Five and a half months of continuous travel takes its toll on any backpacker. While I’ve slowed down my travel schedule to make my lifestyle more sustainable, eventually the constant moving was bound to catch up with me. Many people back home think it’s absurd I need a "vacation from my vacation,” but the reality of the matter is that long-term travel is far more tiring than you'd expect. While travel is absolutely thrilling, it boils down to a lot of logistics planning. Since no two days are ever the same, I am forced to constantly pay attention to my surroundings, figure out solutions to a variety of novel issues on a daily basis, and adjust my short term plans based on a never-ending array of unexpected changes. Thankfully, my three weeks in Istanbul was a return to a “normal” life that I’d long since forgotten and gave me the chance to explore the city at my leisure.
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The city of Istanbul is many things, but boring is not one of them. After two and a half weeks of living in the city, there are still areas I have yet to explore even though I spend my days walking around town for miles at a time. Of all the wondrous things I experienced during my visit, nothing was quite as unique as the view from across the Galata Bridge in the middle of town.
My arrival into Istanbul from Plovdiv showed me just how far I've come with regard to traveling; things that terrified me early on in my trip simply rolled off my shoulders. Every time I arrive into a new country there is a flurry of activity, strange new customs, and numerous unknowns that I have to problem solve around until I finally arrive at my next hostel. Ironically, what I am beginning to understand about traveling is that the more issues and unknowns I face, the more entertaining traveling is for me. I know this strategy tends to backfire on me from time to time, but even then at least I have a story.