Good Evening everyone, I trust you guys are having a blessed day in the lord- So I have been in Istanbul for the last few days and I thought I would blog about it. One of the first things the lord reminded me was always learning and ensuring we are led by the spirit. As I collected my baggage, I thought about how I was going to get to my hotel. Making my way out to the taxi points, I saw a lot of taxi drivers waiting to be chosen to be the ones that would drive those that have landed to their hotel. So, this particular cab driver says to me “taxi”? So naturally because that is what I was looking for I said yes and he helped me with my bag. It was on our way to the taxi that I realised I did not ask him how much the taxi was. So I asked how much it is? He said ₺200 Turkish Lira, immediately I thought that’s too much, but he was so convinced and that it was that amount; mind you he is speaking Turkish all this time and I am speaking English asking him why it is so much, trying to say that it cannot be that much. Also at the same time I was feeling in my spirit that I should go back to the main taxi point and look for another taxi or get advice from the information point, put together with all the confusion over the language differences.
Anyway, so I am now at the car pack only to discover it was not even a taxi but a normal car. At this point I am thinking I should go back to the main floor but I did not remember where it was. So I ignored my instincts and got in the car and I said to him I only have 150 to my amazement the taxi driver did not say much and did I mentioned he wanted me to give him the money the moment I got in the cab, these are all behaviours of a thief who preys on people from others countries who come travelling along and clueless about what they are doing. Probably if I had been with others he this driver would not have tried such a trick. So finally we arrive at the hotel after a good 40 mins of him driving not knowing where he was going, constantly on the phone to someone who might be giving him directions, stopping mid-way to get petrol and also to make sure I have the money. It is crazy right; all the signs are there? But I am feeling a rush of emotions and at this point and by then my focus was making sure I get to the hotel safely. So we are finally at the hotel, only for the driver to dropped me maybe a 30 seconds walk from the hotel. Another strange act. Most genuine taxi drivers will drive you in-front of the hotel.
I was relived to be out of car and of course he rushed off. So I get to the hotel with a warm welcome and after I have checked into the hotel I asked the manager roughly how much it cost to get a taxi from the airport to the hotel and he said maximum 50 Turkish Lira and do you know the first thing I said was “I knew it.” Can you imagine, form the moment the driver said 200 Turkish Lira, I knew instantly and in my gut that I should have said bye to that driver the moment he said 200 Turkish Lira but I did not listen. I thank God I was physically safe and okay but the beginning of my trip would have started off on a good start I not lost 150 Turkish Lira but it is well. Listen learned and I am even more cautious than I was before.
Be led by the spirit
The point I am trying to make here is this: if you are unsure about something especially in this situation where you are travelling alone, ask and ask again. It does not hurt to get the second taxi instead of the first one. Research ahead of time about the taxi and travel system; find out how much it will cost to get a taxi from your hotel. If your travel plans are booked way ahead of time, then call or email the hotel ahead of time and ask them how much a taxi will cost to their hotel. That way when you meet someone who tries to trick you into paying them more money you will know straight-away. After that weird encounter I prayed for him for the lord to do a work in him and I don’t believe he will truly enjoy that money because he has stolen it from one of Gods righteous ones. I did repent for not listening to the Holy Spirit because it is like God shows us where to go but it is up to us to practice listening and acting immediately especially if you are a female in a foreign country. After that I carried a cautious attitude with me everywhere that I went which I did not have at the beginning.
Communicate with people back home.
One of the things that was impressed on my spirit was to communicate with people back home, make sure they know where you are; what you are doing; and what you plan on doing the next day. This is for your safety and also for them to know that you are okay. It is also a great way to build relationships with your family. That communication keeps you close to your loved.
Keep videos and make notes of the lessons you have leant along the way. I am doing this through blogging but you could do it, you could do it in a different way. Through photos as well as videos. I have had different videos expressing my thoughts and ideas about where I am, and what I have learned so far, that way your family or friends in a way know your every step but also it is a great way to express yourself.
A chance for me to grow and learn more about me
So I hope this has helped some of you who are wondering should I travel alone. I will be honest it was not my first choice not my second, but it got to the point where I ended up waiting for my friends to come along and plan with me but were either married, or not ready, or they did not want to go where I wanted, or worse we made plans but they never materialised, so I finally realised that this is something I need to do in order to move forward on with my life. It was like a conquest or this mountain in front of me that I needed to climb over. Now perhaps God is dealing with you to learn to be whole and happy as you are, on your own. Sometimes people cannot do the things we desire because they just don’t want to. So, as the lord leads you give him time and prepare a head of time, always in faith and trust in the lord. Stay safe and smart. Another thing I did was be at my hotel by 5pm, before the sun goes down. It is safer and helps me to reflect on the day, or call my loved ones telling them about the day that I have just had and the day I am about to have tomorrow. All this keeps us accountable.
I Pray this has helped you on your own travels, but I encourage you to pray often about it. Travel someone if you need too, receive counsel and perhaps start of my going to a place you know well or one that speaks your language.
Love you, Sarah XOX