This past Thursday, I caught a red-eye flight to London to spend a weekend with one of my close friends who is abroad. I arrived Logan International the suggested three hours early. Weirdly enough, security took roughly 30 minutes to pass through so for two and a half hours, I sat. While waiting, I realized airports are my favorite place. My boyfriend called this “a hot take” when I texted him this but I feel like airports are one of the purest places one can be.
During my wait, I saw a veteran playing with his granddaughter. She must have been two or three years old. As she sat in her carriage, he leaned over intently to play with her. The veteran acted like this was the best day of his life as all of his grand-daughter’s attention was on him. The smile of his face and the smile on her face were both so carefree and pure.
I saw two children running around. A Muslim boy the age of four was playing with maybe a one-year-old Caucasian boy. The two were laughing, casing each other without communicating. The was a certain innocence about their behavior that does not exist with people as they age. They acted as if they did not know they lived in a world of racism and hatred. They acted as if love and friendship were the moving counterparts of our world. Their parents followed their behavior, becoming instant friends with one another. No one stopped their child from playing with the other.
I saw a boyfriend relax his girlfriend, who was clearly not excited for this six-hour nonstop flight. She was stressed out about flying and he held her, reassuring her that he wouldn’t let anything bad happen to her. She radiated with the feeling of being protected. I (creepily) listened in on their conversation for a little bit. He apologized to her for arguing on the way there and she accepted his apology. Any fight they might have been was put to the side.
I sat and I watched people, despite my efforts to binge-watch Stranger Things 2 without my boyfriend (side note: he was not happy). The more I watched, the more I noticed. There was no hate within the airport. Strangers become friends who laugh and enjoy the moment. It’s a place where the best of people are brought out. Airports are a place of love, a place where you value what you have because you are forced to be with what you have. Although not everyone is scared of flying and most reasonable people do not think they are going to die while flying, I think the threat of fear and the possibility of a dangerous flight keeps people on their toes and makes them thankful for their lives.
The specialness of airports does not only exist within terminals. In the lobby, people are saying goodbye to love ones. The fact that your love one might not return makes you realize how much you value them. Even saying goodbye for a weekend, knowing that I was going to be thousands of miles away from someone I had spent every day with, made me realize the value they had to me. It’s not only the goodbyes that make you realize a value someone has in your life. Welcoming someone back after missing them greatly is one of the most amazing feels and one of the most amazing things to witness.
It might be a hot take but airports are my favorite place.