Of course it was sad to say goodbye to Buenos Aires and to my favorite people there, who are of course Maxi and Sergio. Luckily, I was able to spend Christmas with Sergio and his family, which was truly wonderful. Then the day after Christmas Maxi came back from Mar del Plata to hang out with me before I left. Really, it was rather bittersweet to leave Argentina because I have had so many wonderful times there and met so many amazing people. However, I just was not getting anywhere with jobs, and the lifestyle was definitely not agreeing with my health, so it was definitely time to travel on!
Maxi was awesome enough to set up a service to pick me up so that I would be sure to catch my flight on time. First, they took me to a place where a bus came to get me to go to the airport, which is about an hour outside of town. Crazily enough, when I walked in, the guy behind the counter said, “Cristin Dougherty, I know you!” As it turns out, he is a Couchsurfer that I was going to stay with, but I actually never ended up meeting him because instead I ended up staying at Maxi’s until I left Buenos Aires since we got along so well. So on my last day, it was rather funny to meet this Couchsurfer with whom I had messaged with back and forth while making plans. What a small world it is for me to run into someone that I know when I am on my way out of Buenos Aires!
Other than that, checking in and even getting my oversized suitcase checked free of charge was an absolute breeze and I was able to even have a few extra minutes to relax before boarding my flight. However, once I boarded, I was much less than thrilled to learn that I did indeed get stuck with my least favorite type of seat on a plane, a middle seat. When I had made the reservations, I was unable to request an aisle seat, so I even had my mom call and pretend that she was me in order to get an aisle seat. However, this apparently still did no good as I was stuck in a middle seat on the longest flight of my life that was something like sixteen and a half hours and about 12,244 miles! Oh, well, what can you do? At least I made it here!
When I finally got off of the plane, I made my way to collect my large suitcase that I had checked and to my great dismay after such a grueling, long journey, I had to wait about an hour and a half to collect my bag. One woman waiting explained that it is because the flight came from South America and they are checking for drugs. Great. Finally, my bags showed up and I found Emrah, the Turkish Couchsurfer that was kind enough to meet me at the airport. As we walked out, he also explained that flights arriving from South America are often rather problematic due to heightened security. Whatever, I am just happy that I finally made it to Istanbul, just in time to ring in the New Year 2013!