Two short years

may2015blogGrateful.

Weeks away from moving across the world, I’m trying to savor each moment I have left in Istanbul. Each time I go to a favorite neighborhood I realize it may be the last time I’ll be there. This place is now one of my homes, and although it is not possible to fully discover this city of almost twenty million people, I do know how to find my favorite markets, cultural and historical sights. I’ve learned how to maneuver the busy, crooked streets by foot or using public transportation and find any destination I’m searching for. I’ve learned just enough Turkish to make the locals comfortable with me and I treasure the friendships I’ve made. As I look out over the cityscape with a heart of gratitude, I hope it won’t be long until I visit again.

I’ve spent the weekend packing up my belongings. I was surprised to realize that I’ll likely need to purchase another piece of luggage to get my things back to the States. When I arrived here two years ago, I brought the fewest of necessity items, but since then I’ve discovered Turkish towels, Afghanistan pottery and Uzbekistan textiles. Who can resist this city that spans 700-square miles? There are so many Turkish delights! And since I was home last summer, I’ve visited seven more countries, buying small tokens of remembrance in each.

What an adventure I’ve been on! My mind has expanded in all directions through the conversations I’ve had and the books I’ve read. But, I’m weary. I’m longing for calm. I miss my family and friends. I’m eager to be home, on the other side. I am looking forward to being taken care of by people who know and love me well.

Istanbul, I love you. You’ve changed me and you’ve educated me beyond what I thought was possible. Be well, my friend.

 

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4 thoughts on “Two short years

  1. Linda chambers says:

    Anita,
    Since I did not make it to Istanbul while you were there, maybe I can return with you.
    I remember you packing and repackaged those 6 tubs.
    Enjoy your days!
    See you in San Diego in November!
    Linda

    • Oh, Linda, you were a Godsend to me in those last days in Dallas. What a generous and caring soul you are! Ha! If you’ll remember, those 6 tubs ended up being only 4 at the end of packing and repacking! Most of it was well thought out. There were only a few things I brought that ended up being completely unnecessary! Do you remember our dream about Spain? Maybe we can now plan that! Send me your dates, via email, that you’ll be in SD!

  2. Suzanne says:

    Oh, Anita, I feel both happy and sad on your behalf. I am envious you will soon be in San Diego — I don’t get there until August 2. (At least I will see my beloved Colorado family and friends for July 4th after a stop in Philadelphia for ISTE.)

    I am in agreement that we love our secondary homes — yet we are soooo tired by the end of the school year! It’s the season soon for healing our wounds, savoring the joyful memories, and resting until fully human again. Then I know you will shortly be busy again planning that wedding.

    May your journey home be safe and please stay in touch.

    Suzanne from Abu Dhabi

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