A Love of Layovers

From the Seattle airport:

I was absent here for awhile – occupied with several houseguests and lots of work.  Now I am on the move again; I’ll be taking eight flights through eight airports (Pau, Paris, Charlotte, Chattanooga, San Francisco, Seattle, Anchorage, Kenai) in ten days.

Although this trip is just bringing me from the place that I currently live, Pau, to a place that’s always been a home, Alaska, I still feel a slight hint of adventure as I go along.  Traveling is always like that for me.  I love the moment of release, of freedom, that comes the minute I pick up my small suitcase or backpack, ready to journey.  There is something about stepping out onto a sidewalk into crisp, energetic early-morning air, when everyone else around me is heading to work but I am heading somewhere else, somewhere different and new, that I find kind of intoxicating.

Early morning in the Gare de Pau, Platform 2

In fact I think one of my favorite feelings in the world is standing on a platform of a train station, waiting to board a train heading towards the as-of-yet unknown. Air travel, I admit, is not quite as exhilarating.  On some level I seriously dislike it- I hate the dry, stale air, the unused cramped sensation in my limbs that makes me feel like it must be my first day as a farm animal, the over-priced over-cooked food, dehydration, all the long lines, the grumpy travelers, and the way flight attendants are required to smile.

But beyond the discomfort there is still a lot to enjoy.  Once I’ve checked in, gotten rid of the burden of luggage, and passed unscathed through security, I relax and begin to appreciate my surroundings, as strange as that might sound.

Rocking chairs in the airport of Charlotte, North Carolina

Part of my enjoyment of airports comes from this feeling of nothing particular to do apart from the need to move my body from Point A to Point B.  Real life hangs suspended for the day and the hours spread out in front of me, as of yet unportioned, unscheduled. There’s a deliciousness in knowing I can choose to fill them in any way I want.  I could read, write, watch a film, wander the magazine and book aisles, or sit brazenly at an airport bar and order a cold, overpriced, wonderful beer and drink it all alone as fast or as slow as I please.  I could watch all the people streaming by or settle in next to a group of them and listen in on their conversations.

It’s sort of a similar feeling to the one I’d have as a child at the beginning of a sick day off from school, when the day was suddenly reclaimed as mine, entirely mine.  Even within the confines of the walls of an airport or the walls of your own home, an unbroken day can feel pregnant with possibility.

When I’m on a layover, enticingly close to some city or other that remains unseen and unknown due to time constraints, I usually feel like I never quite touched down.  Time hangs suspended in a bubble, dangling just a little bit above the real world.

Airports have more in relationship to each other than to the world outside, and nothing feels quite grounded in reality until you are spit out into baggage claim at the end of your journey.

Airports have always seemed more like space stations from old science fiction to me – hovering above the earth slightly, a world unto themselves. Their own atmosphere, food and water in measured plastic boxes, and long windows looking out on a desolate atmosphere that barely seems to support life apart from alien flourescent yellow creatures zooming around on four wheels or extending orange flag-like limbs.

Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris

Air travel is the most disconcerting of all kinds of travel.  Because you cannot see or feel your movement through space and across the planet, you must rely on a vast imagination or else a complete disassociation from the strangeness of being transported almost magically from one environment to an entirely different environment.  Air travel makes everything dreamlike for a few days until I forget how strange it is to be in this new place and stop vaguely feeling the question hovering over my body of how I got there.  Perhaps it’s not so different from how my cats feel as they are transported in vehicles or even in elevators from one place to another without the capacity to smell everything along the way and thus absorb the distance traveled.  While they know perfectly well they are somewhere new, how they came to be there and where it lies in relationship to the familiar are unanswerable questions.

With my human brain and human skill for abstraction I can look at a map or google earth and maybe be able to imagine that kind of travel in a vague hypothetical way, but I will never truly be able to absorb how it could be possible to travel as fast as we do in airplanes and have it feel like nothing at all.  I understand the physics of it, but my body remains confused.

