I met a French Canadian model in Istanbul one night and we talked about how much we wanted to see Cappadocia in the months we were to spend in Turkey. The next evening I was working a job when he told me to go home and pack a bag- I told my roommate to do the same and we left on a 12 hour overnight bus.
After finding a place to stay that morning on arrival, the three of us spent the day exploring Goreme with a motorbike and a quad as I swapped on the back of each of them. The next day we checked out of the hostel and decided to head out for a hike and find somewhere to camp.
It was such a warm day that by the early afternoon we'd set up in a little cave you had to climb into to be safe from the wild dogs. We collected grass to put underneath our blanket to make a comfortable bed and sat with watermelon and red wine, laughing when we couldn't understand each other's accents.
When the sky was dark we laid with our heads together at the opening of the cave, staring at the starry sky in awe. In the middle of the night we awoke to the chilly mountain air and pulled all the clothes from our bags to blanket us. At first light we ran out to watch hundreds of balloons lifting into the air from all around us as the sun rose from behind us in moments of complete magic.
That day we walked back to the little town, picking white mulberries and handfuls of cherries along the way. I think because I grew up between mountains I always feel safe when I'm surrounded by them, like I'm being hugged by our Mother Earth.
On the long journey back to Istanbul, we got separated and the bus left A and I at an enormous station in Ankara where no one spoke English. I showed my ticket to anyone who would look and soon we had a crowd of employees around us yelling instructions in Turkish. I was so overwhelmed I ended up just laughing, thinking of our friend and our bags with our passports on a bus that we weren't on.
We ended up on another bus and caught up a few hours later, just in time to see the orange glow of sunset over Istanbul as we rolled across the river. I watched the fading light through my eyelashes and then made sure I'd remember how special that moment was.