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Liz On The Loose
No Photos 7th Aug 2013 - Gorillas and Game

After three weeks of travelling, it feels as if time has flown by. Yet, there I was packing my suitcase for the last time this summer and getting ready to head home.

I have a few things to say about the Istanbul International Airport. Firstly, it seems that passport control is an issue if you are coming or going. I am aware that that Istanbul is becoming a large hub for airlines and European travel. I would like to give them a tip...hire more passport control workers! The terminal is quite nice, but when I saw the line at passport control (and seemingly nice stores beyond that point) I headed in line for my long wait. Once through, I looked for a store that sold medicines. None. Just Duty Free. In fact, there were 9 beautifully large Duty Free shops in the sections A-H (I couldn't go any further), plus the smaller duty free stores. I asked someone in the perfume section about where I could buy medicine and their response was "before passport control". If I needed 20 locations to buy the same stinky perfume, I know where to go. But lord help you if you need to buy aspirin, water, magazines, or anything else! If you can't beat them, join them...I bought some Haribo gummy bears and an exorbitantly large Milka chocolate bar to ease my pain (I wanted to spend my last Liras, not realizing the prices were in Euros which made for more embarrassment at the checkout). I read some of my book that I was intending to already have done by now, but I was having too much fun on my trip, while I waited for my plane to board.

They called for my flight and I noticed that we were at the end of the airport in a roped off section of the terminal. It was only for the Canadian flight, the extra security check. I wonder what that was all about.

I have discovered that it is a very small world. The world is an interesting place sometimes. On my flight, I sat beside a boy from Hamilton who was in the high school production of Les Miserables that i saw with Elaine Quesnel last year. He reminds me of my student Colin, being an actor and aspiring director and informed me on the little TV screens on the seat in front of us) which movies should be watched for my cinematic education and experience. Surprisingly, he wasn't mad when I chose TV shows, I just needed something fast and light for now (but I will watch the rest of his suggestions later). In fact, he started to watch some of my shows later two and the two of us tried our best to contain our laughter, since many people were trying to sleep. He was a lot of fun to talk with for the plane ride, as no one was going to get any sleep with a screaming infant for 9 hours (2 of them were quiet...the landing)!

I debated for quite some time on the plane about being honest or not on my declaration form. I chose to be honest, of course I have food to bring back...Ido from the Spice Bazaar made sure of that! When we landed, I was impressed with the new changes in the Toronto airport. They have automated their passport control area (Istanbul take note here, please) and I breezed through in 2 minutes. I had to wait for about 10 minutes to get my luggage and then my final chat at the doors to the terminal about what I declared on the form was met with a grin and 'have a good day' (I think that they might have been surprised that I bothered to declare my Turkish Delights).

I headed out to the road to wait for my parents to pick me up and was surprised at how hot and humid it was. It was this hot when I left, but I guess I had forgotten after all of this time. I waited for an hour and headed back in the terminal to find my dad leaning against a post. He came inside (which he never does, but claims he does...maybe for non-family members)! Regardless, I was safely on my way home to chat and catch up with family.

As I reflect on my trip this summer, I have been collecting some deeper thoughts along the way that I have kept to myself. There is one thing that I have noticed about myself. I really like who I am when I travel. I am adventurous, outgoing, inquisitive, and more positive. The minute of my first game drive in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania I instantly felt refreshed and like my soul was awakened. Even as my body grew weary from extended travel, my heart felt light and happy. Each new experience brought me more joy. I really need these moments to rejuvenate. My time with the school kids, orphans, animals, and friends along the way have impacted me and they all hold a special place in my heart.

Thanks for sharing my adventures with me on this trip. Until next time!

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