I think that’s why the kitsch you find for sale in every airport becomes sort of comforting.  The little tourist stores selling knick-knacks and curios give you a watered down reminder of where you are – mini eiffel towers in Charles de Gaulle;

How you know you're in Alaska

smoked salmon, Ulu knives and a wide variety of moose paraphernalia in Anchorage; and t-shirts that say “tar heel” in Charlotte (a nickname for people from North Carolina dating back to the civil war).  Even if I never get to step outside the airport, it feels necessary to see how a place represents itself and what it highlights as memorable, unique and kitsch-worthy.

Many airports clearly hope to be more than personality-less junctions or purveyors of kitsch.  They seem to be in a kind of identity crisis – wanting to be the gleaming evidence of a sparkly modern new world, and divert our attention away from the airport’s primary purpose – to act as a people sorter, shuffling us together and separating us out again into our proper containers to be carried away to the next port.  Airports struggle to be interesting, classy, even enjoyable in order to somehow distract people from the actual lack of glamor of flying.  Airports often even try to be museums (for example SEATAC and San Francisco International);   Paintings and sculpture, at times visually arresting, at other times just totally bizarre, are scattered around every corner.  However, because of the location, most of these pieces are seen more as “decoration” than “Art” and travelers tend to walk right on by without so much as a second glance.

If airports aren’t the right environment to cultivate art appreciation, they are places capable of momentarily breaking down certain behavioral norms. Conduct that is inappropriate in the outside world is acceptable in an airport; we are all allowed to act homeless and sleep in random locations, settle in on the ground with our possessions spread out around us.  Men in business suits sit on the floor to plug their laptops in or curl up in corners to take little naps.  The rules are different.

There is a sense of community, but also a glorious anonymity in an airport. Everyone is a traveler – no one will stare at you as though you are something curious or out of place.  It is an amazing equalizer – we all belong there as much as anyone else.

The only place I’ve ever felt as wonderfully anonymous was New York City – a city where anything goes, completely full of people who have seen it all, and are too much in a rush to be curious. In that sort of a place there is so much chaos and movement that many create the personal space they are craving by putting walls around their own minds.  It’s in THESE sorts of places that it is ideal to people watch, step outside the self for awhile and become a true observer.

Walking through an airport in the ebb and flow of countless  other bodies, with nothing significant to root me to my location on the planet and nothing around me to give me the context of my life beyond that moment, I like to let my identity fall away for awhile.

I become the silence that fills the little spaces between all the voices, beeps, whirrs and hums.  I become nothing but a little floating bubble of consciousness contained in a moving body- my thoughts become so simple, and I just listen and watch and take in.

I love to watch people spilling off an airplane, still colored somehow by a tint of the place they were in.  They seem to carry a little of the air with them from this other place and you can almost smell the different flavor, as they spill in waves towards you.

In airports I love to pause for awhile and watch the people streaming by, listening for their accents, trying to guess where they are from and where they might be going, and make up stories about their lives.  I love watching all the faces and body types, all the styles of clothing for example which women choose comfy clothes, versus the women who wear high heels and full layers of makeup.  All these faces, a constant stream of details to absorb – each simultaneously unique and part of some archetype.  Looking at all that variety, and all the patterns, feels satisfying, nutritional.

In airport hubs hundreds of people arrive from a different direction every few minutes – from so many countries and cities, all converging in this one place and then within minutes or hours breaking away again, splitting from those they travelled with, joining up with others, and then splitting away again, until finally they reach their homes or hotels or the houses of family or friends.  As sterile of an environment as airports seem, they actually full of more diversity than most places we go.  An airport hold thousands of different stories in a given moment, only to be refilled with new stories in the very next moment.  I do love to tune into the movement, the life, the kitsch, the voices, the faces, and the stories for a few hours now and again, and then be on my way to my own destination.  See you in Alaska!

~ by zoetropic on July 6, 2011.

121 Responses to “A Love of Layovers”

  1. I love to travel — have to admit, these pix made me long to be on the road…

    And the rocking chairs in North Carolina? How quaint!

    Safe travels to you,


  2. You make us want to travel so badly now!!! We are rushing to the nearest airport!

  3. Great post! I like train travel more than air travel, but some destinations are only accessible by air so I have no choice. But you are right, the airport does seem like a country all on its own—fascinating!

