Airports and flying are usually considered a necessary evil to be able to travel. Much like people hate hospitals, but love being cured, airports are a necessary evil. After having been in airports or on airplanes for the past day and a half, however, has shown me that the act of being in the airports and flying can be fun.
Reason number 1: You meet interesting people.
At airports and on airplanes, everyone has a story. A pastor from Kenya who was preaching in the United States for a month and is excited to see her family. A German woman married to a Kenyan national on her way to have a second wedding with her 15 travel companions. A tiny 70 year old woman who is going abroad for the first time with a Heineken in her hand speaking with a French operations manager.
Reason number 2: You see a raw humanity in many forms
People watching is a sport that has existed for hundreds of years. The airport is the perfect place to watch people and how they interact with the world. There are a seemingly infinite number of people to watch and speculate. Not only that, these people come from every part of the world. What is the story behind the group of 30 people sprinting towards a gate where the plane left thirty minutes ago? How about the group men on mission to Kenya? These people collectively posses millions of stories and
Reason number 3: You get to catch up on movies
Movie selection on flights these days is robust. Gone are the days of everyone watching the same movie few people care about on a big screen with volume you can’t turn off. Airplanes give me access to the movies people have been telling me to watch for the past few years, and I have an excuse to watch them all in a row.
Reason number 4: You get an introduction the people you will be meeting in the country
When I fly, I usually meet a friendly local who offers me advice on places to see, food to eat, and occasionally offers me a place to stay for the first night or two in country. The Kenyans I met on my way to Nairobi were all outstandingly friendly, and it only made me more excited to get here.
Reason number 5: Hunting for an outlet is like playing I-Spy
The outlets are never where you expect, and finding an empty outlet that has power is like finding the Holy Grail. You can ride that high for days.
Reason number 6: You see unique architectural and design elements.
They are just fun to look at and to try and figure our what the architect was thinking. Take this for example, greenery in the middle of a wall in the Charles de Gaulle airport.
Unexpected, but nice. Also playstations.
Number 7: The sheer amount of effort and logistics that go into day to day operation
Although airports and flights don’t always run smoothly, it is amazing they are able to be run at all. The next time you are in an airport, try to appreciate them for the marvels they are. Unless they lose your bags, of course.