Istanbul, Turkey

A couple of months ago, a friend of mine asked me to recommend a guesthouse in Istanbul for her mother, an adventurous soul at the age of 70, who was heading to Turkey to do some traveling. I recommended one of my favorite places and that was that.

But, then, a few days ago, this very same friend forwarded me an email that she had just received from her mother. Her mother was now in the midst of her trip and the email was sent to all of her children in order to update them on her adventures.

My friend wanted me to see how much her mother was enjoying Istanbul and so I naturally had a read through the message. Well, once I finished reading, I couldn’t think of anything else but to share that email here.

So, here it is (it’s copied exactly as it was sent):

“so how many miles do you suppose i have walked today having left the hotel at 9am returning only for an hour to stretch out and wait for the ibu [ibuprofen] to work…and now just returning at 8:40pm? i should have brought a pedometer on this trip. i bet i put in over 10 miles today…maybe way moreç

after bypassing the aya sofia sophia whatever (ayasofya just looked it up on my little istanbul map) due to long line this morning, i found no line at 4. amazing place. but first things first. out the door at 9 and went first to the blue mosque again as this time i had my head covering (wearing two different pieces of tiedye at once) and could go all the way in. these architectural wonders take my breath away. so then i bypassed the line at aya and went on to find the grand bazaar…and it was…both huge and bizarre. and i did NOT buy a kilm….sort of not anyhow. i did buy a kilm bag to be my new carry on as now i will begin to check the aging eagle creek bag. should have seen me getting the eagle creek bag into the overhead in amman coming hereç

almost didn,t make it! balanced it on my head to then shove it up there. i need to go a little lighter for the next flights as i,ve been picking up a few things here and there and things are getting tight…and the next flight is to bordeaux and no one will be meeting me…i just have to find the shuttle to the airport hotel to FIND MY TRAVEL BUDDIES who will get there at two different times and earlier than i. and i sit in the madrid airport many hours during the day waiting for the flight to bordeaux. hard to believe that the time for france has nearly ARRIVED!!!!!

anyhow, kilm bag…carpet bag…it,s wonderful. kept circling through the bazaar walking walking walking and it is really big. and of course i got turned around and came out a different way i went in and ended up walking forever in places where there were no tourists or at least not manyçççççonly other lost ones, i thınkç that damn ö button is where the period is supposed to beö see?

and you know, i think all of you kids would really like istanbul. there,s something here for everyone…and it,s friendly and really manageable…the language sounds so cool…and tonight i had the best calamari i think i,ve ever had!

so anyhowö i finally found my way back to the hotel so that i could lie down for about 40 minutes and see if ibu would help my back feel betterç. it did so off went the energizer bunny once again this time to the underground cisterns and then back down to the ferries and i hopped one for the asian side…and had the wherewithall to remember to note the name of the place i was supposed to come BACK toç. brilliant. so on the asian side i had the best calamari, and perhqaps (rememberö there,s no mouse with this laptop computer and the keyboard isn,t as user friendly lalalalala) the best sauteed fresh veggies i,ve ever had…and a great cold beerç

oh and i forgot to say that while i was stretched out for 40 minutes it suddenly started pouring and thundering…very exciting…it just started again this minute…and so it was GOOD that i was in my room where i could grab my good rain jacket that i got when i was in nepalö or chına or wherever…a northface knockoff…but nice and light and rainproof for as long as i need it. since the rain was threatenıngö (maybe the ö is where the comma is supposed to be…) i went to the indoor activity of ayasofya which was amazingç lots of photosç (so the ö ıs where the comma is supposed to be and the ç is where the perıod is supposed to beç) (i know that is important to you)ç

so walk walk walk it,s been another incredibly wonderful day. my lower back aches and low neck aches7burns. and i,m stupidly tired. and you know what? there,s a jacuzzi in my tub. see ya allç have to rest up for my last full day here tomorrow…and that should include topkapi [palace].

love to all
me that energizer bunny”

I loved reading this email. This woman seems so excited to be out there traveling the world and you can tell that she has a positive attitude at all times, something that leads to non-stop amazing experiences for her.

And that’s how it should be. After all, we make the decision to travel. We are not forced to do so. And whether we travel to faraway lands, or lands nearby, and no matter if our goal is to explore, relax, learn, eat or whatever we want to get out of our travels, we are doing things that much of the world can only dream about.

We dreamed about it once too, but as soon as our plane lands or our bus or train arrives at our destination, we’ve somehow managed to turn those dreams into reality.

By remembering, as often as possible, that we are literally living a dream as we travel this world, it will ensure that every conversation, every email, every single journal entry is filled with the exact same intensity, appreciation and excitement that can be felt in the above message.

And as a side note, if she can travel independently to the Middle East, Turkey and Europe at the age of 70, I certainly don’t want to hear anyone say that traveling on your own is not possible!

Do you still maintain this level of excitement when you travel? Or how excited do you think you’ll be once you start traveling?