    Congrats on making FP! 🙂

    • Thanks! And yes – airports are a modern necessity. We don’t have the time to travel leisurely – and it’s making the world seem smaller and yet simultaneously makes the distances we travel that much harder to fathom!

  4. Love your post! I love to travel and people watch while I do it. There are so many emotions living in an airport.

  5. Logan Airport in Boston has a lovely walkway lined with white oversized rocking chairs and art along the walls. There’s always someone in the chairs. Narita, in Japan, is wonderful as well. I would spend a day there even if I was not taking a flight. You can get a great haircut, mail a letter, have a shower or massage…..the list goes on. Thanks for your thoughtful post.

  6. I love your ability to see the extraordinary in the ordinary; it’s a gift that few people have and one that I am trying hard to cultivate. If only we stopped and noticed what was happening in the world around us, we might not live in a constant state of semi-annoyance! There’s beauty to be found in everything, even airports. Thanks for reminding us of that.

    • Wow – thank you so much for this wonderful comment! I really appreciate it! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. As I posted it I wondered if people would find it a boring subject – sometimes I get overly excited or curious about things, only to find that other people don’t find the subject matter nearly so engaging 😉 Love connecting with you!

  7. khoy

  8. I like your story
    public art does tend to get walked by, even when it is really good
    Have you seen Tokyoblings blog about public art at a rail station? http://tokyobling.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/the-myth-of-tomorrow-taro-okamoto/ thought you might be interested

    • Thanks for the link – I hadn’t seen it yet – and now I’m so glad I have. We have access to SO much nowadays that we barely notice the beautiful things happening all around us. People in cities especially have a weird relationship to art/music; I think unfortunately they often have a harder time appreciating it or noticing it unless they are paying for it or unless it’s already been labeled as ‘free for a limited time,’ indicating they are getting a special deal. We end up missing so much!

  9. What great photos. You make layovers look fun… which they are to a point. Love the rocking chairs.

  10. LOVED this post! I too love to travel and many of the things you said have crossed my mind when walking through airports! I especially loved the way you talked about it feeling almost like a separate place from the rest of the world! I have always felt like it was! And the way you talked about loving how you have nothing more required of you than getting from Point A to Point B, that is so true and so glorious! Great job, thanks for posting! 🙂

    • I’m so glad you could connect to what I was talking about. Thanks so much for commenting – I love knowing there are other like minds out there!

  11. I just got back from a trip that took me on a pretty circuitous route filled with layovers, delays and outright cancellations. I was pretty grumpy at being frisked and funneled into lines like livestock, but you’re so right about the atmosphere of airports. There’s nothing like it, and the people-watching is first rate, great, great post! Congrats on FP!

  12. It’s been a while since I’ve read anything so evocative about something s mundane. This is a lovely post. And wow! Rocking chairs in an airport! How civilized!

    • That is such a special compliment…I guess that’s exactly what I was trying to do, but I honestly didn’t think I’d managed until I got all this wonderful feedback. Thank you!!

  13. […] From the Seattle airport: I was absent here for awhile – occupied with several houseguests and lots of work.  Now I am on the move again; I'll be taking eight flights through eight airports (Pau, Paris, Charlotte, Chattanooga, San Francisco, Seattle, Anchorage, Kenai) in ten days. Although this trip is just bringing me from the place that I currently live, Pau, to a place that's always been a home, Alaska, I still feel a slight hint of adventure … Read More […]

  14. Thanks for sharing this with us,.. I love the photographs that go along with the recounting of your travels.

  15. Wow! What an indepth post about travel! I admire your joy and enthusiasm about it- whereas I do enjoy going to places but have found that more and more as I get older I loathe the flying bit… I am even considering on getting on trains! (to be fair I do live in Europe where all the continent is accessible by train…)

    • If you are disliking planes, DEFINITELY try the trains – they are so much fun. It does take a lot longer of course – but if you are willing to just relax and not be too concerned with time passing, and are ready to just take in the beautifully scenery, catch up on some reading, etc, trains are the way to go! Trains are so stress-free compared to airports – give it a try, you’ll probably love it!

