Memories in Airports

Airports have always been some of my favorite places in the world. They are nightmares for a lot of people and rightfully so. The crowds, security, being a hot spot for terrorism, and the prospect of getting launched into the sky can be terrifying. But for me, airports are extremely therapeutic and inspiring. They exist in a sort of nationless space, a free zone where everyone from around the world is constantly coming and going. Some of the best people watching in the world can been seen from a bar stool in any airport. The conversation is light and usually optimistic with no need to forge any meaningful or serious connection. You find yourself seated next to a stranger on a flight, exchange a few words, but there is no pressure to talk. Or you could slip on some headphones or fall into a good book. One of my earliest memories is sitting in a plane about to take off. If I could, I’d be Tom Hanks in the Terminal and live in an airport forever. I think my favorite airport in the world is Reykjavík Airport, which feels like you are in a space station on the moon. The most depressing one I’ve been to was probably in Austria. It felt like a communist-era war bunker. All the walls were yellow from cigarette smoke. The scariest flight of my life was from Warsaw to Copenhagen. It was aboard a cheap, inter-European airline called Whiz Air that cost me under $50 round trip. We were probably only up in the air for an hour, and the flight was so rough and shaky that I thought we were going to die. Of course, they managed to serve us beer anyway.


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