• Jefferine Jean-Jacques

Silver Linings

Unlike many everyday travelers, I welcome the dreaded layovers most individuals long to avoid. I seek stops of at least eight hours or more, where I might wander around aimlessly if I so choose - stretching my legs, indulging in traditional cuisines, catching a glimpse of the people, and getting a sense of the city. For me, it's like an appetizer to the main course.

This is Istanbul, Turkey, in the early morning hours between 6 AM - 8 AM. The city starts to stir as a soft golden light illuminates the day. Business owners prepare for local and tourist patrons alike. Morning routines commence, and everything comes to life.

Oftentimes, I have an idea of what I want to see or do during my short stints in these various locations, but there are times, like in this instance, where I stay relatively close to the airport (under an hour) and walk around taking photos of whatever catches my eye or speaks to my spirit. One of my favorite pastimes is "people watching" and quietly absorbing the environment; thus, this practice is naturally a treat for someone like me.

Typically, these side trips are only booked on my outbound flights because I'm usually homesick by the time I'm heading home, and only desire to get back quick, fast, and in a hurry. The overall purpose I find that these stops serve is that I get a peek into another region. I can document what I've witnessed, and it informs me on whether I'd like to return for a more in-depth experience to a place that may have never been on my radar.

Learning how to adapt to unexpected situations and turning them into opportunities has become a regular practice in my traveling routine. I had to learn to be fluid and shift perspective when plans don’t go my way. I have realized that capturing an image is all about the moment ... not the schedule. In seeking the silver lining when plans change, I have always found at least one.

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