  16. […] FreshlyPressed This entry was posted in Selangor and tagged Layovers, Love. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) […]

  17. That is a great view on it that I loved reading, and the pictures are a perfect illustration of your message. I have gone through three airports, one of them twice, in the last 30 hours, but done it almost all at a run. But I do love that moment when suddenly you have made it through all the checks and stops, and actually managed to get on the plane, find your seat, put your hand luggage somewhere, then sit down and just stop. I always feel a little pause when I go from a mad hurry to suddenly stopped, and then I do as you do, taking in all around me, and seeing what everyone is doing. Unfortunately today the guy next to me was wrinkling his nose, because I had literally run, not jogged but run hard, for 3km on a hot day to get onto that flight. So if he happens to read this, sorry about the smell!

  18. Love travelling as much as you seem to do. However, travelling through airports are only a joy in itself when heading away from home. I rarely find it pleasent to pass through when on my way back home. Love the pic of the rocking chairs. Wish all airports had a section like that one. It’d be awesome!

  19. Wow, this post makes me excited to leave. I was just dreading the long journey I’m about to make, but somehow it seems exciting again!

  20. After reading this I want to pack my suitcase, book a flight & get out of dodge for a while. I love to travel, explore & adventure. I too like to people watch in airports and while away the time during a layover looking at the shops or grabbing a drink or snack. Congrats on being FP!

  21. People always tilt their heads a little when I express the same sentiments. Well written post… I couldn’t agree more.
    Glad there’s still no WiFi on United flights!

    • I thought I was the only person who wasn’t excited about wifi on planes. I love being in a place where I have an excuse NOT to check my email, not to know what’s going on in the world, not to do work, etc. Oh well I still choose to ignore it 😉

  22. I love the part about behavioral norm being different in an airport. That is so true. People seem to act like homeless people in airports. Sleeping on benches, jackets for blankets, possessions on the floor. Thanks for sharing

  23. Good post. I often travel and easily recognize that emotional release when you suddenly realize you are “away”; ie. free of all the emotional baggage we drag along with people we know. Thanks.

  24. You have a beautiful style of writing. Great post and great pics!

  25. I love to get to the airport early to people watch. Getting a drink at the terminal at the Denver Airport always leads to great people watching!

  26. Regarding train travel: absolutely. Nothing like seeing new scenery whipping past while you are free to walk around. So much better than flying.

    • Train travel is under-appreciated in the US sadly. I took a trip once between Oakland, CA, and Chicago – 52 hours of train travel nonstop – and it was just glorious. The scenery was spectacular – and honestly I never got bored. There were friends to make, fun dining experiences, books to read, and such gorgeousness through the windows. It was a wonderful experience.

  27. hah! love the airport in north carolina. the rocking chairs! and free wifi!

  28. I LOVE the way you write! So effortless yet full of thought and detail! This post is very inspiring & congrats on being freshly pressed 🙂

  29. É quase uma viagem o que você nos oferece com suas palavras. Obrigada por oferecer a visão acerca de outras possibilidades que é ver o que há de tão comum e estranho nos aeroportos,…
    gostei bastante!

    • Thank you!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it – it’s special that even though we are writing from different countries and even in different languages that we are truly communicating. Thank you for reading.

  30. So true. I loved how you expressed every one of the sentiments that each of us experience during travel. Beautifully said. Especially the point sbout how the rules change during travel and how it’s completely appropriate to scatter your belongings on the floor around you. Never thought of it like that. Which made it even more fun to read.

  31. You’re a crazy good writer! You seem to write so free, thoughtful and at ease. Nothing juts and breaks, it’s like a thorough stream of consciousness where you are so present, aware and interested in what you see around you and how it affects you. Reading your post made me feel this. Keep it up. I can’t wait to read more of your work.T
    his post was awesome!


  32. Love it, you captured the mood I feel when traveling perfectly! Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

  33. You “stole” my every thought about airports and layovers, but you said it with perfection, capturing every miniscule layer of airport existence that I too experience.


    There’s only a rare few, though, who really appreciate that airport layover and see it with your (our) eyes and ears. What sadness that they miss out on this wondrous experience.

  34. I agree with you completely! I LOVE layovers. Maybe I’m just weird but I like having an hour or 2 in which there’s absolutely positively nothing I can do except sit and wait for time to pass. You can people watch and reminisce about your vacation (or daydream about what you’re going to do when you get there).

