And I'm off!... almost. In less then 24 hours Ill be taking my first bus on the way to about 10 days of not worrying about real life. It's vacation time, when exchange students get together to check out the more "touristy" parts of Turkey.
It always blows me away how much history Turkey has lying around. Reading a history of Turkey is like reading about all the most important events in the ancient world. Civilization got it's start in Turkey. Greeks and Persians clashed in Turkey. Alexander the Great, Mark Antony, and Julius Caesar all visited Turkey, and made their mark in one form or another. Some of the first Christians were converted here, and of course you cant forget the Ottoman Empire. Then there are the things that might have happened. Mount Ararat is a possible resting place of Noah's Ark. Could the battle of Troy have happened here? There was certainly a King Midas (more than one!) in Turkey, could he have had a golden touch? Many people believe the virgin Mary was brought here by the apostle John after Jesus's crucifixion.
Basically the country is swimming in historical sights. I couldn't hope to visit them all. but Ill get some of the major ones out of the way on this trip.
However as I'm packing I can't help feel some sadnes, because in not very long Ill be packing up this bag again to change families, then Ill pack it up again when I have to leave. I have only cried once since I've been in Turkey, but the idea of leaving my host family brings tears to my eyes. I've had a lot of great memories here and gained some new sisters along the way (can't have to many of those!) It almost doesn't seem fair that I have to leave this second family.
Despite my fears, I know this is what exchange is all about. Leaving behind your comfort zone and being forced to discover who you are.
I'm leaving behind a loving family. I don't know where I'm going. I don't know who I'm going with or if I'll like it there. Hmmmm.... this sounds familiar. That's right I did this same thing almost five months ago. So, Ill save my tears, and get ready for my next adventure. Right now that adventure is a hodge-podge of historical cities around the Agean. In a few weeks or a month it'll be a new family, and in six months it will be to Eagle River, Alaska.
I guess this is kind of check out. Ill be enjoying my next adventure blog free, but I'll let you know how it goes. Check back in two weeks for the next installment, I'm off!