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Cold Hearted and Into the Cold

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Istanbul StreetAnyone who knows me in real life knows that I am very far from being openly affectionate — with friends and with family. I hate, with a passion, the Australian way of greeting with cheek-kissing, even people you barely know. I hate it.

Even though I’ve come to accept it and therefore embrace hugging random friends on a regular basis given its lesser invasive feel, I’m still awkward with showing affection for others except for my boyfriend.

I cursed myself as we walked to the entrance to immigration at Sydney Airport. I was leaving, in a matter of minutes, and Pat wasn’t coming with me.

“This is stupid. Why did I do this?”

Part of the problem with being a free spirit is the fact that I often find myself going alone to do the things in life that make me happy. I was happy to be going on a big trip, but going without Patrick… for 5 weeks… felt like such a dumb idea when it came time to saying goodbye.

I fought back tears. I didn’t cry. I felt so victorious yet so cold hearted to be proud of that accomplishment.

And, I was off, to the other side of the airport in a flash thanks to my speedy business class privileges — on my way to the other side of the world for 5 weeks of solo life.

Besides being privy to certain perks with business class, it was still a painfully long journey to Istanbul, one that took me — from home to hostel — about 40 hours of transit. Stepping off the plane, the first thing that hit me was the cold air — that and the smell of body odor. It was a big difference from the hot days we’d recently been experiencing down in Sydney; a shiver traveled through my body.

through the barsI found a taxi to take me the way to my hostel over in Galata. My eyes were drowsy from dryness and just plain being exhausted, but they perked up in the car trying to take in the passing scenery. So, this is Istanbul. Large concrete buildings… adorned with colorful lights… an overcast sky. Yep, the perfect intro before heading to Bishkek. The perfect city to take me to the other side where the Turkish had also made their mark with giant shopping centers and restaurants throughout the city. Istanbul was familiar.

Traffic was a bit of a nightmare. I clenched the door handle at moments when my driver zipped in and out of stopped cars while talking on his cell phone and manually working the gears. Yep, this is the Turkey I’ve heard about before.

I sighed when I safely arrived.

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14 Responses to Cold Hearted and Into the Cold

  1. Bethany November 3, 2011 at 12:16 am #

    Great photo Brooke! Now I feel bad – I totally forgot you don’t like hugging and the first thing I did was hug you!! Well at least I didn’t swing in for the Italian double kisses! hahaha 🙂

    • Brooke November 3, 2011 at 12:20 am #

      Haha don’t worry about it. I’m more of a hugger now, especially with people I’m good friends with. The cheek-kissing is also not so much an issue with FRIENDS, good friends (I’m used to it with most people now), but it can be awkward when I barely know the person OR when I feel like people go out of their way to do it for goodbyes.

  2. Erica November 3, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Being HIspanic I forget that people have a personal bubble and totally do the kiss thing. I feel at home here in Latin America for sure. I did have one person freak out and yell at me in regards to being so touchy in the states lol!

    • Brooke November 17, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

      Haha it happens. Well if we meet, I’ll know to expect it 🙂

  3. Candicec November 3, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Leaving is always the hardest part. 🙂 I’m always filled with anxiety and regret up until the moment I arrive at my new destination. Relief.

    PS, loving the tagline “experience collector.”

    • Brooke November 17, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

      Thanks, Candice 🙂 Leaving is only hard when I leave Pat behind, and I feel like I do it a lot!

  4. Amanda November 3, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

    I know what you mean about almost feeling guilty for leaving your significant other behind to travel, and yet being excited about it at the same time. I know that’s how I’m going to feel next summer, when I’m planning to travel on my own for about 6 weeks. I hope The Boy will forgive me for leaving him for so long!

    • Brooke November 17, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

      It sucks that’s for sure 😉 It’s been 3.5 weeks now out of my 5, and I miss him terribly! However, I know it will be great when I get back!

  5. Erik November 5, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    I had no problem doing long trips before I got married. I’ve shortened my maximum possible length because it’s hard being away from my wife for so long (she doesn’t travel at all). I’m a lucky guy in that while she doesn’t completely understand my obsession, she loves and accepts me enough to know it is part of who I am.

    • Brooke November 17, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

      Same with my boyfriend, only he likes to travel (just not as much as me). It’s tough to be so far apart… especially when I’m used to doing everything with him at home. But, travel calls!

  6. Roy Marvelous November 23, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    Wow, hate is a strong word. I guess we’d never get along, I’m one of those people who give Free Hugs to strangers and kiss people to say hi/bye. And that’s when I’m sober 😀

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