The Magic of Airports

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.” –Love Actually

I spend an average of 10-14 hours a week in airports and on airplanes. And I hardly ever see the same person twice. Honest truth.

Another honest truth? It is LONELY. This solo travel life. But airports, they are truly magical. Perhaps it stems from my childhood fascination that airports only took you to the best locations. Since the only time I was in an airport was for vacation.

These days, that’s not true. I usually tired, grumpy, and over-packed. But that doesn’t mean the sight of the terminal approaching doesn’t give me a little jump in my stomach.

Airports can transport you anywhere. You could be going to see anyone or anything. There’s wonder on the faces of new travelers. Excitement of those taking an adventure. Weary determination on the fellow business traveler. So many different expressions, emotions, and people, all gathered in one place.

But my favorite traveler is the one that’s going home. That looks out the plane window like joy and rest are waiting just on the ground. It’s a look I know best. Because I have it myself, once a week.

Perhaps I used to think of airports as magical gates to unknown and exciting places. But now, I mostly see them as the gateway to my own bed, my friends, and my family.

After all, there’s truly no place like home.

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