In Search of Sanity?

by Emily Johnson / Jan 26, 2011 / 0 comments

So here I sit at a cafe in Antalya - a city in southern Turkey which is nestled ever so quaintly on the blue waters of the Mediterranean.  The first morning I awoke here (which was almost two months ago to the day), I opened my eyes to a stunning sight; the calm sea, contrasted by the severity of steep mountains - rubbing my eyes in wonder, I must say,  I was unprepared for the sight that was before me.   It took me a moment to recollect where I was - Turkey being the fourth country I would be calling 'home' in a mere four months.  Having spent the past three odd years happily nested in my Krakowian, thesis writing bliss, I had spontaneously decided to uproot myself. So after a summer spent teaching in the deserts of Oman and an over-extended stay back in the US with my tremendously missed family, I flew to Turkey - without a plan but with an invitation from an old acquaintance whom had an extra room (with a view) in his Mediterranean flat.  

The first week I wondered about this ancient city, snapping photographs of dilapidated structures, old Roman ruins and, of course, that picture-perfect view of mountains and sea.  I rode my borrowed bicycle up and down the coast until my legs turned to rubber, spent long hours getting to know my new flatmate and just generally becoming acquainted with my new language and surroundings.

I quickly found work and began to teach English around the city at various language schools, and before you knew it... I was more or less 'settled in'.  

Uncertainty and insecurity of course abound, as comes with the territory of a 'wandering educator' I suppose.  I have managed to bring an illness with me to my new home that I had hoped to leave in Poland, my flatmate (which has become my only trustworthy confidant, and translator) is most likely leaving in a few months, and I never know how many hours I will be getting from week to week - making money a scary topic of conversation.  But I came here knowing fare-well that it wasn't going to be all pretty morning wake-ups and long bike rides into the Mediterranean abyss.  I came here to re-connect with my path, to de-compress from a year of chaos and striking emotional contrasts.  I came here to write, make a bit of money and hopefully be able to work my way out of English teaching and into a world of NGO's and peace building ventures. (I know, I'm such an idealist). I am torn between two worlds - that of a very loose concept of 'home' and that of the eternal, winding road. I am constantly being told how to properly live my life -briefly noting it in the back of my mind, I usually ignore all words of 'good sense' and follow the path which has yet to be paved, leaving me without much security, but impassioned and motivated for more.