I’m spending my 5th day in Istanbul. I was supposed to be here for 24 h.

This is what it feels like to be helpless. I’m used to taking charge, to make things happen, and as a big part of Europe and parts of the rest of the world comes to a halt (at least in the skies), I find that what I am left with is taking charge of myself and how I respond to the current situation. But of course, it’s actually exactly as how it is in any other situation.

As I left Stockholm last Thursday, I noticed that flights to the UK and Norway were cancelled, but just didn’t realize how this ash cloud was going to spread. As I checked into my hotel in Istanbul that same evening and switched on the TV, I became aware that my route back had been closed. And at the same time I was thinking “Oh, I’m sure it won’t be that bad”, so the next morning I packed my bag and checked out.

I wasn’t going anywhere though.  Out of the client group I was working with only a couple of people got out that day. The rest of us hunkered down for the weekend, changing hotels, desperately trying to find ways out. Airlines, travel agents, trains – there must be something!

In the middle of it all, you also need to realize that there is only so much you can do and then make the best out of the situation.

So now I’ve seen the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar and much more. And as I’ve walked the streets of Istanbul, it’s felt surreal – how come I’m here? If anyone had told me that I would be getting a closer look at this giant city where east meets west, I would have said they were crazy.

Well, here I am. Still here. Impressed and intrigued by this bustling city, intrigued by what’s happening with Iceland and the ash cloud and everything that it brings. And what a reminder this is, that we really can’t control nature.

And we, human beings, the modern world, have somehow gotten so used to controlling things or at least trying to control them:-)

I’m very happy not to be stranded here on my own. And I will get home soon, somehow. I’m taking control of my state of mind, of my thoughts, of my optimism. There is a solution, of that I am sure.