    Great post!

  35. You just read my thoughts :)) happy travels :))

  36. […] it on random posts from wordpress front page, originally from: the annotated zoetrope This entry was posted on Thursday, July 7th, 2011 at 16:15 and posted in Uncategorized. You can […]

  37. I was not able to read more than 2 chapters, as usual. It is not because of your foreign language, I often feel the same with french articles. But what I understood is that airports are more confortable than train stations. Did I catch the sense of you ? Please please please, visit me and leave me a message. I would feel really loved.

  38. ameeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeii (SEEMNADAPRAAFAZEER).

  39. I love this post about travel, it definitely is rather other-worldly sometimes when you are inside of an airport and just covered with glass looking outside. I’ve always dreaded a layover but I guess you can have some fun with it and enjoy it too.

  40. What really struck me is how an airport is a lot like a major university. The anonymity coupled with the collectiveness. The norms that are modified depending on what building you’re in.

    It’s okay to lay on the cold hard floor and take a nap between classes, and it is okay to sit near an outlet charging your computer while you butt progressively turns to stone. That outlet is coveted and it is accepted that you’ll be stuck with a close neighbor soon enough. The best is the people posted up all day in library with their shoes off and a blanket for napping.

    Airports and universities are more similar than I ever would have thought.
    Great post!

  41. I love this post and completely understand how you feel about layovers. I’ve found that the more I do really long 13-14 hour flights–say from Atlanta to Narita–I appreciate layovers even more–finally, a chance to stretch your legs and move around before the next leg of the journey begins–for me usually a flight to Hanoi or somewhere else in SE Asia.

    And congrats on Freshly Pressed. This post really deserves that recognition!


  42. I appreciate the style of your writing. It’s in detail and very specific. You managed to blend your emotional and the realization of your story. I love to continue reading your future post.

  43. I’m about to go on a long flight..first time in a while. I’ve developed a real fear of flying over the last few years. Thanks so much for reminding me of the good things about it. I’m going to focus on them as I go along.

  44. Really good post….i also feel this way whenever i travel, i tried to enjoy it doesn’t matter if it’s car/train or plane. As long as you are single or couple and you don’t have a dead line to meet it is fun experience. Most people almost pause their life(so to speak) and resume it only after they reached their destination and that’s why they don’t like to travel. congratulation on being FP

  45. i couldn’t agree more! traveling is something i look forward to no matter the circumstances. although some may view it as a hassle, i find it adventurous. never the same. thanks for sharing!

  46. nice 🙂

  47. I’m so glad I read this – I feel the same exact way. This is like reading my own thoughts on someone else’s blog! Thank you for putting so expertly what I have had jumbling around in my head for awhile. There’s something about airports that is intoxicating. And I live in NYC and know exactly of that anonymity that you speak of. It’s what makes me love NYC so much.

  48. thanks for sharing, really a great post!

  49. When we are studying we don’t have time to love but when we are ready to love we have no age

  50. Great post! I am going on my first trip to Canada this Sunday for work. After reading this post I will pay more attention to my surroundings at the airport. This post has made me a little excited about the 4 hour layover I was dreading. Thanks for a perfectly timed post 🙂

  51. You describe airports and everything to see and experience in the so aptly! This is such a great post – I feel the exact same way about traveling, flying and airports. It’s the perfect place to either just be by yourself. Content in your own little world without having to think about anything other than the next destination and perhaps the people watching in between. I love watching all the people and families stream by and then compare them to myself and my family when we travel. For as frustrating and tiresome that airports can sometimes be, I can say they’re probably one of my favorite places to be (Singapore Airport particularly)!
    Thanks for sharing this – the pictures are also quite awesome! 🙂

  52. I have to say that I enjoy layovers in decent airports like O’Hare, JFK, Newark and so forth. My Mom and I had a four over layover in O’Hare once, so we sat at Wolfgang Puck’s and watched the people walking buy, trying to decide what language they spoke. When they got close enough to hear, we found out if we were right or wrong.
    Living out of the country for nearly two years, the first best thing for us about going home is stepping off the plane and seeing/smelling Starbucks. I get nostalgic in there.
    Congrats of Freshly Pressed.

