25 March 2009

One of my favorite places: Schiphol Airport

As the sun rises of Schiphol Airport, I watch as people wander around generally unaware of any time, fashion, or linguistic barriers. The world is here, at the world’s trading post and it seems, if only for a few fleeting hours, that constant motion is the secret to coexistence. As long as everyone keeps moving there are no problems.

It is this Shangri-La that I feel at peace. I spy on people’s passports to see where they are from, I strain my ears in an attempt to understand what language people are speaking, I study people’s fashion to guess where they’ve been shopping, and I become suddenly friendly and energetic despite a day without sleep or showering. I feel like I am a part of the amorphic, ever-changing world and that even if I stand in the middle of the stream, the world will continue flowing in and around me. Even what may be considered annoyances become pleasant. Waiting in line because I’m not from the E.U., watching the passport control flip through my passport, and even getting patted down because I wearing a cowboy hat are all a small part of the game of travel.

There are endless possibilities here. I look up at the screen and can instantly imagine myself traveling in 10 minutes to Lagos, Casablanca, Azzra, Manila. Every corner of the world is accessible and just as common to the person sitting next to me as it is foreign to me. Perhaps cities like Tromsø, Oslo, or Minneapolis seem equally foreign and exotic to them. And therein lies the excitement. Everyone is going to the place where someone just left. There is a constant swapping of people, keeping the scale in balance but increasing the excitement for everyone.

The electric window shades suddenly close and maybe the fatigue of travel sets in a bit, but the din of motion continues to thrill. It’s time to move, to go, to act, and above all, travel.


Anonymous said...

A beautiful entry on why you love travel. . . thanks for recording your thoughts. . . love, Mom

Heather Mangan said...

So, I was going to write a similar post about my experience at the post office yesterday. Please stop stealing my blog post ideas :) Kidding, nicely done.

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