Does it happen to you, when there is a thing you need to do, but you feel a little uncomfortable about it. Me? Doing THIS? No way!
For me, it is often a case, but once I had an incredible inspiration about it while staying in Istanbul airport.
Istanbul is really amazing and beautiful city. Full of life, culture with an ever-present sense of history. I had some inspiring experiences there already described HERE, but now I will share even more interesting adventure!
My flight was scheduled very early in the morning, so, I decided to stay overnight in the airport. From time to time I sleep in airports and I got used to it. Usually, it happens like this – I find some chairs comfortable enough to sleep on them and then just sleep on them.
But this usually happens when I have to wait for a connecting flight at the airport, so I always stay in the check-in area. This time, there was a problem that I could not check in the evening, only in the morning before the flight, so I needed to wait and spend my night somewhere around the check-in counters.
That seemed to be too crazy. No chairs around, the place is busy, full of people hurrying here and there, constant loud announcements. It was not such big problem, that I will not be able to take a good rest. I was ready for that. Well, if I don’t want to pay for accommodation, I am supposed to do some sacrifices, right?
The problem was, that I felt really uncomfortable about the idea, that I will lie just on the floor somewhere besides check-in counters, where people are walking. That was so uncomfortable for my mind. A huge step outside my comfort zone.
But I needed to spend my night here, there was no other way. I was afraid of people, police, security, everything, but had no other solutions.
So I found a place to lie down that was not on the way, some flower pots separated me from those hurrying people. I put my mat on the ground and sat down. Well, here I will sleep, let’s make familiar with this place.
The singing man
And then I heard somebody singing. I stood up and looked around. There was some guy lying on the ground on a sleeping mat, with his backpack beside him. He looked like a real real traveler. He had his sleeping mask put on his eyes, so he could not see anything around, he had headphones, so he could not hear anything around. He just listened to his player and sung a song loudly.
I realized instantly what a poor guy I am, how many concerns I have, that are completely unnecessary. That guy is laying on the floor and singing, while I try to convince myself, that it is OK, to lie on the floor and sleep at night! He looked like he is really free from many limitations society puts on us.
And me, way to go, way to go…
But this man was not that powerful as sleeping Muslims. What is the story about them?
Well, I usually go to sleep early. So, I sat down for a little bit reading a book, and then laid on my mat, covered my eyes with a sleeping mask and fell asleep. I think that guy was also preparing to sleep.
Honestly, my flight was not that really early. I needed to get up at around 6 am. So, at that time airports are already busy and full of people. When I woke up, there were lots of people hurrying around, thanks to those flower pots, they did not step on me.
And where are the Muslims?
That is the magic part! I went to sleep alone. (Maybe that guy was my company) I get up alone. (The guy was gone) But was I really alone?
Around 1 am I woke up because of a sudden need to visit the toilet. After fighting this need for a few minutes (lazy) I finally got up and took off my sleeping mask. What did I see?
Lots of people sleeping around. Not as comfortable as me – on a mat, in a sleeping bag, with a pillow and a sleeping mask. No, just on the floor, with anything that they have under the head (bags, clothes), covered with their jackets not to be cold.
Muslim women with their hijabs, men, kids, foreigners. Lots of people everywhere.
This still looks like a dream. I visited the toilet and went back to sleep. Just a few moments of being awake and I know I’m not alone. But if I would not get up at that time I would not know this.
That’s why it’s magic. An interruption to my sleep that still looks like a dream – surreal, strange, unexpected but inspiring.
Simple people. Not hardcore travelers like that singing guy. Not well prepared like me. Simple families. And they were doing what is considered to be an amazing experience! Oh, sleeping in an airport! I myself was proud of it, and my traveler friends sometimes post stories on facebook how hardcore travelers they are, because they sleep in airports or stations!
This experience is one of those reminding me that simple life can also be amazing and full of experiences.
If you want to do something uncomfortable – you should know there are lots of people already doing that. And most of them are not hardcore professionals. They are simple people. Simple people doing amazing things.
My suggestion – get inspired by them, not the professionals. This inspiration is accessible more easily because simple people are like you or even simpler than you. If they can do this, you can do even better.
And professionals – sometimes they are gifted, sometimes too passionate, sometimes they practice since childhood. Now it is too late to practice since childhood.
If you want to know more about sleeping in airports – check this web page. There are lots of information and experiences of sleeping in many different airports. Pick the one you will be spending your night, read, and get prepared ;)
And here is the list of inspiring introverts. Some of them are really simple people.