It was an arduous journey filled with tortuous deliberations. For the last few months, I traveled the entire world, twice or three times over. In my head, that is. As I continued to tie up lose ends of my sedentary life, finalizing the end of my 5-year job and making sure my mailbox at home wouldn’t explode in my absence, I also had to decide where I was actually going.
South America was the first destination I decided upon. I could be learning Tango in Buenos Aires, or loosing sense of time in Parachi, Brazil, which looks like my kind of paradise according to google images. But I could also go hiking in Nepal or feel strange among a hippies in Goa. Meanwhile the weather was getting colder in Patagonia and the ski season nearing its end in the Northern Hemisphere. I seemed to have the open-buffet syndrome: standing before me was all the tastes of the world and I seemed to have only one small plate and a flimsy plastic fork. Which one would I chose and at the expense of what? At least I managed to eliminate anywhere near my current “home” which is mainly composed of Middle Eastern countries I can’t go to anyway or European countries which are too within reach thus rendering them uninteresting. (I know I know, it’s not true.)
Where turned to if when my grandfather got hospitalized in Istanbul almost two months ago. While I had my heart set in South America, leaving my family and going to the other end of the world seemed too scary. So I ended up in Istanbul, traveling to and from the hospital while dreaming up of all the possible destinations that I could somehow see myself wandering.
Then a miracle happened yesterday: I dyed my hair. There I was, at an Istanbul hairdresser my cousin frequents quite often, without my cousin, feeling as indecisive as ever, staring at my new dark hair with red streaks. I asked one of the apprentice boys, who was probably expecting me to pay for my new hairdo and leave the premises, for my third (!) Turkish coffee, opened up my laptop in front of the mirror, and proceeded to occupy their shop for the next hour as I bought an airline ticket to the other side of the world. I gave a nice tip to the hospitable men who gave me new hair and kept me caffeinated and left the hairdresser with the relief of finally having made a decision.
Tomorrow I am flying to Paris for the weekend and in just a few days, baring any meteor showers, I shall arrive in Colombia, apparently safe and prosperous now. At the moment, I am reconsidering the items in my backpack which by coincidence seems to possess the same color as the streaks in my hair. At this point, all I can say is Colombian weather is a bitch to pack for!