I love airports. I know they’re totally bad for our planet. I still love them.
I spent the other night in London Heathrow because I was too cheap to get a hotel for my 8-hour layover. It’s also that I had a sick fascination with sleeping on a bench in the airport all night, protecting my bag by lying on it. I chose a hard bench for its pleasant location, but I brought a little pillow and put some ocean wave music on to drown out the noises that airports typically make. I was comfortable enough. I got a few hours of shut-eye, along with a few other straggler travelers also on their way to somewhere in the world, for some reason.
I usually travel alone. I like to explore new places and meet new people by myself. I don’t know why, but I’ll likely never change. I’m not a loner, though. I would prefer to call myself an adventurer.
When I step foot into an airport, my mind shifts from thinking about yesterday or tomorrow to right here, right now. I am in the moment, and I am between worlds – one known and one unknown. I know that the days ahead will take me to some new destination, and a new journey will begin. I don’t want to waste a second not experiencing that anticipation through the lens of watching thousands of people embark upon their own adventure.
I know I’ll look back and envy myself for having that opportunity to experience total freedom; that time to experience a world that was completely off my radar and also the people that exist therein, each of them existing still deeper in their own universe. So I stay present, even when I’m stuck in a never-ending customs line; even if I’m sprinting through Terminal B to get on a train to Terminal C and then sprinting again until my lungs feel like they’re bleeding, all just to catch that flight.
This last time I just came home to Iowa, but the feeling is the same. The dichotomy between Europe and The States fascinates me, and my existence between them fascinates me even more. I don’t totally belong in either world. I’ve been too long away from Iowa; I’ve not been in the Netherlands long enough. I exist in that world between.
I guess that’s why I feel so at home in an airport.