Bryn Gallagher: On airports

Bryn Gallagher

Part of being a college-bound ballerina is auditioning for dance programs at schools. This means taking a class at the college of your choice and having your technique evaluated. It’s an interview for dancers, so to speak. This often means getting on a plane and flying over to that school.

I went to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Tex. earlier in the year, (and found that I did not hate Texas and that Fort Worth has a really good vegan restaurant) and just last week I went to audition for Butler and Indiana University in, well, Indiana.

That all being said, I have seen a few airports this year (including a layover in Vegas, did you know they have slots in the terminals there?) and I have to say I love them.

I know what you are thinking, “Wow, One Direction was bad enough but now the college stress really has gotten to dear, sweet Bryn.”{sidebar id=65}

Okay, maybe you didn’t think that verbatim.

In any case, I bet you are wondering how I could like the lines, the overpriced airport food, TSA, those weird airport chairs, and the near constant reminder to keep close personal contact with your personal items. Add the fact that I once spent seven hours sleeping on the floor of LAX Terminal 8 and you are probably much much more confused.

Here is what I love about airports: the possibilities.

I love seeing all of the various travelers and wondering what they are going to do and where they are going. There I was, sitting next to mom in route to Indianapolis, but where was everyone else going? Home? Vacation? Moving? Running away? Wait, does that man have a cat as his carry on?

I love knowing that in roughly five hours, my feet will stand on vastly different ground (when we landed in Indianapolis, there was snow on the tarmac, real snow, falling from the sky!). Or on the return journey knowing that in five hours or so I will be home, looking for the cat and trying to decide how crucial unpacking really is at the moment.

I even love the idea of airplanes. Weird, awkward-looking metal man-made birds with the bizarre capacity to fly. I’m okay with airplane food (because sometimes you just need over-salted peanuts washed down with a packet of pretzels). I like seeing the world below, a perfect little model seeming so far removed. I like the loud rushes of taking off and landing and don’t even mind the headache cabin pressure gives me.

I am fully aware that my view of plane travel is romanticized at best (delusional at worst), and yet still I cannot let go of the same giddy excitement I had when I was six and I went to an airport for the first time. Maybe going to Indiana isn’t exactly a tropical adventure (actually at a high of 37 degrees it was anything but), but it is still an adventure for me.

I might be the only person in America (or in the world) that likes airports right now but maybe, if you think about it, you can too. I have never not ended up loving airports because I have never focused on the indescribably awful aspects of security and nearly $10 water bottles.

Adding to the already romanticized theme of this particular piece, life is what you make of it, and airports are the same. Even though I step off the airplane and often wonder if I have even gone anywhere at all (because someone thought it would be funny to make almost every airport look the same), I know an adventure is sure to come. And I love that.

What do you think?