This week I found myself reminiscing.
I once lived in this little city in Turkey. Well, it is not really little but that is how it felt at the time. The time being the two years when I felt like I was slowly dying inside out when I wanted to simply die, when I forgot who I am, when my friends were two years away, when I tasted loneliness, when I became a loner, when I pushed myself to levels I didn’t know I had, when I had a perpetual headache, when nothing made sense, when I learned to hate the sun, when I embraced darkness and let it colour my soul. Two years of a darkened soul in Antalya.
Antalya is this gorgeous city in the Southwest coast of Turkey; a bucket list destination with a mixture of tradition, history and modern in equal measure. The old city is epic, the architecture is grand, the people are friendly, the beaches attract people from far and wide, the boat tours will sail you out into the waters, the Antalya Archaeological museum is just awesome, an august city with lots of history.
And yet I spent the two longest years of my life here. This, my friends, is a story for another day.
To my surprise, I have found myself missing, longing for, Antalya. I am not entirely sure what triggered it. How is it possible to miss a place I hated so? A place laden with memories that are not so pleasant, a place that could burn the hell out of your skin in summer, a place that spoke in tongues. The answer to this question is simply because no matter how bad a place is, we always leave a part of our soul when we leave.
I left my soul in the friends that I made in Antalya, in the glorious old city, on the streets that I walked, during the nights in summer that my friends and I went out to town or simply sat in groups and talked and laughed, laughter that ended a bit too quick, that were accompanied with a deep air of sadness.
Of course this is an experience that is unique to me; I cannot even speak for my friends who were in the same situation as I because we are all different. In fact, some of them were having the time of their lives.
Anyway, I will do something I never really do and revisit Antalya through memories and tell you some of the things that had my soul, things that are now making me long for that little city. So for the next few weeks I will bring you Bits from Antalya.
Btw, you should consider visiting; you will love it.