I fly quite often from New Delhi to Boston, and mostly purposely choose to take layovers in different countries. That gives me the ability to explore more airports in more locations. My favourite thing to do during long layovers is window shopping. The shops present an insight into the culture of the land we are in. Tasting a little dish native to that country and talking to workers behind the counters certainly bridges our differences and expands our horizon. Everytime I do so, I always pick up a word or two from a different language. I also love talking to people sitting around me waiting for the flight. Hearing their travel stories, be it be an old family visiting their grandkids, or a couple on their honeymoon sharing their romantic getaway, be it be a 2nd generation biracial teenager finding his family’s roots on a solo trip, or a music enthusiast who flew halfway across the world for their favorite DJ. Talking to these people bursts our stereotypes as we hear stories from all age groups, all races, from all parts of the world and gives rise to a better and ethical form of cultural understanding. I also like buying some little souvenirs to remember that I was here for a few hours. Being a design student, what I particularly enjoy doing the most is for some amount of time, sitting in a secluded corner of the airport, and observing the architecture and how the interiors compliment the building. Is it designed to be accessible for the specially abled? Is it designed keeping in mind the language barriers? Is the seating area comfortable and ergonomic? Among many other design principles, I sketch the landscape in front of me and take notes of any new techniques or innovation in materials used for construction. I observe the fonts and the typefaces of the brands and see what attracts who. When the layover is really long, and there’s an opportunity to get an on-arrival visa, I go out for a few hours and explore the historical monuments like in Doha. There are times when I’m flying back to university and deadlines are round the corner, so I make sure my laptop is fully charged, I connect to the free WiFi and get ahead with all my class readings and notes. When heading for another trip, I often talk and search up to find more recommendations to add to my travel itinerary. I also absolutely love reading the magazines Architecture Digest and Condé Nast Traveller before any trip to get me super pumped!