On Flying:

I love airports. They’re human libraries of sorts, and I like a good story. There are few better places to people-watch than in an airport, and for someone who finds people to be fascinating in all that they are, a hub of travelers is a goldmine. I know a lot of people hate airports, or are mostly ambivalent towards them, but I’m pretty sure I could happily spend an afternoon in one, even if I wasn’t traveling anywhere. Although if I managed to find a way to do that and anyone got wind of what I was doing, I would surely be carted off the premises for questioning quicker than a cheetah driving a racecar. And there is also the possibility that working in one would be a different story. The whole scene might lose some of it’s magic, similarly to working in a cafeteria at Disneyland. But that’s just speculation as well, because maybe serving up the giant turkey legs in Frontierland is an absolute dream come true, I wouldn’t actually be able to say one way or the other. But that’s neither here nor there, because I’m not talking about faith, trust, and pixie dust, I’m talking about luggage tags, confirmation codes, and limiting your liquids to 3.4 ounces or less. Airports are at the very root of adventure, at the base of love, and in the beginnings of a new start. There are so many opportunities that come from taking off to someplace new, and airports are the first step in seizing those chances. But if the mere fact that most airports are filled with escalators isn’t enough to convince you of their greatness, keep your head up while walking around the luggage claim area. One of my favorite airport places is the luggage carousel. Not simply because it’s a dream of mine to one day climb aboard someone’s suitcase and ride it around in circles, but because of the people who surround them. Families and loved ones standing there, arms filled with flowers or signs or simply carrying the pure excitement to see whoever comes around the corner. The reunions are the best. The best to see and the best to take part in. I appreciate the amount of emotion that can be contained within a single place, and the range that those emotions take. You see tears flowing from both happiness and sadness, you see excitement in going someplace completely new, or returning to a place of comfort and similarity. It doesn’t matter whether you’re coming home or vacationing to someplace completely new, getting on an airplane is almost as exciting as stepping off an airplane; it’s the very first step of an adventure. So while some might think of airports as stressful places filled with germs, impending missed connection flights, or the confiscation of potentially dangerous knitting needles, I’m holding on to the thought that airports and the opportunities that they provide are kind of beautiful in their own special way. I’m not sure if you’ll find as many people from different walks of life, or with unique stories and backgrounds from varying places anywhere else. Although once again, Disneyland might come close…

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