Airports. I know – who would have thought! Though when you think about it for a second (or read what I have on my mind) you’ll realize how close to real-life socery they can get.
First of all, there are thousands upon thousands people at different airports constantly. Thye all have different plans, life stories, and reasons for their trips. The mere chance of meeting some of the strangers you encountered on your last flight is minimal – and yet the next plane you’re going to board is going to be full of people – again!
Sometimes I like to sit down in a cafeteria or on a bench and just observe the surroundings. And in that moment, it all seems so surreal. I’m watching humans who are soon going to board a huge metal box with wings and fly. How is that not awesome?!
I might sound like a small child excited about its first trip, but despite the fact that I travel at least a couple times a year doesn’t change my awe at the airport. Because there isn’t another place on Earth so strange and mesmerizing. The long halls with walls made entirely out of glass stretch as far as your sight goes, with often no one to be seen.
In those moments I get this eerie feeling of being lost despite knowing where to go. I’m in this huge establishment filled with thousands of people, yet there seems to be no one around. It’s like my mind is creating this whole thing to trick me, and I’m about to wake up from a dream. And these moments are the ones I cherish the most. “It’s unbelievable”, I think so very often, “the whole thing just to myself.”
Traveling alone gives even a better experience at the airport. Sure, there’s some stress at the security (because despite the fact you know you haven’t done anything wrong and there is absolutely no reason to be panicking, you still are), but other than that you can focus more on the surroundings. Less on the shops, and more on the people.
I’m pretty socially awkward, but sometimes people start conversations with me to tell me their stories – and these are sometimes fascinating. Someone who’s a manager at Google going to Munich for conference talks to a teenager about his aspirations – what are the odds of the same thing happening elsewhere? Or the husband who despite living half across the world from his family returns in time for Easter as a surprise. The talking can go for so long it almost feels like you knew these people for a couple of years.
Everyone with a different purpose, yet all gathered into one place.
And the strangest feeling comes when it’s time to board your plane, and you never get to see them again. In a matter of hours you’re separated by thousands of miles, put into totally different environments. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.