My first international trip. I decided to spend two weeks in Istanbul, Turkey. I am travelling alone and everyone I have met has told me that I am brave, or absolutely mental. It has been great either way.
It took a lot of planning for me to get here. With a minimal budget and hopes to have a mellow yet memorable time away, I made it.
All packed and ready to go. I left Durban on Thursday evening (11 June 2015). I was excited with fluttering and spasms all over my body. Oh, my poor nerves. I may have checked whether I had my passport, e-visa and plane tickets about 500 times. I honestly had no idea what to expect and I forgot to ask the avid travellers for advice. The Durbanite that I am, I was “winging it”.
It was a first for many things. My first Gautrain experience to take me to the OR Tambo International airport. Escalators with a 20kg suitcase was a bit of a mission. Why did I pack five pairs of shoes?! I am only taking a backpack with me on my next trip!
The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure to unknown lands. This! No one will ever understand the happiness the moment I received my boarding pass. I cannot describe it to you but a moment I will always hold dear to me forever.
I sat next to a friendly South African girl (my age) that was travelling to London to meet up with her friends. Her boyfriend was also in London and she lived in Johannesburg and her parents in Zambia but grew up in Zimbabwe. I felt pretty average after that! haha.. There were some drunken Saudi Arabian guys that barely spoke English but they annoyed the stewardesses immensely. Shame. We drank red wine until we could fall asleep. I will do the same upon my return. Hah!
Naturally, with a 9 hour lay over, I picked a bench to rest on. It was cold and I didn’t have my luggage with me so I curled myself up in to a ball and slept on my laptop backpack.
Adventure is worthwhile. All of it. I arrived at Sabiha Gocken International airport at 14:00 on the 13 June 2015. Hot. Humid. Sticky. I sat next to yet another friendly South African, Dilnaaz, engaged to a Turkish gentleman who helped me get the Havatas bus that would take me to Taksim. This is when the real adventure began.
I should have learnt more Turkish.
More to come.
With Love, x
“No place is ever as bad as they tell you it’s going to be.”