I have met many people who don’t like to travel and more so, hate airports.
Not me. I love to travel and I love spending some time in most airports.
Because when I am in airports or traveling, I’m in the “in between”. I am neither here nor there. I can be anybody going anywhere. I am not stuck in being the person people expect me to be. I don’t have to answer any calls or solve any problems.
I am a wanderer. Traveling through space and time, meeting other people who are doing the same.
Take my current circumstance.
Today, I started traveling around noon. I got to the airport on time to board. All went smoothly, aside from being stopped at security. The sensors went off when I walked through the x-ray body scanner walk-through machine. Apparently, my shoulders set the alarms off, so they inspected my shoulders.
I was wearing a sleeveless shirt. Huh? It was either my bra strap or my muscles that set something off. I voted for my muscles.
Meanwhile, behind me, a woman who was a bit older than me was trying to cut the line. While one person wasn’t looking, she jumped ahead of him, but got caught, and had to go back to the end of the line. More funnies.
My flight to Chicago was uneventful, except for the woman sitting next to me, who had never flown American Airlines before and was shocked at how unfriendly the flight attendants were, as she always flies Jet Blue. She went on a small rant, but had me laughing hysterically, mimicking her experience with the flight attendant. I had my own comedy show sitting right next to me.
The problems started when we landed but couldn’t park at our gate because another plane was there. Go figure. We sat around for a good 15 minutes and then taxied around for a bit and finally, we arrived at another gate. By the time I got off the plane, I had 7 minutes to get from one side of the Chicago O’Hare airport to the complete opposite side, or so it seemed. Have you ever been to this airport? It’s enormous!
Thank goodness for CrossFit, but I booked it to my gate, arriving there 10 minutes prior to departure. I walked up to the hand over my boarding pass and the attendant looked me straight in the face and said, “Sorry, we just closed the doors,” and proceeded to close the door in front of me.
Now, I could have chosen to become upset and irate. I almost did. I was probably a bit shocked to do so. But I didn’t in any case. There were three other people who were pretty angry though, vowing never to fly American Airlines again.
To speed up the story and to get to the point, as the stress management expert, I appointed myself to speak for the group to get us on another flight. We all landed different flights, except for two of us, were put on a United flight that left 3 hours later.
So we did what most sensible people would do, we went and got a glass of wine and shared stories.
Now when would you find the time to do that on a normal day? Have wine with a stranger who becomes a new friend?
You’d have to agree to be in a state of the “in between”, where you don’t have to be anywhere or be anyone in particular, and you can just be. You can leave things up to random occurrences without expectations and see what adventures might find you.
That’s why I love airports and traveling. Even annoying travel delays can turn into fabulous friendships and good times.