Touching Down

Airports.

Love them or loathe them. I love them. Although I loathe flying. Actually, let me clarify that statement. I loathe flying when it’s bumpy. I have felt this way since a plane I was on from San Francisco to Sydney felt like it had dropped from the sky during a thunderstorm and we had to make an emergency landing in Fiji. I flew a lot before then and a lot since; I still hate the bumps. And, no, it’s not like bumps in a car on the road because when you are on the road, it’s impossible to fall out of the sky.

Melbourne to Sydney from sky high

Melbourne to Sydney from sky high

Not all my airport experiences have been good either. Take the time I was stuck in LA airport during winter. We arrived early in the morning from Sydney and our connecting flight to Chicago was delayed. Chicago was snowed in so we waited and waited. It wasn’t until late afternoon, after copious amounts of crappy airport food and a few failed attempts at snoozing on uncomfortable airport seating (why do they insist on having armrests in between them so you cannot lie down?), that they told us that there would be no flights to Chicago and to come back tomorrow.

Then another trip where I literally had to dash from one end of a terminal to another to catch a connecting flight  because of more snow. Chicago O’Hare was one of the biggest airports in the world at that time. And in those days, I had no idea what traveling light meant. So I arrived at the gates hands full, arms full, huffing and puffing and I missed my connecting flight. Instead of flying direct to Sacramento, I got stuck on some clunky airplane via Vegas. I remember only two things about that layover. Men in huge cowboy hats and boots and the ridiculous amount of slot machines in the airport.

Crappy airport pizza - $10 for a mini serve

Crappy airport pizza – $10 for a mini serve

Or the time we came home to Australia from England after four years. I was so hungover the day we left that Dean packed the bags. After queuing for over an hour with me keeled over feeling like my head and stomach were going to explode (it was already 5pm by this time), the obnoxious British Airways officer told us we were overweight and it was going to cost over £1000 for excess baggage (in those days that equated to over AUD 3000). But I didn’t care. So we paid it. Soon after this, I threw my guts out in the toilet and, miraculously, I felt like a new woman, albeit $3000 lighter. To this day, I do not understand why Dean didn’t just chuck the stuff. And when we got home I threw out half of what was in those bags anyway! Never again have I drunk that much, ever.

But no fog, no bomb scare, no delayed flights, no crazy passengers, no security checks, nothing so far can deter me from an airport.

And these days, thanks to interstate visitors, I spend a lot of my time driving to and from airports. But I find the drive out to the airport comforting, even a little exhilarating. Comforting because airports are about traveling and I like that. If I could take 2 years off and travel, I would. Touching down in as many airports as I can.

(One day in and so far we have done Melbourne, Sydney and Hong Kong airports. In a few days, we will be hitting Ho Chi Minh and Nha Trang)

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