  53. Love this post. Partially becasue it makes me nostalgic for travel. On my last trip home, I had 3 layovers of 9 hours or more. Part of this time was spent curled up in a ball in random corners of various airports, part was spent taking photographs, part was spent eavesdropping on conversation and part of it was spent cursing my fate. I feel you have accurately captured the experience:)

  54. hopefully one day be able to visit my country

  55. Good thing the flight wasn’t delayed and forcing people to be stranded in the airport.

  56. Haven’t travelled outside my city for 10 months! Shocking. But i’ve mailed this post to my sister whose flight path is: Bangalore, Frankfurt, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid, Berlin, Frankfurt, Bangalore. This post should keep her happy!

  57. […] A Love of Layovers (via the annotated zoetrope) From the Seattle airport: I was absent here for awhile – occupied with several houseguests and lots of work.  Now I am on the move again; I'll be taking eight flights through eight airports (Pau, Paris, Charlotte, Chattanooga, San Francisco, Seattle, Anchorage, Kenai) in ten days. Although this trip is just bringing me from the place that I currently live, Pau, to a place that's always been a home, Alaska, I still feel a slight hint of adventure … Read More […]

  58. I’m surprised they let you take photos in the airport. All that security!

  59. Airports are one of the best parts of travel. I don’t know why they get a bad rap. Where else do you get this crush of humanity that has to interact under pressure. A drink at the airport bar, people watching, striking up a conversation or just over hearing one…I love it.

  60. great post , love it, i really learned a lot from your article

  61. wow, great airport, i never been there 🙂

  62. I loved reading this because just two days ago I was researching Newark Airport out of excitment for my trip home. I have a three hour layover there, and for the same reasons I love layovers in airports.

  63. nice…

  64. LOVED this post!

  65. Wow, beautiful pictures!

  66. I’m so glad I read this – I feel the same exact way. This is like reading my own thoughts on someone else’s blog! Thank you for putting so expertly what I have had jumbling around in my head for awhile.

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  68. nice photos 🙂

  69. nice post, the pictures are very nice. the place is so beautiful.

  70. A perceptive post. Being in many many airports a year, I agree that that one can turn this somehow mundane (mundane? I am getting on an aluminium tube to fly at 500mph at 37000ft!!) situation of being at an airport, waiting, can be turned into an opportunity for wonderful introspection with just the decision to adopt a different perspective for a while.
    Splendid writings and pictures.

  71. Like the perspective! That is what it is all about. Happy Travels!

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  73. Great post. I live/love to travel and am envious you begin in Pau….that’s quite the itinerary you’ve got.

    I blogged on this last year and named my 10 favorite airports. Seattle is one — have you ever noticed the little bronze salmon embedded in the floors? One of them (at least) is carrying a briefcase! Vancouver also has an airport that is truly beautiful, complete with an aquarium, totem poles and fountains.
    Airports can offer a fascinating glimpse of local or national culture.


  74. Wow, I thought I was the only one who loved layovers. I always feel the exact way you describe. As if I’m just disconnected from it all, and I’m about to go on some grand adventure. And the airports! Little cities, all on there own. An excellent read, and one I intend to pass along.

  75. Nicely written. Looking forward to reading more articles by you.


  76. I love the ending. You have a gift. Bookmarking this right about now so I will remember to read this again the next time I’m stuck in NRT or ATL or DTW or wherever. 🙂

  77. this was amazing post and Photos

  78. I love travel. But now you worry me… have people been taking photos of me as I eat, yawn, trip, or stumble?!! eep!

  79. This is the first time I think someone really captured what is really going on on airports. Wonderfully observed and put down.

  80. Thank you so much beautiful pictures

  81. Thank you so much beautiful pictures


  82. Hey congrats on freshly pressed! I have never really thought about taking the camera out in the airport really but enjoyed this post!

    I always find travel a bit stressful, but perhaps a stop to look around might ease things a touch.

