For our final three nights in Istanbul I relocated us to a friendly CouchSurfing host living just a few minutes away from the airport. Bülent's proximity meant that we wouldn't have to wake at an even greater ungodly hour than I knew we'd already have to (check-in for their flight starts at 7:00 a.m.—with me getting up at a cold, dark 5:30 to get the family awake and moving not long after).
Return of the Solo Traveler
Bülent works for Turkish airlines as an IT worker (network administration), and I couldn't be more pleased and thankful that he offered to drive us to the airport (heading into work early afterward). This guy truly made what had the potential to be a stressful departure for Tatiana and Aidric anything but.
Tatiana and I knew we'd be seeing each other again in 12 short weeks, but that didn't make the goodbye at Turkish immigration any easier. We'd spent as much time as we could in a dining area feeding Aidric and being with each other before waving them goodbye as they turned a corner in the concourse.
Aside from a brief two-week jaunt into Ecuador and northern Peru in Feb 2008 (and her passport run down to Chile with Aidric in that same month), Tatiana hasn't really left my side for nearly a year and a half. I'll certainly miss them, but I think we could all use a breather: Tatiana from living out of a backpack, and me from traveling with an infant. I know we'll come back together refreshed and ready for anything.