For me – I was 26 years old and it was in January this year in Istanbul, Turkey.
And it was magic.
The day that I touched down in Istanbul, Ataturk airport at 05:55am on a Tuesday morning. I will never ever forget it.
I had no plan, just booked into a hotel and walked through the city. My hair soaked, my clothes soaked and by the end of the day even my socks were sopping wet and I had to land up buying more long sleeve shirts because I was not prepared.
I grew up on a farm, in the heat. And snow has always been such a foreign concept to me. Until today I still have never seen snow that is really deep and really thick. But I saw some snow in Istanbul and I will never ever forget that day.
It will always remain one of the happiest days of my life 🙂
I had to go to Israel because I had to do it for me. The woman as well as the little girl inside me needed to go. I needed to get away from the hurt and the pain that was haunting me. I needed to be alone and to fend for myself and fight for myself and be wild and free. I needed to make a new identity and I needed to be free to be who ever the hell I wanted to be and I had to start again.
Ironically who I needed to be was me, I didn’t even change and I didn’t even try to start over. Through the mountains and the waterfalls and the desert it was still me. It was still Danielle with her past and her fears and her dreams and I didn’t pretend to be anyone else.
I had to go because I had to find myself.
Little did I know that I had been with myself all this time. I knew and I know who I am. Maybe tiny fragments got lost and pieces fell away and there were new facets to my being that were growing. But I was still myself during it all.
That is why I had to go. Because I would never have learned that it had been me all along.
I would never have realised that I was in fact the strong woman that left an abusive marriage and I would never have recognised the compassion and the hope I have for people. Things like love and family wouldn’t have become my everything, the need to be a mother would never have made itself so apparent had I not run far far away from it all. My relationships have been strengthened and I feel the beauty of nature on my skin every day now and the sparkles in animals eyes.
There is a fire burning in my heart now. A fire so strong that it will never be put out. Perhaps that is why I had to be stripped bare and thrown into the wild. Perhaps I needed to learn my own strength. Only once I was forced to question every corner of my existence, my morals and my choices, and only when I was threatened with unbearable pain and abandonment would my true fire start to burn.
Perhaps that is why it all happened and that is why I had to leave the city that I was born in and I had to run far away and grow on my own.
Now its all in the past and theres a fire burning in my heart and my soul. Now all that remains are those memories that I left on the top of a mountain in the Golan Heights in Israel while looking over the beautiful landscapes of Syria. Thats where I left it all, in the calm of the valleys when hiking along the Jordan river.
All there is left to do now is freely be myself no matter how much that girl was judged and tortured, in the end, she is all I have.
These beautiful ceramic handpainted balls bring happiness! I bought three, I love them!
For possibly the first time in all the chapters in my blog, a Part actually ended well and a new one is starting on a high!
To be honest. I can hardly write, I have been struggling to journal because no words can describe the experience and the joy right now!
The sun is out, saw the Hagia Sophia and the blue mosque! It was incredible! Walked around and explored. Met a lovely Muslim man who’s name I cannot remember, and he gave me a little bit of a tour. I bought gifts and I bought a carpet- yes Danielle bought a carpet in Turkey and will be traveling with it in her backpack around Israel – I know, I’m ridiculous!
Most little shops are family owned, they are so quaint, as you enter they offer you tea and coffee. The most delicious apple tea of my life.
Met another Turkish man by the name of Ilan and he was lovely! We had Turkish coffee and some traditional lunch, and I of course cannot remember what it was called!
It’s so magical here, I constantly walk around smiling from ear to ear looking like a fool 😁
Touch down in Istanbul, feeling a little bit nervous, not much English is spoken!
Finally figure out however that the Havvatas bus is the best bet to Taksim square so I catch that for 11 Lira!
Arrive at Taksim and it’s snowing and I have never seen snow – yup, at the age of 26, I have never seen snow!
Instanbul is incredible, it’s magical and it’s alive! I am so excited I can hardly contain myself!
Just walked around the streets, soaking it all in, full of snow, drenched from the snow!
It’s fast paced, people drive like complete idiots, Turkish bitter banter in the street. Everyone has their hands in mittens and they cover their heads in scarves and beanies and berets and hats.
I eat copious amounts of baklava and Ed is silent.
I am content