Istanbul and the end of Europe

2014-01 - Alec in Istanbul

What a great city. I came here with no expectations, which I think is usually the best way to go, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how comfortable and interesting the place is. Turkey is going to be right near the top of my “I want to go back” list. Still, after a little over five months, I’m ready to leave Europe. Everything here feels familiar now, so it’s time for a change of scenery.

I’ve also been really glad to be back in a hostel again after a couple of weeks of almost completely solo travel. The Greek islands and Southwest Turkey were nice, but having to stay alone in cheap hotels has made me appreciate how good it feels to have some company around. They may start out as strangers, but hostel friendships are made quickly. It’s amazing to see how little time it takes for people to connect. This whole experience has certainly made me feel more open to that process than I ever was at home.

At this stage I’m ready to stop travelling alone. It’s been a great experience, but I find more and more than I want to be able to share it. Meeting new friends for a few days is fun and exciting, but nothing compares to the connection we feel with relationships that are years or decades old. I’ve always known that in my mind, but actually experiencing it has been so important.

One last thing for now. Dragging a broken heart around the world is not something I recommend. Do avoid it if you can.

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