The island of Menekse, Istanbul, Turkey. Island number 22 (out of 100), country number 19 (out of 25), month number 20 (out of 100.)
This week the world thought me a lesson about being one.
On Monday I went and visited “The bridge between continents” at Sandvík, Iceland. It’s a place where you can visually see where the North American continental plate and the European continental plate meet (and slowly drift apart from each other.)
Standing there made me realise: We are not separated by continents – we are connected by them.
The landmasses of the continents might be divided by oceans but zoom out a bit and you realise that all the continental plates stick together like a giant puzzle holding us all together.
I had scheduled a one day stop-over in Iceland on a journey taking me from Sweden to Chicago. One Tues-Thursday I was in the USA (Speaking for The Global Leadership Summit, a summit that is broadcast to 400 000+ people in 128 countries.)
On Thursday I flew from the USA to Istanbul, Turkey and landed at Istanbul Atatürk Airport.
Again I had scheduled a one day stop-over and went to Menekse Island, a small island in Istanbul, close to the airport.
The magical city of Istanbul is situated between Europe and Asia making it the perfect hub for intercontinental flights – a reason why Turkish Airlines is the airline in the world which flies to most destinations. (227 international destinations in 117 countries.)
And a reason Istanbul airport is such a mix of all kinds of people (illustrated above with the picture I took just before boarding of a women in rainbow hair sitting next to a conservatively dressed muslim family.)
Spending a day in Istanbul again reminded me about how the continents bring us together, not separate us.
I then flew onwards to Kathmandu, Nepal, where I landed on Saturday morning, which means I flew Sweden, Iceland, USA, Turkey, Nepal in less than a week.
And that I had three intercontinental flights ni 6 days (Europe-North America, North America – Europe. Europe – Asia.)
Stopping over in Iceland and Istanbul and experiencing the interconnections between continents combined with so many flights in a short period of time where I had the privilege to look out of the window and look down on earth got me to reflect on the word “continent”.
“Continent” comes from the latin “terra continent” meaning “continuous land”.
But the more you travel, the more you look down on Earth from the sky and the more you think about humanity and our place on Earth you start to understand that the more relevant phrase to think about it not “continuous land”, but “continuous Earth”.
We are all living on a thin layer of crust. All connected to each other on “Continent Earth”.
Fredrik Haren, aka “The Island Man”, plans to visit 100 islands, in at least 25 countries, on at least 6 continents – in less than 100 months. The purpose of this “World Tour of Islands” is to get a better understanding of the world, a deeper understanding of the people who live here and a broader understanding of life. The island of Menekse (Istanbul, Turkey) was island number 22, country number 19 and month number 20. (Countries visited so far: China, Sweden, Maldives, Austria, Nigeria, Vietnam, Egypt, Indonesia, USA, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Mauritius, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Iceland and Turkey.)