If you sit in a room with a group of friends and you bring up the subject of airports, sooner or later there’ll be an obvious divide in opinions – those who loathe the stress and waiting around that airports bring and those who would happily live in an airport for the rest of their lives. I’m definitely the latter. I absolutely love airports. Except Stansted, but then I’m yet to find somebody who doesn’t visibly tense up in frustration at the mention of it.
Airports play an integral part in the whole ‘travelling experience’.
Obviously without them it’d prove quite difficult to get from point A to B (especially if long-haul – just imagine having to swim to Brazil) of your journey, but for me the excitement doesn’t quite build up until I’m curled up in a ball trying to take a nap on the benches of Heathrow Terminal 5, or sat on my backpack on the floor of some obscure little airfield in the middle of the jungle, eagerly anticipating my next stop.
The adventure doesn’t quite seem real until you get to the airport – although not until you’ve had the obligatory few hours of playing hide-and-seek with your passport first, of course.
Imagine if airports were people – the stories they’d be able to tell!
They’d recount narrations of crime, anecdotes of love, cowardly acts and acts of heroism, tales that will bring tears to your eyes and laughter to your heart: airports have seen everything.
Sat on the floor of various airports worldwide, I’ve brushed shoulders with celebrities; I’ve witnessed soldiers returning home, parents meeting their children for the first time; I’ve seen Olympic teams setting out full of hope and returning empty-handed; I watched as a suspected drug mule got carted off for questioning, I applauded as a man proposed to his girlfriend right there at a restaurant in Miami International Airport and I watched in confusion as airport agents queued up to get their photo with the Peruvian equivalent of the Kardashians at Puerto Maldonado. Of course, they also set the scene for not-so-great occasions – acts of terror, sadness and sometimes death.
Personally, airports make me happy.
Because being at an airport means one of two things: I’m either about to set off on a new adventure, or I’m going home.