Other Things

HOW DID I GET HERE?

By on 26 July 2015

April 2014. Here I am whining to my best friend about my recently ended long-term relationship. How disappointing it is, finally things ending up like this… Again. There is something not adding up. The constant feeling of not being able to fit in. I am like a broken piece of a puzzle, never able to fit myself in into a “happy family” picture. I did everything what the society had told me. I had a career plan which initially seemed to work out, I got married, I became a nice obedient consumer. But, deep down I always had a strange feeling like there was something else I meant to do but can’t remember what… You know that odd moment which catches you in the middle of the day when you are functioning with your motor nerves, doing what you have been doing every single day:

“I was going to do something, but can’t remember what?”

While I was busy with being a good citizen, paying my taxes and having a nucleus family, slowly I was taming my wild, disobedient beast who had been a part of me since my childhood. A creature living in the uncharted territory of my soul, full of curiosity and appetite towards life. Over the course of years, the beast finally turned into a nice, loyal puppy and here I am whining to my best friend how I have never traveled or took a vacation on my own ever and begging her to come to the beaches of Southern Turkey with me for a week. I am terrified with the feeling of going to somewhere by myself.

If you are born and raised in a country like mine, it doesn’t matter how far you have achieved in your life by yourself, it doesn’t matter how much money you make, it doesn’t matter how successful you are (whatever that means) but if you are a woman, 35 years old and alone, you are a loser. Period. This common belief manifests itself by the pity looks, friends with good intentions arranging blind dates or your parents so called words of encouragement which actually have no other use than pissing you off. So here I am begging her to come with me… While I am doing this, the puppy restrained for so long loses one of its chains finally and puts its claws into my stomach. I feel sick… about myself. A brief moment of enlightment. This is not who I am.

I am neither dependent nor needy…  nor I ever want to be.

 

June 2014. I am traveling to Sorrento in a hot and shabby train. I have my backback on my lap and newly made friends from Couchsurfing Naples Group.

I am by myself but oddly enough not alone. I feel the hot wind on my face, coming through the windows of the train. Despite the overwhelming heat, I never felt so liberated. There I did it… It was no big deal. Not worth of all the anxiety attacks. If I can come this far, maybe I can go further?

 

October 2014. I enter the room of my boss, take the chair across him, smile and say the magic words. “I am leaving…”

He thinks I am making a joke, his laugh freezes when he sees my face.

“Where?”

“to South America. I can either leave for a month or for good. The choice is yours.”

A month of leave is unspeakable in Turkey. If you can get two weeks in a row one shall be considered lucky. Nevertheless he lets me go…

Next stop Buenos Aires. There again, another anxiety attack. How am I going to make it till Patagonia?

After a month of bliss and a few set backs like food poisoning and mild allergies, after a month of living with very limited number of clothes and basic personal care items I return to istanbul. The minute I enter through the door of my apartment I am overwhelmed with the amount of clothes, shoes, bags and cosmetics items. The first thought crosses through my head is how insane it is. I am looking at my apartment through a stranger’s eyes and I am not happy with what I see. The beast within, holds my heart with its claws and takes a big, painful bite.

It is finally awake…

 

The next plan is obvious. Stop consuming. Stop buying. Stop taking taxis out of indulgence and use public transport. Save as much as you can… The beast and I are leaving. We are leaving this useless life, we are leaving this job supposed to be called “creative industry” but has merely anything to do with creativity anymore, we are leaving all the pressures we have been enduring about having a child, getting married or buying a house and paying mortgage for the next 20 years. WE ARE LEAVING. Yo me Voy… Adios…

 

After months of work, planning and developing the “eatravels/recepies & stories” project I finally give the office my notice of leave.

I finally buy a ticket to New Delhi. Yay, right?

Well, not so YAY!

I am packing my stuff, putting everything I own in cardboard boxes and feeling utterly depressed.

I keep asking myself “Is this really what you want? Well, it better be… Otherwise you are throwing your life away.”

I feel sad for leaving my apartment that I have been living for almost 6 years, I feel sad for leaving my neighborhood…

There it is, I am soon to be homeless and I feel sad about it. I don’t feel the euphoria of the possibilities anymore. The puppy is trying to holding onto past, holding onto comfort, holding onto familiar and safe. “Bad girl! Leave those at once!”

 

I have been following travel blogs and websites for quite a while now,

This is because as much as I like to see the world through their eyes, it is for encouragement. To tell myself if others can do it, I may as well succeed in chasing my dreams.

koltuk

Leaving the comfort zone is never easy.

One of them is Travel Tall who recently announced that he uploaded a new chapter with the title “It is possible”. The title makes me smile because it is like a divine answer to the questions those have been meandering in my mind.

Then I watch his video… Over and over again. By the fifth time it’s ending, I repeat with Eric and the words feel like a silent prayer:

“It’s possible…”

PS: There is another person who truly inspired me to get to this journey. I was lucky enough to thank him personally in Istanbul. if you haven’t seen Jason Silva’s shots of awe yet, you better start with this one. This 2,5 minute video tells us a lot about daring to take the leap of faith.

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2 Comments
  1. Reply

    Adriana

    13 November 2015

    Dear Solen,
    I have heard a little from you about how your road travel started. But I have to tell you that reading your article made me emotional. Sometimes we fell overwhelmed, but it passes, sooner or later. You took the first, and the most important, step. And I really believe that you are now very proud and very happy about it. Please, include a trip to Brazil in your future planes…

    • Reply

      Şölen Yücel

      14 November 2015

      Dear Adriana, thank you 🙂 and of course Rio de Jenerio will be part of my future travel plans 🙂 Until we meet again… big kisses.

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