    Cool stuff


  83. Thanks for this great piece. I feel like i am inside the airport now.

  84. Great photos and interesting travel!

  85. Love the pictures – some truly beautiful things in airports yet I am usually too stressed to notice. About to board a flight in a week. Vow to pay more attention! You captured the very essence of travel in this post!

  86. i totally agree. i feel more serene when i travel alone and have a layover. i browse through shops, get myself a cup of coffee, eat alone (which i am never comfortable doing except at an airport) and forget my troubles for a while. i just love the feel of most airports.

  87. This is great!

  88. oh. my. goodness.

    this is everything i love about traveling. i grew up in a small town where no one was really going anywhere and didn’t ever have anything to DO. i didn’t start traveling until i was 22 (just a few years ago). i love airports for the same reason i love rush hour traffic at spaghetti junctions; everyone there has a destination and a story about where they’re coming from.

    you more than captured that feeling here. love, love, LOVED it. 😉

  89. Wonderful! The way you use words and express your impressions inspires me to try and be a braver writer. I always worry that my posts will be too long, or that I tend to ramble and go off topic too much, but seeing how your attention to detail and insightfulness enable you to pass on your fascination to others, makes me think it’s unproductive to restrain my imagination. So thank you for being impressinable and authentic 😉

    On the topic – the moment you mention in the beginning of the journey – I usually get this overwheling feeling when I leave my regular life behind – the feeling of greatness of the world, of everything having its place in it, of being in peace with everything and everyone – like a combination of a spiritual experience plus being in love. Crazy. isn’t it? Funny at least.

  90. great shots!

  91. As someone who used to do between 100 and 150 business flights a year I found your post captivating. I have now come to my senses – I only fly now when it suits me. In the past, airports for me were just another office … and endless hassle. Today that memory lingers every time I fly. You paint wonderfully accurate pictures.

  92. Thanking you for sharing us with this wonderful article, I have learned a lot!

  93. Hi. Pacifica. A truly amazing post. I travel a lot myself and enjoy observing people, the way they dress up during air travel, their relatedness to their co-travelers the probable purpose of thier travel. I start putting them in containers as you said, ready to be dispatched.

    But this article has put up a new perspective . I get that special felling when I back pack and step out of my home for a business tour. A feeling that’s so adventurous.

    Hence forth my air travel would definitely pan out with an interesting perspective .

  94. I love airports too and everything that goes with them. Maybe it’s because it usually means you’re going somewhere.

  95. Hello. Nice post. Enjoyed reading it. I travel by air every month but never thought of airports in such depth. Will definitely remember this article whenever I am at an airport 🙂

  96. Love the post! I find it very interesting.
    If you can drop in to my blog:

  97. Great post, thanks for sharing the story. I love the first photo with the red flowers besides the rail road tracks, amazing!

  98. thanks for sharing, really a great post!

  99. Laughs at the picture of the guy yawning.

    Personally I like the feeling of finally getting in my car after I’ve been frantically rushing around to get on the road. All I have to do then is sit there and feel the road pass beneath me. 🙂

  100. Great post! i like it very much. i also very like to travel. but i never done. when i was a student. i busy my study everyday. and now. are busying work everyday. what a pity!

  101. […] sugarsmiles Uncategorized adventure, airplanes, airport, airports, art, cultural-connection, culture, france, journal, musings, observation, people, personal-essays, photo, photography, planes, seattle, thoughts, travel, trip, writing Leave a comment From the Seattle airport: I was absent here for awhile – occupied with several houseguests and lots of work.  Now I am on the move again; I'll be taking eight flights through eight airports (Pau, Paris, Charlotte, Chattanooga, San Francisco, Seattle, Anchorage, Kenai) in ten days. Although this trip is just bringing me from the place that I currently live, Pau, to a place that's always been a home, Alaska, I still feel a slight hint of adventure … Read More […]

  102. Thanks for sharing. Is very good and very interesting.

  103. Thank you for sharing content.

  104. […] View the original article here Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tweet about it Posted in Advice – Tagged Layovers, money, UpSide Similar posts […]

  105. https://zoetropic.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/a-love-of-layovers/” Hi I am wanting to know if I may use this post on one of my blogs if I link back to you? Thanks

  106. […] A Love of Layovers […]

  107. I really should start flying…

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