Planes, and by extension, airports are wonderful things. I love flying, and for me there is no hassle to sitting in an airport for a few hours between flights. Domestic airports are nice, but international ones are magic. The departures board with its magical names – Marrakesh, Mumbai, Dhaka, London, Lima… the possibilities for new adventures and new lives are endless.
Airports also have a lovely buzz of energy and excitement. Families and friends greeting each other after holidays or life away; tearful farewells with a barely hidden touch of excitement from the traveller; backpackers shouldering battered packs, with travel guides in hand – where to next? It’s all magic.
And once in the plane the magic only increases. The power of the engines as we take off, the sudden surge as we lift off – finally on our way! The world shrinks, and with that distance we can gain perspective. The spaces, things and people that filled our lives are now small, less immediate and so less difficult, less stressing, less demanding. We are now in a much bigger world, with millions of people, millions of issues and millions of ideas we can’t see below us. We are just a tiny part, and so our worries are tiny as well.
Beautiful blue skies or clear stars are just a windowpane away, and when there is cloud, even more magic. Such a new fantastical world of valleys and mountains, light and shade. My imagination runs riot, and I take hundreds of cloud photographs. Then, sunrise and sunset from high take over and the edges of the world are filled with glory. Flying gives a chance to see how stunningly beautiful the earth and skies are.
Landing inflates us again, our sense of self as large returns, and the perspective we gained drifts away… but for a few magical hours we were part of something so much bigger and more beautiful.