I love airports! To me, an airport is a place that embodies so many emotions, new beginnings, cultural exchanges and adventures. After so many times of exploring airports alone, I have discovered that this process triggers my emotional richness and inspiration.
The stimuli come from outside and from within. In my lonely, but sweet travels, I have witnessed different people at airports, expressing their feelings so explicitly, that I did not need to hear any conversations in order to understand what was going on. Some say goodbye in tears, while some others, crying out of joy this time, say hello and hug their loved ones, which they haven’t seen in a while. I also see people showing excitement to board and depart for their vacations towards territories they haven’t explored before.
The joy of those flying for the first time, the rush of those on business trips, the curiosity of those departing to begin a new job or school program abroad…Such a human story overload! Human stories of airports! Not sure if such a Humans of New York-like initiative exists, but if it doesn’t, someone should start one. There is so much to discover, so much to learn!
These are stories of people coming from all over the world. In fact, my favorite airports, are the busy ones, such as the Frankfurt airport, Logan in Boston, JFK in New York and now the newly – built one: Arnavutköy in Istanbul. Busy airports can be painful because of the long walks towards the gate and the confusion cutting through the crowds. However, in long transits, these are the best ones, as they never leave place for boredom. Different outfits, haircuts, styles, ages, races, cultures are represented in these big airports. Human diversity is brought to life.
All this ignites my inner world, creativity and feelings. After all, I also have my own purpose behind each flight. What interests me though, is not just the post-landing part, not just the destination, but also the process of waiting to be boarded, the flight itself. Sometimes, I just watch as an external spectator the people I described above, and sometimes I get to talk to them.
Once, in Amsterdam, I met a very nice lady who was travelling to meet her son in Los Angeles. She approached me to ask for directions towards her gate and then as I was walking her at least half way through, we were talking and she shared with me how excited she was to hug her son, and proudly telling how he took care of her, including arranging for the trip. This was her life path, which for a second crossed mine. Imagine how many other life paths cross at airports.
Connectivity is a hot topic today, and each time I see a plane take off or land, I cannot help but think how easy it is to stay connected today. Mobility is taking new dimensions and broadening our world view.
While having all these in mind, I like to find a cozy café with comfortable chairs and sit, in order to read, or simply write. Knowing the effect airports have on me, I always bring a notebook and a book with me. Suddenly as I sit, watch, read and think, I feel the need to pour words on paper. And the whole process comes so naturally, so painlessly…I feel melancholic because I need departing to new places alone as a trigger, in order to experience this inspiration. On the other hand, though, I feel happy that I have discovered it.
The urge to always be on the move can be literally unsettling, but isn’t life per se unsettling and taking us out of our comfort zones? Why not taking the chance and create memories through experiences and get to know ourselves better? What are we waiting for? What are YOU waiting for?
Carpe Diem and enjoy the flight and hopefully, this inspiration will reach your inner world too!