“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
-Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
It’s a bittersweet day here in Istanbul. Today is my last day here. In less than 24 hours I’ll be surrounded by my loving family and friends, tacos, and bacon. As excited as I am for all this, I can’t help but feel a twinge of sadness in my heart knowing that my study abroad experience is ending. This chapter of my life is over, all that needs to happen is for me for turn the page and begin the next. But before I do, I want to take a moment and flip back through the pages of the previous chapter.
It all started in Paris: Lights, being submersed in a foreign language, seeing iconic architecture for the first time and having the ability and opportunity to touch it with my own hands. I was learning how to define myself while being miles away from my home.
Then it was on to Rome, with trips to Orvieto, Florence, and Venice. Here I was surrounded by ruins from times past and the challenge of moving forward while preserving them. I had all the gelato I could ever imagine, leather goods and masks, and never thought twice about eating an entire pizza alone. This continued my exploration into new cultures, and showed me that sometimes iconic places can be stunning.
Finally I ended in Istanbul with a Spring Break trip to Cappadocia. I don’t think words will ever be able to explain how much this city has changed me. Mosques, scooters, chai, simit, a trip to Asia, and crazy topo changes will forever be ingrained in my memories. It may not have ever been a place I thought I would study in, but looking back, I could not imagine myself going anywhere else. I know many will ask me why I loved Istanbul so much, but I will never be able to explain this city to them and do it justice. All I know is that Istanbul will forever hold a place in my heart.