Airport ponderings

TravelerI love airports. Yes, you heard me right – love them. I know, I’m an oddity. But tell me, where else but the airport could you spot a grown woman wearing bright pink galoshes, a little old man eating out of a homemade lunch pail, a platinum blonde diva with 4-inch heels, an entire family adorned with Mickey Mouse memorabilia and countless retired couples in matching attire? Where else would you find a businessman in a $2000 suit standing in line next to a vacationer in worn out flip flops, cutoff jean shorts and a Laguna Beach t-shirt? Airports are a stop within an itinerary that is not our norm. An interruption in our regular schedule, but a potentially welcome one.

Sure the airport has its share of annoyances. I’m actually at the Charlotte airport right now and already this morning have witnessed the usual ones. The guy on his Blackberry talking too loudly to notice hordes of travelers rushing by him. The intolerably long lines at the coffee/pizza/burger stand (or bathroom). My biggest pet peeve is the casual traveler who is oblivious to others around him/her – walking slowly, gazing around, then suddenly coming to a stop smack dab in the middle of the walkway to dig through his/her luggage for something (presumably his/her boarding pass?).

But there is something else about an airport that’s particularly exciting. Airports are our “holding area” – the place where we wait to be taken to somewhere else. Somewhere hot and sunny or somewhere cold where a warm fireplace awaits us. Somewhere new and adventurous or somewhere comfortable and familiar. Somewhere we’ll get to meet new people or somewhere that reunites us with those we love. And on the return trip, the airport is where we wait to be taken to the place we belong – home.

So as I wait for my flight (to somewhere many would call paradise) I will just sit back and people-watch. Wonder where these people are going, who they are going to see, and what circumstances are bringing them there. And that’s one of my favorite things to do.


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