My “Leap of Faith” Summer

It’s pretty safe to say that my first “official” summer back in New York is the complete opposite of my first summer away from New York. While I’m not complaining about my current summer, I am missing summer of 2009, the summer I like to call my “leap of faith” summer. Want to know why?

The heart of Istanbul.

The heart of Istanbul.

My 2009 summer in Turkey transpired because I was finally putting into motion the things I had been wanting to do for quite some time: to quit my very comfortable and secure job, move across a vast ocean to a foreign country, and embark on an unfolding adventure. I had essentially taken a huge chance on myself. I didn’t know what was in store for me once I left, but everything that came after deciding that life was indeed an adventure I would embrace has been absolutely, utterly amazing. And things like that can’t happen unless you decide to make it happen.

Oh, how I miss my two girls!

Oh, how I miss my two girls!

Once I made it happen, things just automatically fell into place. I found a private teaching position with a Turkish family and they were amazing! The girls were the sweetest, most adorable girls ever, and the family was incredibly welcoming and friendly, leaving me with many fond memories of my time with them.

My Turkish family's private boat. On the Mediterranean.

My Turkish family’s private boat. On the Mediterranean.

The summer of 2009 was also the summer I spent in crazy luxury, undoubtedly the most luxury I will experience for probably (let’s be honest here) ever. As part of our summer holidays, we spent days on the family yacht cruising around the Mediterranean Sea where the water was a crystal clear azure and there were plenty of quiet, private alcoves to turn into our personal bay for swimming.

Turkish "dede" and "anneanne" on the waterslide.

Turkish “dede” and “anneanne” (grandparents) on the waterslide.

And inflatable water-sliding!


Swimming with Melda in the Mediterranean.

My days on the boat were mostly filled with a continuous cycle of eating, swimming, sleeping, and reading. And when I was wasn’t doing any of those things, I was pretty much just sitting there thinking, “I can’t believe I’m sitting here.”

View from the summer house in Bodrum.

View from the summer house in Bodrum.

When we weren’t staying on the boat, my Turkish family and I would hang out at their summer home in Bodrum. Being a popular summer holiday destination, it was great to spend the days hanging out with the girls and after they went to bed, I’d head into town to meet friends and other travelers for drinks and dancing.

Another night out with my Turkish friends.

Another night out with my Turkish friends.

The summer of 2009, I made many great friends in Istanbul, many of whom I still stay in touch with. I dated a really fantastic guy, which, I might add, is a great way to get to know a new place. It was especially fun for me to relay Turkish phrases I had overheard in passing to my friends and have them translate for me. I don’t think my Turkish would have progressed as well if it hadn’t been for their patience with me and my Turkish skills. Of course, the Efes helped too.

Now that I’m back in New York, I can’t help but recall that incredible summer, that “leap of faith” summer that led to so many countless experiences and life-lessons.

Although some people have it in their heads that I’m “back where I started” because I happen to be back in New York City and working again after four amazing years of adventures and escapades, I don’t feel like I’ve gone backwards or that the adventures have ended. I feel I’ve grown and learned so much more about myself. I’m not back where I started. Well, physically, perhaps. But emotionally? I’m no where near where I started. I might even be at the opposite of where I started. Wait, does that mean I’m at the end? Well, you get what I mean.

None of this would be if I hadn’t first stepped out of my comfort zone during my “leap of faith” summer in 2009 in order to make “it” happen. Whatever “it” was. And how magnificent it turned out to be.

So? What are you doing to “make it happen?”

Categories: Turkey


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