Spring Break!!! Yeah!
It is the time of year when schools give out for that much needed week – two if you’re fortunate – of relaxation and renewal. Teachers, students, and the occassional business person all over the world are taking off for destinations near and far. The excitement is palpable.
Then comes the airport. Ugh! Airports.
Lines. Metal detectors. Awkward bathroom experiences. These travel hubs can be nightmarish smorgasbords of anxiety. But have hope. With a bit of imagination and the right mindset you can make your next stopover as enjoyable as your final destination. 1. Have a Race
Find a traveler who seems to be in a hurry towards their gate and speed walk beside them. They’ll either enjoy the companionship of a fellow tardy traveler or they’ll be a bit confused. Whichever one, they will most certainly appreciate the distraction.
Caution: If they become overly disgruntled, quickly veer off into the closest gate and yell “MADE IT! Whew!”
2. Watch Children
Children have an amazing ability to rise past the stress of travel and find the fascinating in the ordinary. Their joy – especially the youngest ones – will most assuredly lift your spirits. I love seeing parents interact playfully with their kids. Always fun to watch.
Caution: This may seem a bit odd in this day and age of sensitivity, but it can be done somewhat secretly. In other words… Stop Staring!
3. Talk to Your Neighbors
Talk to strangers!?!!!? Never!
It may surprise you but people you meet in the airport are rarely from the place you’re in. And if they are, they at least travel. And if they travel, they’ve seen things. Things of interest. Interesting things. Catch what I’m stepping in? You don’t always need to travel to a place to experience what it has to offer. Why do you think storytellers are so integral in society? So say ‘Hello!’ and perk up. You may even find your next vacation.
Caution: Not everyone is in the mood to chat. Be sensitive to others’ desire to simply be quiet. Traveling is tiring, and sometimes people just want to sit quietly. Which ties in with the next point…
4. Be Quiet
You are in the center of some serious activity. Close your mouth and open your ears and eyes to the small but sensational buzzings around you. Languages spoken, memories shared, fashion ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’, and diverse cultures all combine to paint a vivid portrait of the world. People watching is almost second nature in some countries. Spain and Italy have near made it their pastime. So be quiet and pay attention.
Caution: Some conversations are private. Of course, many of you already know that considering you start whispering the second I come into view. It seems leaning over a chair in your direction is not as covert as I thought it was.
5. Tour the Facilities
Everyone loves to walk around the airport and check out all the boutiques and kiosks, but how many of you really tour the facilities – ahem – the bathrooms.
Might sound like a ‘tour de farts’, exploring the airports stalls and urinals, but imagine if we transformed the least attractive airport spots into an adventure. You could take notes pertaining to cleanliness and quality or write down the hidden gems tucked in the back corners of Gate 72. You could even get the inside scoop from the maintenance staff about where they like to bowel move it, move it. Just a thought.
In the end, whether it’s your eyes and ears that take a journey, or your mind, airports are part of our travel experience. Let’s not allow a stopover to put a halt to our adventures.
Have a fun creative idea of your own? Comment below.