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  • Michelle Bernard

Airport Layovers and Life's Transitions

I've always viewed layovers in airports as symbolic of transition. You're leaving one location to land in the next...but there's this time in between that is almost like a standstill.

Moments in transition create an opportunity for:

• reflection • planning • dreaming • fresh vision • rest • discovering more about yourself

...and so much more!

I realize this is pretty deep to compare with a layover at an airport, but hear me out.

We miss so much of life when we are just trying to get on with the next thing- like quickly navigating through a crowded airport. Typically I don't pay much attention to my surroundings and the people I pass by when I'm focused on getting to the next flight as fast as possible.


When we try to speed up our lives we miss out on so much!

Last year when I was traveling back home from Europe I had a long layover in Istanbul, Turkey. I took the opportunity to observe people and imagine their stories and the places they were going to and coming from.

I talked with shop owners and heard more about Turkish culture. I attempted to greet people with the Turkish "hello" and embraced receiving a few laughs as I'm sure my pronunciation was a bit off. I reflected on my trip I had just experienced. I dreamed of what my future could look like abroad that I've longed for so many years now. I strategically planned for the coming weeks and what I needed to get done.

My experience waiting in transition at the Istanbul airport was a gift.


Sure, it put me about 8 hours later getting back home to my final destination, but I would never trade those opportunities to hear stories, embrace a taste of the culture, reflect, dream, and plan ahead.


I felt rested getting on the plane and like I had received a gift I wouldn't have had without that long layover.

Sometimes life's transitions feel like that too. We want it to speed ahead and to get on with life to the "next thing." We are all waiting for something. It could be waiting for the perfect job, to get married, have kids, buy a house, travel to your dream destination, get out of debt, finish school, retire and the list goes on...


But when we slow down and embrace the waiting time to explore and see what's around or what opportunities there are right here and now, we realize there's a lot more in life we discover during the "layover"times than just getting to the "final destination" for what we've been waiting for.


I hope I remember next time in the waiting to look intentionally for the gifts and opportunities right in front of me.


I'll never forget eating Turkish delight in the Istanbul airport...that layover and experience as a whole was absolutely a delight in itself!


So, how about for you?


What are you waiting on right now? What are the gifts right in front of you during your time of transition or what feels like a layover to your final destination?