Staying Connected

I’m sitting on the rooftop of my small hotel in Istanbul on a glorious morning.  In front of me is the Blue Mosque,

Blue Mosque

behind me Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

and to the left the Bosphorus Strait.  I’m feeling blessed that I can experience these sights in my lifetime and even more fortunate that I can see them with my daughter Erin.

From the rooftop of our hotel.

We are about 1/3 through our journey of circling the globe creating a documentary on people who are making a positive change in the world  – Opening Our Eyes. Just like at home, I relish the quiet peace of the early mornings when I take time to reflect on what’s ahead in my day or write down the random thoughts that pulse through my mind.  The mornings are my time and even in the hustle and bustle of moving from one destination to the next, I try to take this time for myself.

As I look across other rooftop gardens and watch as people start their day, I’m thinking about my first travels and how so different it was back in the early 1970’s to stay in touch with people back home.  There was no Internet, nor cell phones and making a call required investing some time in a telephone exchange office until they placed your overseas call and directed you to a booth.  Because it was so costly, you crossed your fingers that someone would be home or that you wouldn’t get a busy signal – no answering machines back then.  And if you were so fortunate to connect , you made every word and minute count and talked rapidly.  Every once in awhile I would get a letter from home that was either sent to the local American Express office or to General Post.  It still amazes me that I got anything in the mail back then and somewhere in my boxes of memorabilia are those precious letters waiting to be discovered some rainy day.

Nowadays it seems that one is always connected.  Even when I’ve been in somewhat remote spots without Wifi or wired connection, my global phone has worked and I’ve gotten emails.  It’s great to be able to stay connected and with that comes a sense of security.  But it’s also easy to be too connected and miss some of the nuances of the culture you are in.  Like everything there is a fine balance.

Many people asked me how I was going to be able to keep in touch with clients when I was gone and wasn’t I worried that being away for a 3-month period would be detrimental to my business.  I’m very fortunate that I have a partner and husband Tom who is holding down the fort while I’m gone – paying the bills, servicing our clients, marketing and everything else that goes into keeping a business alive in a struggling economy.  I’m also taking full advantage of the time we live in and the ease of staying connected through emails and blogs.  Not only am I able to stay in touch with clients,  I am keeping them abreast of my project and building a larger audience and presence in the process.

It’s an amazing time we live in and having grown up when I did, I take none of this for granted.   I’m going to sign off for now and take myself offline to connect with the place I’m in – the people, the culture, the landmarks – the sights, the smells and the sounds.  Thanks for listening and more importantly for all your thoughts, comments, Facebook posts and emails and keeping me connected

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One thought on “Staying Connected

  1. Jorge Parra June 23, 2010 / 6:10 am

    Gail, I was taken not only by your comments, but also by the fact that I mayhave satyed in the same small hotel you are in Istanbul.
    By night, the window of the room would be lit by the glow coming from Hagia Sofia.
    WHen talking about people , places and what they do, I strongly suggest you try to grab one of those amazing sandwiches with sardines they make almost everywhere. It is to me one of the best things I have ever eaten.

    Also, I know this could be less easy to do, but, if you get the chance to go to the steam houses( Hamams), or Turkish Baths, you may have a mystical experience. It happened to me, and still today I recall what an unique sensation it was, surrounded by spherical constructions and centuries-old glass windows, and there is nothing I have done anywhere else that brings out that feeling of floating and deep relaxation induced by the steam in those ancient houses, some dating back from the Roman Empire. No kidding!

    FOr some reason, this state of trance made me understand how grateful I was of being alive, and how important it is to be grateful for it. Our life is a brief gift, and not realizing it, regardless of what we are doing at any time, makes it such a waste.

    Jorge

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