary, and satiated. I wanted to go home. I was done.
The wonder and newness of my travels had worn off. What had excited me when I first got here – the energy of the city, the different culture smacking me in the heart, the haunting sound of the call to prayer, the craziness of the drivers, the crowded trams – became something different. Now it was the cacophony of horns, the screeching moan of the call to prayer, the over-crowded, smelly trams, the seas of people… I was over it. I wanted to be home.
What was it that seemed so alluring about traveling to foreign countries? Why did I think that this is what I wanted to do with my summer breaks, now that I have a job that offers me the luxury of time off? What kind of woman leaves her husband at home while she goes halfway around the world? These were questions that I asked myself.
Wes, Jessie and Caleb came home later that evening, and it made me feel a little better to have them near. We had a few days with Caleb before he headed back to Kiev and we had a good time together – but I was still struggling with the urge to be home. As Caleb was leaving, he said, “Wow – you guys have ten more days – what are you going to do?” I wondered the same thing. In fact, I toyed around with the idea of changing my flight.
I wanted to come home earlier, particularly because of one new detail. Wes and Jess had just booked their flight home. They were leaving at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 29. I was booked to leave 6:00 a.m. Sunday, June 30.
What was I going to do for 16 hours, alone in Istanbul? The logistics of when to go to the airport and how to get to the airport became a huge dilemma. Leaving at 6:00 a.m. means that I need to be at the airport by at least 4:00 a.m. – but, I prefer to be early rather than late – so leaving the apartment at 3:00 a.m. – even 2:00 a.m. is more reasonable. But do I want to walk to the Metro alone at night, with my luggage? It’s only a block, after all. Or should I call a taxi? Surely I can trust a strange taxi driver to take me to the airport in the middle of the night. Maybe I’ll just go to the airport with Wes and Jess and hang out there for hours and hours – yes, that’s what I’ll do. I won’t be able to bear being alone in the apartment after they leave, anyway.
That is how I was feeling.
I battled with my feelings and emotions and prayed about it – and decided if it’s a reasonable fee to change my flight, then I’ll go home a couple of days early. If it’s not, then it wasn’t meant to be and I will make the most of it – and I’ll figure out the airport thing.
It was way too expensive to change my flight.
And these last ten days with Wes and Jess have been perfect.
Some of the days we explored new sights and some of the days we just chilled in the apartment. We saw a couple of concerts, toured the Black Sea, visited the Princes’ Islands, went to a couple of movies, cooked yummy meals, ate delicious turkish food at local cafes, walked all over (and got sorta-lost in) many other areas of Istanbul, and got our shopping done.
Just spending time with Wes and Jess has been amazing.
It’s about 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning and Wes and Jess just left for the airport. I will be leaving later – in the wee hours of the morning. Tufan, our landlord, has arranged for a cab to pick me up at the apartment.
This span of time alone in the apartment was what I had been dreading the most when I had my “melt-down”. I had told my kids that I didn’t want to be here alone. They were a little surprised that me, the adventurous one (!) was feeling abandoned, but were very sweet about it – and didn’t make fun of me (Wesley said that will come later!). Jessie said she imagined me just relaxing, packing, cleaning things up, reading, napping, and getting ready for the long flight home.
And now that the time is here, the hours that I will spend alone before the taxi takes me to the airport, that is exactly what I will be doing: reading, packing, cleaning, napping, and getting ready for the long flight home.
And I am feeling wonderful!
And I can honestly say that it has been an amazing month – all of it.
And the anticipation of going home fills me with happiness.
And Henry is at our home, waiting for Grandma ♥
“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” Lin Yutang