Since this is my 100th blog posting, I feel that it is appropriate to review some stats of my travels and international moving adventures. Today, it is January fifth of 2013 and it is amazing to think about all that has transpired since I left Phoenix, Arizona on July third of last year. In the past six months, I have been to three different continents. Before leaving for Europe, I visited two other states and then went to twelve different countries, in which I have visited a total of sixteen cities, two of which I have stayed in for longer than a month to pursue employment opportunities, and one of which I stayed in for more than two months and actually worked a bit. Now I am on the fourth country where I am living with an actual place to live and a real teaching job!
As far as luggage, I have traveled pretty light considering that I have just two suitcases and a backpack, which contain all of my earthly possessions! Within this luggage, I have much more than just mere clothing. In addition to the basics, I also brought things such as a travel hula hoop, a yoga mat, a few books, some crystals, and eight decks of oracle cards. During my travels, I have already had to replace two suitcases that fell apart on the way from Arizona to Michigan. Then while in Argentina, I also had to take both of the new suitcases to be repaired because the wheels were almost gone!
Along the way, I have spent just six nights in hotels and two nights in a “Camping Roma” bungalow with a random Lebanese friend that I made while in Rome. No, I have not stayed in any hostels because I have a very difficult time sleeping with noise and such. In addition to this, since I left the United States, I have stayed with twenty-two different Couchsurfers. Twenty-two is my lucky number, and I see it everywhere! According to Doreen Virtue’s Angel Numbers 101 book, it means that, “The angels can see the positive results of your prayers, and they want you to have patience and stay optimistic while the final details are being worked out in Heaven. This is an urgent call from the angels to ‘keep the faith!’” In addition to this beautiful message, interestingly, I stayed with 12 different hosts in Europe and 8 in Argentina, and 12/8 (December eighth) is my brother’s birthday, which is a very awesome sign that he is with me on my journey! Besides going back to Michigan where I have lots of friends since I lived there for twenty-three years, I also visited six different friends in other cities, three of which I had met previously through Couchsurfing.
As far as the long-term places where I lived, I rented one less than delightful apartment in Málaga that about made me lose my mind and unfortunately also cost me a lot of money. Then I lived with two awesome guys in Brussels, which was the first time that I had lived with anyone in years and was actually rather fabulous after having lived in the lame apartment in Málaga by myself. In Buenos Aires, I lived with a truly wonderful guy who always went out of his way to make my life better, and he became my best friend there!
In Istanbul, I stayed with one Couchsurfer and his family before coming to live with the roommate who found me on Couchsurfing. What is crazy is that I have not lived with another female in fourteen years, since I was eighteen and was living in the dorms at Central Michigan University. Now I am so grateful to say that I am living with the most fabulous girl I could ask for as a roommate, who is such an amazing person! Seriously, I love her like she is my sister from another lifetime or something! When I posted to Couchsurfing months ago inquiring about jobs in Istanbul, she sent me a message offering me a room in her flat so that she could improve her English. So when I found work here, I decided to take her up on her offer because it seemed to be the best choice since I was coming to Istanbul and I was not sure about Couchsurfing here since many people live with their parents.
Of course there is much more to my story, but I think it is rather fascinating to look back on this past six months and remember all of these key elements that have helped to shape my experience into this magnificent traveling and moving adventure! Good and bad, I am so grateful for this experience and for all of the lessons I have learned along the way! Really, I am so thankful that I have been able to do all this!