I have no words that can truly describe how I feel in this very moment but I will do my best. This strange sense of calm has come over me since I arrived in Istanbul, like I have been here before or somehow know this land. I feel so comfortable. I am heavily reminded of my love for Middle Eastern dance that was a very big part of my life from around age 27. The colors, metals, intricate patterns, the rich culture, the food and the history all seem very familiar. Whatever it was that drew me to that style of dance all those years ago is being reignited by being here now. I am reawakening to parts of myself that I had forgotten about or thought I would not see again.
I am also reminded of my dear friend Kristen and her journey here a few years ago. I now see the magnitude of what a journey like this can bring into someone’s life and how much personal growth can come from the simple act of getting on a plane and stepping out into a totally new world. There really is so much more to our reality than we can even conceive. I am filled with gratitude for everyone who helped make this possible in my life. I feel like I don’t want to leave and I just got here!
My mind has begun to open up even more possibilities for what my life could look like. Imagine, a small town girl from Northern Manitoba roaming the streets of Istanbul with her Dance group spreading love and joy – this was not even something I ever allowed myself to think was a possibility but now it is my reality. I have never loved my life more than I do right now and it just keeps on getting better. I am in awe of how much diversity there is in this world and it makes me feel very humble. Stepping outside of my own country gives me an actual physical reminder that there are many ways to look at and experience the world. My appreciation for other cultures deepens and cultivates even more respect and intrigue.
I feel like I am finding out more about who I truly am meant to be in this world with each step of this journey and am even more aware that I am not my past or my future but simply me, right now! The more I know myself, the easier it is to be in new and strange places because I am solid in that knowing. The fact that I am so comfortable here is all the evidence I need to demonstrate the personal growth that I have been working so hard over the last 3 years to achieve. There is no fear, only hope for more life to come. This really feels like living.
Being with this wonderful group of people has made this trip such a heart warming adventure. We look out for each other, we care for each other, we accept each other and we love each other. I am usually a solo traveller and this is a very new experience for me which I am very grateful for. The wisdom in our combined group could rule the world!! And its nice to have someone beside me that I can lean on while sleeping on a 12 hour flight!
Tomorrow Turkish Bath, Hooka Pipe and then back on the plane!