Ladies and gentlemen, the day has finally arrived. Exactly one year ago today, I left my entire life behind - my job, my home, my family, and my friends - to embarked on a trip across the world with nothing more than a backpack. Over the last 365 days I've traveled through 62 different cities in 20 different countries from Portugal to India - and I’ve done it all with a single 40-liter backpack! For the last 12 months, I’ve worn the same pair of pants, four shirts, eight socks, five pairs of underwear, and one pair of shoes (which have been resoled four times now) and I’ve never been happier to have so little in my life. It’s astonishing even to me that I’ve been on the road for this long. When I was planning this trip back in New York the idea of traveling for over a year seemed absurd – yet here I am
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Today I sit overlooking the Bosphorus Strait from a rooftop patio in Istanbul. I arrived over three weeks ago and this is literally the fifth day of sunshine I’ve encountered. The preceding days were cloudy, rainy, and cold with only a handful of moments where the sun managed to break through the thick blanket of ominous clouds. The weather isn't quite what I was hoping for, but then again, it is the beginning of December. All things considered, I can't really complain since I’m sitting outside in shorts, flip-flops, and t-shirt. As surprising as the weather may be, today marks a far more important milestone - the sixth month anniversary of my departure from the US.