It’s all happening

Istanbul - Hagia Sophia

We had a plan.

After sharing my unfounded but very real passion for Istanbul with my now roommate, we made a pact to make the trip at the end of our lease together – a last hurrah for us in a way, and if things kept on the path they seemed to be, perhaps even a last hurrah for my ‘single’ self.

Partly in hopes of rationing the voice in my head that said things like too far, too expensive, too different, I tried to be responsible. I plotted vacation days on my calendar. I spent hours researching the best credit card for miles (Chase Sapphire Preferred, by the way) then actually got it this time. I steered clear of city research to avoid getting too excited too soon or worse, let down.

Istanbul Streets

Then out of the blue, I got a text: “I can go to Istanbul!!! Let’s GO”

The five (or ten) that followed were filled with dates, exclamation points, summer sale prices and more than our fair share of smiley face variations. One quick trip to Starbucks later we had researched plane tickets and the roommate was literally bouncing off the chair to hit “purchase” when that voice came back again with “reasons”…what if it uses all of my vacation days, what if it costs too much without all my bonus miles, what if it disrupts my dietary needs/issues?

I’m a pretty impulsive traveler by nature, so all this hesitation was so unlike me. For example, my first ticket to New York was purchased on a whim immediately upon opening a travel deal email and without a second thought toward where we’d sleep…and it turned out to be one of the best weeks of my life!

Turkish Coffee in Istanbul

One week later, though, it was clear: the only thing holding me back from Istanbul was me. With the green light from my work and bank, there really was no reason NOT to hit purchase…so we did.

That’s right – I’ll be spending an entire week in ISTANBUL in just 5 weeks! We also timed it perfectly to squeeze out a weekend in New York beforehand.

Pamukkale Turkey

Seriously.

If you’ve been following Finding Tiffany’s for awhile, my wanderlust is no secret. It’s also no secret that I’ve been obsessing over both Istanbul and New York, specifically, for quite some time now. I’m literally going on my ideal trip, accomplishing my latest major life-travel goal.

I’m not exactly sure when I allowed the aforementioned fear to creep in, but I realize now why it did. It’s kinda a scary thing when you accomplish what you thought was a huge goal much sooner than you expected. Yeah there’s always the fear of being disappointed after all the hype, but really it’s more the wide-open realization…Now what?

In the words of my coworker: “Now you need a bigger goal.”

Istanbul Bridge Europe to Asia, East and West

Un giorno molto Italiano

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“A very Italian day”

Today was a very Italian day, which is to say, I was in my element.

After going on weeks of eating out for every meal due to a gas leak in our old-fashioned oven (ah, the charming joys of old home ownership), I enjoyed a fresh lunch thrown together from cucumbers and basil from my mother’s garden, olive oil and a pinch (or two) of salt. Heaven in my mouth, I tell you.

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The offending appliance.

I followed my summer lunch with a glass of “just got home from work during a stressfully short week” wine and what I’ll just call a ‘highly passionate’ conversation. My roommate and I ended the night with a long walk in our new tree-lined neighborhood (dare I say…passeggiata?) and gelato before dinner – also known as sorbet for my dairy-free self. It was literally all I could do to keep from telling the generous sample-giving high schooler behind the counter, “Posso avere un piccolo con limone e anguria, per favore.”

I don’t know if it’s all the Under the Tuscan Sun I’ve been reading lately, nostalgia or just my genes taking over (one can only hope), but I am always up for incorporating a little more Italiano in daily life. In my experience, the Italians are all about appreciating the little things, pacing themselves through life, loving on those around them and of course, doing it all with good food, wine and friends.

While Italy is a place that I miss often, days like this remind me it is also a mindset. Despite all odds, I can look back on my day now and see the good, which makes me breathe just a little easier and makes me feel like “Tiffany’s” might not be so out of reach after all.

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