It’s now mid-August and hopefully some of you have actually noticed my absence from blogging and social media for the past months. I’ve got my reasons – promise! Luckily, I haven’t been sick or anything dramatic like that. Instead, a convergence of various circumstances from lack of internet to an inability to go home led me to a withdrawal from the online world.
It all started with a trip to the Netherlands to find an apartment. We were only supposed to be in Istanbul for two years and that two years was long up. I was ready to move on. Even though my hubby’s work situation wasn’t completely sorted, I decided it was time to start looking for a new place to live. The apartment hunt trip was great; exhausting but great. It was when I arrived back in Istanbul that things started to fall apart.
As usual, the immigration line went on for freaking forever. When I finally arrived at the immigration desk, the officer – instead of grumpily stamping my passport – started going on and on. The only thing I understood from his monologue was the word five. Yes, my Turkish is quite outstanding after two years. My response? “Five what?”
“You stay five days.”
Well, crap. I thought my visa was good for another three weeks. I pretended I knew what was going on (never show weakness in front of an immigration officer!) and nodded before going off in search of my baggage, which was thankfully on the belt. Bonus – I didn’t have to wrestle anyone for possession (which seems to happen to me way too frequently).
After I got home, I pulled out all my visas and tried to figure out why in the world I needed to leave again in five days. I won’t go into the whole thing because frankly I’m still not really sure what happened and my visa usage wasn’t exactly on the up and up. Anyway, we determined that not only did I need to leave the country in five days (and did that include my day of arrival and departure?), but I had to stay away for three weeks. Well, isn’t that flipping awesome.
I decided to head off to the U.S. for a week and then to the Netherlands for two weeks after that. And as I stood in the massive line to leave Turkey, I realized something my body had been trying to tell me for a while. I was done. Done. Done. Done. I stared at the pictures of the apartment I had fallen in love with the previous week for a few minutes before messaging my husband. We came to an agreement and by the time I arrived in Chicago, I had a new apartment in The Hague.
I spent three weeks in June traveling around; avoiding going ‘home’ due to my visa issues. Obviously, I didn’t spend much of that time keeping up my blog or being on social media. And writing? Um, no. I’m one of those ‘weird’ writers who need to have a schedule and set place to write. Finally, at the end of the month, I arrived back ‘home’ in Istanbul. Big sigh. Relief. I could now sleep in my own bed and get back to work.
Except that’s not the way it worked out. To be continued…