September’s been a funny month. I left London on 27th August, intending to have around a month in Bulgaria, not spend much money (on account of their cheap prices) and catch up on a few ideas I’ve had buzzing around in my head, thanks to their fast, fast wifi.
Then I got distracted by the cheap bus to Istanbul (sometimes, I have the attention span of a 5-year-old), travelled to Istanbul, loved it, started looking at other places in Turkey that I might like to visit and spent the rest of the month travelling around Turkey.
It’s a little ironic. I left South America because I wasn’t getting anything done; the internet was too unreliable and I was tired from constantly moving on. I felt that I wasn’t connecting with anybody, because I was moving on all the time. Then I replicated the same lifestyle in Turkey.
Different continent but same problems.
Don’t get me wrong; I have been having an amazing time here, but it has rather taken away my reason to be back in Europe.
Where I’ve been this month:
7 nights in Sofia, Bulgaria
4 nights Plovdiv, Bulgaria
5 nights Istanbul, Turkey
4 nights Goreme, Turkey
2 nights Atalya, Turkey
4 nights in and around Kas, Turkey
4 nights Dalyan, Turkey
3 nights Bodrum, Turkey
The balloon ride over Cappadocia, definitely. I’d never been in a hot air balloon before, never had a particular interest in doing it. Now I can’t help thinking what I’ve been missing out on all these years.
The sailing. There’s something very ‘feelgood’ about being in a boat with a calm blue sea all around. Swimming in the middle of the sea, rather than wading out from the beach, is an amazing feeling.
Seeing Istanbul again after so many years. Istanbul is an amazing city. To think I almost didn’t go because I was worried about safety issues there.
I have been feeling a little low ever since I left London; a bit of homesickness combined with a couple of (let’s just call them) disappointments in my life left me feeling quite unsettled. The whole uncertainty over Brexit is compounding everything too. This is something nobody mentions when they go on about all the effects of the change: what this uncertainty does to the mental health of (some) people.
Turkey managed to distract me (Bulgaria didn’t, which was why I moved on from there) but it is something I need to address now.
Something new I have learned this month:
In Bulgaria, people shake their heads for yes. This is endlessly confusing. On my first night I asked the waitress for the bill (using the international scribbling in the air sign) and she shook her head (as if to say ‘that’s not my job’). Later she brought the bill and then I remembered this weird little difference.
What I spent
My target for this month was to spend less than I have coming in as rental income from my flat, meaning that anything I earned was bonus money. This was back when I thought I was spending the month in Bulgaria. Once I decided to go to Turkey instead I failed abysmally.
rent: €700 (lots of short-term rooms and a couple of places, Goreme and Kas, were expensive.)
travel and tours: €450 (three internal flights, some buses, a few tours but most of that a figure is for the boat trip)
food/cosmetics/laundry/phone credit/books and that kind of thing (everything else basically): €450 (I couldn’t cook anywhere except Sofia, which pushed my food spend up considerably)
Expenses from ‘home’: €250 (storage, taxes, health insurance and that type of thing):
Yes, I know.
What is next
1. I am writing September off as a holiday month (a kind of depression cure) and am going to try and remain more focused in October.
2. I’ve rented a small flat in Istanbul for October. One month/one place. Let’s see how that goes.