He said, you work hard, you play hard, you love hard….when do you ever give yourself a break? You are raw. I can feel it. In a few days you are off on the road for this Mongol Rally insanity, which is anything but a vacation. You need sometime to yourself. You need time off, be alone, recharge your battery.

I reply, I show up. I show up to play… work, life, love, I show up to play. What is wrong with that? I don’t have trouble being with myself or sit still. I just don’t want to phone in any part of it.

I’ve picked a non-linear, unconventional path for my life instead of the Wal-Mart quick mix out of the box variety. This path is risky. The outcome is unpredictable and certainty is hard to find. Doubt is a friend that visits often. The hope of all hope is that if I do it right, if I show up to play everyday with my A game, then perhaps, just perhaps, it will turn out well and the rewards for having chosen the road less traveled will be extraordinary.

Airplane Wing Blue Sky Over Russia

Doubt smuggles on board the flight (JFK-SVO-IST) with me as an extra piece of luggage and we attempt to nap.

Airplane Nap

Chocolate Mousse Desert Airplane Food

I think he might have even drooled on me at one point.

A not too exciting arrival in Istanbul followed by a bone crushing welcome hug from a soul sister who have also chosen the unconventional path. Bed. Wide awake at 5am from time zone hopping.

Istanbul Early Morning Light

Is it too early to go search for coffee?

I quietly sneak out of our apartment. I walk around the neighborhood, this tiny fraction of Constantinople I will call home for the next few days. I need coffee, bread, something….and in the early morning light, with a light breeze on my skin, trash on the street patiently waiting to be picked up, I see a beautiful moment right in front of me.

Istanbul Beyoglu Corner Store with Old Man

Yeah. Okay. This. This moment right here. This is the dividend I get to collect from picking the road less traveled.

Mud like Turkish coffee. Fuzzy Peach. Cheese. Olives. Bread still warm from the oven. A terrace with a view. Yeah. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Peach Feta Cheese Olives Bread Coffee Turkish Breakfast

Rooftop View Bayoglu Istanbul

Irrespective as to which path you are on, doubt visits us all. The only thing you can do is show up. Show up to play. Shine. Trust the dots will connect themselves.

Charlie Grosso Istanbul

Where is my friend doubt? I didn’t see him at baggage claim…

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