At our Remote Year orientation, we came up with core values for our group. We did it together, writing down common ground and putting to words the things we wanted to embody this year.
My favorite one was "rolling with the punches."
When you travel, things will go wrong. Your flight will get cancelled, you'll get food poisoning, the cafe's wifi will drop in the middle of a Skype call.
And a region of the world may no longer be a safe place for 75 (relatively rowdy) American and European travelers.
That's the case with Istanbul, our planned city for June.
Sure, it would probably be okay in a group. But that's not a good enough level of security, of assuredness for Remote Year as a company. I pass no judgement on that decision other than to say that I would have done the same, from a business perspective.
Traveling on my own? Absolutely I'd still go to Istanbul. But I'm not responsible for 75 travelers + staff.
So this June, we won't be strolling through the Hagia Sofia or taking a weekend trip to Cappadocia.
Instead, we'll be spending the month in London, England.
I know that a lot of our group isn't thrilled with the city choice, particularly the Brits and those from other areas in Europe. I'm sure to them it would be equivalent to me finding out I'm living in NYC for a month.
Sure, NYC is cool, but it's also expensive and I've been there many times. I didn't sign up for familiar.
For me, the news of London as a travel destination is so exciting. Yes, it's expensive, but I'll make it work. I've never been to London. It's towards the top of my travel wish list. My tastes are quite anglophilic and my best friends are obsessed with the place, so I'm pleased as punch.
I am sad that I won't see Istanbul this year. I've now had to cancel two Istanbul trips - one because of divorce (dammit), one because of Remote Year. I have a long list of things I want to do in Turkey, a list that will remain woefully stagnant for now.
I'm rolling with the punches. I'll see Istanbul eventually.
Plus, it's much cheaper to visit Amanda in Ireland when I'm just hopping over from London.