As anyone who has ever lived overseas can tell you, sometimes things happen and they suck. They suck because whatever happens is typically unexpected, and the culturally smart way of dealing with the suckiness is often drastically different than the way you’re used to.
That big ball of suck kind of sums up this last week for me. But instead of crying about it, I decided to do something a little bit different. I packed up my childhood teddy bear and went on an adventure.
This is Bartleby Binghamton Bear, my piece of home that has travelled with me for the last twenty-five years. He’s lived with me in seven different states and has officially been to three countries. Most of the time he stays in my room, but this time I thought I’d take him with me on a short trip to the Prince Islands, a set of three islands about forty-five minutes away from Istanbul by ferry.
As you can tell, Barty has had a few misadventures of his own, chiefly with some young puppies who got loose in the house when I was seven (that’s why we gave him an eyepatch). He also used to be less dirty, but true explorers don’t care too much about dirt.
I know it seems a little silly for a twenty-five year old woman to still carry around a teddy bear, but at this point Barty’s been with me through so much I can’t imagine leaving him behind.
The thing is, I know that my bear is just a bear. At any moment he could be lost or damaged beyond repair. When I get older and have kids, will he be stuffed away in a corner somewhere? Or will he be one of those blessed toys who are given a second life with new kids? Maybe, maybe not.
But in the meantime, I’ll keep Barty with me. He’s a piece of home, and you can never truly leave home behind.