I’m flying out of Istanbul tomorrow morning. I feel as if we’ve just met and it’s already time to say goodbye. I loved your ocean views in Bodrum and the orange trees in Turgutreis. I walked through your ancient ruins of Ephesus, Aphrodisia, Hierapolis, and Olympus. In your night, I hiked in the darkness to the eternal flame and in your morning, I rose above the earth in a hot air balloon. In your buses, I lost many hours of sleep. I hiked the trails of Cappadocia, learned new games and drank tea. Lots and lots of tea. You gave me the kindest strangers, the warmest homes, and the best breakfasts.
And now with a bulging backpack and a heavy heart, I will take an assortment of candies, spices, medallions and gifts back to my friends and family so they may experience part of your culture, history and love. Thank you.
Until we meet again,