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Arrival in Istanbul Turkey

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Arrival in Istanbul: End of Rainbow is Sometimes a Pile of Mud

Now, after eight months of trying, I have arrived in Istanbul. It is raining, I am wet, and have no place to go. The built in water proofing in my Carhartt work boots just kicked the bucket. I am a walking sponge.

Why did I want to come here so badly?

I began riding an old bicycle to Turkey from the Czech Republic last May. I made it as far as a hostel job in Budapest before my university began chattering about how I needed to graduate. So I made a run through Brooklyn to complete my final semester, and then returned to Budapest. At this point I had the sole intention of going directly to Turkey, but,as usual, my Road was not straight. It curved through the Balkans and I traveled through Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania before hopping a bus to Greece and then a train to Istanbul.

I am in Istanbul. I have arrived.
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Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Travelogue Travel Photos — Travel Guide
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Standing in the rain with no place to go, I realize that the end of the rainbow is sometimes a pile of mud. Arrivals are always anti-climatic.

“You will never arrive, so enjoy the journey,” I whispered to myself as I looked at an equally soaked Chaya, “enjoy the journey.”

I am in the streets of Istanbul staring at Chaya, who seemingly cannot orient the landscape of where we are with the landscape of her memories from a previous visit. She gets annoyed with me for thinking that she should know somewhere – anywhere – that we could find cheap shelter.

“Taksim square,” she spoke, and there we went.

Sopping through the streets in a downpour we found the Neverland hostel after a frustrating search.

11 Euro per person was the price.

Upon hearing this I turned for the door to face the weather with my funds intact. Chaya did not follow. I turned to find her staring at me with a peculiar sort of look that she reserves just for me when she presumes that I am about to perform a ridiculous deed.

It was clear: there was no way that I was dragging pregnant Chaya back out into the rain storm; there was no way that we were going to walk back up the hill leading to Taksim to resume our futile search for cheap accommodation; there was no way that either of us wanted to continue swimming our way through the streets of Istanbul. We were going to get dry, and we were going to drop 22 Euro to do so.

Chaya looked at me gracefully with a crack of a smile.

Sometimes even a vagabond’s stubborn clinging to his pocket book has a breaking point.

Sometimes you travel thousands of miles just to stand out in the rain.

Mosque on the Asian side of Istanbul.

The most expensive train in the world, from Greece to Istanbul.

Related Pages:
Czech Republic- Bicycle Travel to Turkey
Bike Vagabond Maps to the Sickle Moon Horizon

Arrival in Istanbul: End of Rainbow is Sometimes a Pile of Mud

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Filed under: Eastern Europe, Europe, Turkey

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3054 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Cincinnati, Ohio, USAMap

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