If you’d ask me a year ago where I’d be today, I certainly wouldn’t have said “getting ready to spend ten days in Turkey before I start a masters program at the University of Pennsylvania.” Nothing like a little surprise for yourself! Here’s 30 thoughts I’ve had in the days leading up to my trip to Turkey (with a layover in Moscow on the way):
1. Tell me again why I booked through a third party instead of the airline directly? Oh, right. Good deal. Saving a few dollars is not worth the hassle of booking a flight through a third party.
2. MY RUSSIAN VISA HAS ARRIVED!
3. “How long are you in Russia again? You got a visa for 17 hours?” Yes, and I probably spent longer than that on my visa application…good news: it is valid for three years.
4. Wow, the visa for Turkey was a whole lot easier (and less expensive).
5. …but to think you’ll get to see the Christmas market in Moscow.
6. …but to think you’ll get to freeze to death at the Christmas market in Moscow.
7. If you’re reading this and have ever invited me on a trip/ suggested we travel somewhere and weren’t serious about it, know that I always am. It takes serious restraint for me to not book flights and trains all the time.
8. New year in a new country!
9. Celebrating New Year’s Eve eight hours early is probably going to make me very aware of the time difference.
9. I’m staying with locals!
10. I couldn’t be more excited to have an authentic experience.
11. Did I mention my Turkish friend Idil is vegetarian? For once, I’ll be able to easily find local food that I can actually eat!
12. Am I going to be able to find ice cream in the winter? It’s very crucial that I try ice cream.
13. I’m so thankful to have such amazing support on this trip: Idil and her family, a museum colleague that I met at a conference, and others who have offered to connect me with people they know in Istanbul.
14. How is this trip less than twenty days away?
15. Seriously: WE ARE IN THE “TEENS” OF THE COUNTDOWN. THE TEENS.
16. Two more weeks of work and then eighteen. days. off.
17. Wait a second, I never booked that hotel in Cappadocia. I really need to do that.
18. Shoutout to Felicia, a women that I met on my group tour in Egypt! She’s 100% my travel inspiration: she was in Egypt solo. We’re both in Girls LOVE Travel, a Facebook travel support group with 700k+ other women. She recommended a place for me to stay in Cappadocia when she saw that I was searching for a good option.
19. Another bit of inspiration from Felicia: Egypt was her 50th country (before she turned 50!) I’m aiming for 30 before 30: Russia and Turkey check numbers 19 and 20 off of my list.
20. There is not a memory card in my camera. There is not a memory card in my camera. There is not a memory card in my camera. Do not forget to put the memory card in your camera.
21. I left my travel towel in Dublin.
22. I need a new travel towel.
23. I need to get glue tape so I can journal/ scrapbook as I go! That was a really effective way to journal.
24. Who am I kidding? I literally never finished journaling about Ireland. It’s been nine months.
25. I was going to read “The Museum of Innocence” before the trip. I have 448 pages to go.
26. “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” -Oscar Wilde. [Note: no tattoos this time]
27. Does this count as going to Asia?
28. The media: is this going to be like Egypt, where the country was so misrepresented?
29. I’m spending six full days in Istanbul—I literally had six days to see Ireland.
30. I’m really, really excited.
A little recap for those who are new around here:
Streets and Streams was initially planned to document my study abroad experience: before, during, and after. I wanted to show people all the effort that went into getting a visa, planning classes, the nervous excitement of getting ready to live in another country for a few months…
In the end, I started early than anticipated.
Because I (unexpectedly) went to Egypt.
Before that trip, before I went to Florence, and when I returned from Florence, I published posts sharing thirty thoughts and feelings I was having going into the experience.