Let me set the mood for this post. You know the opening airport scene in Love Actually, where the Prime Minister says:
“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. . . . If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”
Well I have a similar feeling. Yes love is great, blah blah blah. I grew up in this country as an undocumented immigrant. Mainly this means, I did not have a social security # that allowed me to legally work, drive, or receive any federal/state financial aid for school. More importantly to me, it meant I didn’t have the legal documentation needed to board an airplane. I was stuck in California, never being able to go anywhere far enough you needed to fly. I felt so constricted.
When all that changed and I was finally able to board an airplane, I began to love airports. My romanticism with airports is their ability to reach long distances. It takes 5 hours on a plane to get to the other side of the country, an hour to go upstate, 15 hours to get to China or Bolivia. In a good way, aside from legalities, doesn’t it make the world feel so much smaller?
We’re so lucky to live in a time that we have access different parts of the world using this technology. We have the ability to travel to different cities, states, and countries and learn about other people and cultures. We have the ability to connect with friends and family members that live far away. Because of this, I genuinely enjoy going to airports even if it’s just to pick up friends or family. I love when they get in the car and hearing about their adventures and who they saw and if they talked to the person they sat next to. I love planning my next trip, imaginary or not.
While my dreams and fantasies on becoming a travel agent are quietly dwindling, I don’t think I’ll stop loving going to the airport. Many thanks to the Orville and Wilbur Wright in North Carolina for being the first in flight.