Aloha from Istanbul

Currently sitting somewhere in Istanbul, praying like no other my luggage makes it to Rome. I have no wifi or Turkish currency, and only told the credit card companies I was going to Italy so it’s a good thing I stocked up on snacks in San Francisco. And by snacks, I mean a 1.5 pound loaf of Boudin’s sourdough bread, pretzels, almond clusters, chickpeas and vegan chocolates. And so the adventure begins.

The sheer number of mental stages I have gone through in the past 24 hours is amazing. From my pride sitting at the airport thinking about what I’m about to do, to being downright giddy as the plane took off, to crying at two out of the four movies I watched*, it’s been a ride. And then we landed in Turkey, which is proving to be a little more challenging than I expected. With inconsistent directions, few attendants, gate signs that only go two hours in advance and hoards of people sitting wherever there’s open space, it may not be ideal but it’ll do.

At this point nothing could get me down. Six more hours and I’ll be back in the eternal city, with a whole new set of challenges to conquer. For instance finding the train to Grosseto and figuring out if I really can stay in the airport from when my flight lands at midnight till the first train leaves around 6 a.m. All I know is the second I arrive at Potentino, I’m going to need a good shower and a nap more than I have in my entire life.

I also still have no idea what they’re going to have me do when I arrive. From tending vines to cleaning to cooking, it could literally be anything. Will there be other people there? Will we all get along? Will it be as beautiful as the pictures or a bit of a let down after all this time I’ve spent imagining it?

For me, this could be a turning point for how seriously I decide to follow this passion for wine. Last summer it was the intro level of the sommelier, this time it’s the vineyard, and as soon as I get back it’ll be job hunting to figure out what’s next. To stay in Boston or go back to California? To work in the city or out somewhere in wine country? While it’s terrifying not knowing where I’m going to be in three months, it’s also pretty exciting. I’m still at the point where I could go anywhere, do anything. Although I guess we never really lose that, do we? It just seems like we do.

So cheers to the unknown, the known, and everything in between for the next three weeks. And here’s to hoping somewhere on the other side of this Turkish Airlines rainbow there’s a bag with my name on it.

*The Theory of Everything and Aloha, for the record.

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