It was something I was struggling with for too long. A fear I had been carrying around for about two years. One that I had to face every day. And just couldn’t get over.
It started that awful day in August 2011. The day I was attacked and had all of my belongings stolen. The day I was left without any ID, in a country where the Canadian embassy provided very little support. The day I was left constantly feeling afraid to walk alone as I never knew who may sneak up be behind me.
And so when I arrived in Cappadocia, Turkey I was keen to hike, something I LOVE to do. I met friends to hike with. But there was still one hike I wanted to do. The Rose Valley from Cavusin to Goreme. But no one else was around to go with me. I attempted to do the hike alone.
I walked about five minutes down the path. But I just couldn’t do it. It was my last day in Goreme.
So I left town to move on to my next destination. I was sad that I had let a fear take over my desire to see one of the top valleys in the area.
I wanted to do that hike and it was time to stop letting the criminals who changed my life take over. So I returned.
And set out to the hike. Alone. Tearful. Afraid. I nearly turned back several time. And continuously questioned why I chose to get over my fear of walking alone/being attacked in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language and I already stand out with my red hair.
I worried that it would get dark before I finished. But it didn’t. I worried that someone would jump out of nowhere, like that awful day as I walked through a park. But no one was around except some other friendly hikers.
I tried to enjoy the views. But couldn’t. So I snapped a few photos so I could look back and realize just how beautiful the hike was.
And as I reached the “finished line”, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. I celebrated with a nice glass of local wine. Before setting out the next day to do another hike.
Most importantly, I now walk around town without fear. Knowing that I am in control of my life. The criminals may have my old passport, mobile phone and credit cards, but I have my confidence back.