Just a quick note about airports. I love them. The hustle and bustle, people walking with a purpose, the constant thrum of rolling suitcases and beeping security scanners, whooshing planes and intercom announcements. The sense of comfort in convenience stores and newsstands and coffee shops that persists worldwide, and the feeling after going through security when you can’t turn back. You’re in now. You’re going somewhere, whether you like it or not. Right now, I’m sitting in O’Hare drinking a Goose Island Green Line (cheers to Chicago breweries!) and people watching. Anyone who travels knows airports are the best and most diverse places for this pastime.
There are two businessmen sitting next to me, both checking emails on their phones and spouting numbers to each other between bites of burgers. A family sits across from me — father, mother, a young boy and a younger girl. The parents are giving lessons on manners. All-American, Midwestern, happy, headed to grandma’s for Thanksgiving. Across the way, three handsome men in their mid-30s welcome whom I assume is their mother — a beautiful but exhausted looking Indian woman overloaded with luggage and gifts, collapsing into hugs and happy tears on arrival. Next to her, a young couple clings to each other, not wanting to say goodbye. And on and on, hundreds of stories, throughout the airport. Departures and arrivals, comings and goings. People in motion.
I never mind layovers or time spent in airports, because I love observing these actions and interactions. Also, because if I’m in an airport I’m probably headed somewhere exciting. Today it’s New York, but it could be anywhere. As Robert Louis Stevenson said, “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. The great affair is to move.”
For more great airport love, watch a scene from my all-time favorite movie, Love Actually, here.