When things don’t go as planned, as is often the case, you’ve got to keep moving. Getting caught like a deer in the headlights only gets you hit by whatever 18-wheeler is coming your way.
Yesterday was one of the most exhausting travel days in our two and a half years of marriage. First of all, my body has not had time to adjust to any time zone during this first ten days since we left home so my sleep patterns are all out of whack. I got about 2 hours of sleep the night before the flight (if you consider 04:48 to 07:00 “night”). On June 14, I spent 16 hours either in the air or the airport (find out how I did it here). At the end of our Turkish layover, we stepped up to the gate to discover that we were missing a critical piece of documentation. In short, we weren’t going to be landing in India as we’d planned.
Come to find out, after leaving the gate, we wouldn’t be going to India at all on this trip. The documentation we needed would take four days to be approved and, by then, we would be hours from leaving for our next destination. So we did the smartest thing we could do: we purchased the Turkish visa that we had refused to purchase during our nine-hour layover. After going through two hours of customer service (now our nine-hour layover has turned into eleven), purchasing a Turkish visa, going through customs where we were redirected one time too many, finding out that the Indian Rupees we had exchanged dollars for were now worth half what we paid for them (that was a tough one), and then all but panhandling in order to access WiFi (as explained in my last post), we were finally able to get a hotel reservation *praise break*.
We’re in an Islamic nation during Ramadan (by the way, I’d like to say that it’s messed up that Apple automatically capitalized a lowercase c when I typed Christmas but wouldn’t do the same when I typed in Ramadan) so things are moving differently and, instead of being able to catch the hotel shuttle, we had to catch a taxi that we didn’t want to take but that was the only option. Thankfully, we arrived at the hotel and it was the most beautiful ending to a challenging day. The hotel was nice, safe, and inexpensive (we would’ve paid twice this at a hotel in Charlotte and three to four times more in D.C.).
Here’s why I’m happy this happened and why I believe everything happens for a reason: Northern India can be an unkind place for black people. *NEWSFLASH* That’s the whole world, right? Right. But recently, acts of mob-like violence have been on the rise there and I had an Indian friend tell me that it’s not just unsafe for women there but also that men (specifically black men) have been targeted. She didn’t say not to go but she did say to be in before dark and never leave my tour guide’s side because whoever was our guide would help us navigate the culture. While I believe that God would have our backs wherever we went, maybe this was His/Her way of saying “Chill, bruh. No need to unnecessarily stress yourself.”
So, here I am, in Turkey and excited because, though we had a rough 24 hours, last night, I slept GREAT and today, I feel amazing. Time to go knock out a few miles.
Make seeing the beauty in the struggle a priority.