When I started writing this, I was sitting in the beautiful Iberia lounge in Madrid. But I stopped to take a shower and drink bourbon. So here I am, a week later.
For the record, I didn’t pay to get in and I certainly do not travel enough to have any status. But traveling is one of the few times that I feel open to talk to just about anyone. It’s a freeing experience for me.
Maybe it’s that I know I will likely never see anyone I talk to ever again.
Maybe it’s the adrenaline.
Maybe I am just a little crazy.
I tend to be put in the position, once or twice a year, where I am going to have a layover. Instead of trying to avoid them, I embrace them! When I am put in the position, I try to extend the layover somewhere between 15- 24 hours. And this time frame is for a couple really important reasons.
- It’s a reasonable amount of time that it doesn’t get in the way of busy life too much
- It is the right amount of time to send your bags through all the way to your destination without having to claim them
- It’s enough time to get a good run through a city
For me, I have some of the best trips and memories because of them. It’s how I got to see Switzerland, and I have a crazy story from that trip ( see below). It’s how I got to see Turkey and party at an exclusive club, and it’s how I most recently spent a day in Madrid.
For me, there are no downsides. I spend a minimal amount of money just to get to the city, and then I plan on walking everywhere else. I mean that. I don’t cab around. It’s a waste. If you are smart and plan it correctly, then you will make a circle from your starting point stopping at the major spots along the way.
Get there, see it, and move on. And if you really enjoy it, stop and appreciate it. The time frame we are dealing with above is more than you think.
But don’t rush. My favorite part is walking. And lounging. And observing.
If you are open to it, you will meet some fun people.
I like strangers. Oddly, I am very comfortable around them during these times. Maybe it’t the unknown and adventure. That’s how I met my friend Ketty on this trip. She was on the same flight and doing the same layover.
But alone is good to. It’s refreshing. Embrace it. When I was in Switzerland. I met this nice couple who gave me a home cooked meal and a place to stay. In the morning, this nice couple was waiting for me with a 5 course gourmet breakfast. And then they walked me to the train and paid for my ticket back to the airport.
That was a little crazy.
But what an adventure.
My only regret is that my wife usually doesn’t end up joining me and I am riding solo. It would certainly be way more fun if we were together.