Up, Up & Away

Airports are interesting but strange places. They’re like a small city you pass through briefly. For some, who commute regularly through them due to business, they become a home away from home. And for this reason, the design of airports has become integral to their success. The flow of human traffic, clear information signage, quick access to termi- nals for in-transit passengers, quiet nooks to recharge batteries- (that’s technology devices and your own body!) are important considerations. One thing I notice is light.

Airports that have natural light with large windows and sky light rooves, seem to create a more re- laxed atmosphere. Some of my in-transit trips have been multiple stop overs. Try Winnipeg to Chicago, Chicago to L.A., L.A to Sydney, Sydney to Melbourne. And if all those planes are on time and connections all work, its like winning the lottery.

In 2012, I took two flights to Washington to spend a USA Thanksgiving with a nephew. It was a cold, snowy November and thousands of citizens were flying home for Thanks giving. It was an amaz- ing sight. Yesterday, I came out of customs at Melbourne airport after 18 hours of in transit flights to a sea of anxious rushing passengers. It was 8 am, cold and pouring with rain, our cell phones didn’t register in the southern hemisphere and I couldn’t find relatives who were meeting us.

I left a tired disorientated husband with luggage while I went in search of a public telephone, tried to change a Toony for Aussie coins and finally made contact. When I returned to him, with the noise of planes, taxis, buses and overhead speak- ers jarring us, he showed me a large wet maple leaf that had blown onto his suitcase. I took it as a welcome sign.

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