Maybe I’m overly sentimental, or maybe I just don’t travel enough, but there’s something extraordinary about airports, and flying via plane in general. Whether it’s the anticipation of arriving at your destination (regardless of whatever your reason for going is) or the excitement of being airborne for X amount of hours, airports give you a feeling like no other.
Somebody once told me “the best things in life are the things that go unplanned”, and this is definitely true. My best friend’s family organized a vacation on Wednesday, invited me to go on Thursday, and we all left for Florida on Friday. I was excited, to say the least.
Our plane departed at 4 pm on Friday, and we returned home from vacation Wednesday night (technically Thursday morning), arriving back at the airport around 12:30 am. My school was off on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday due to Election Day and Teacher’s In-Service, so I thankfully only missed two days, rather than three/four. We went to Hallandale Beach, Florida, and we made it to a college visit as well.
We flew out of the Philadelphia International Airport to the Miami International Airport and then vice versa to come home. I had forgotten what air transportation was like. When we first got to the Philly airport, we had quite some time to spare, so we got lunch and waited for our plane to begin boarding. We people-watched as we ate our Saladworks, and it was nothing like any kind of people-watching I’ve done before. It was so intriguing to imagine where every person was going to or coming from. You’d see a mom, dad and two little kids dressed in shorts and tank tops, and you’d instantly assume they were going to Disney World. You’d see a man dressed in a suit talking into his bluetooth earpiece and guess that he was going to a different city for a business meeting. The different predicted scenarios and situations were all so unique.
When we boarded and then departed from Philly, it was truly awe-inspiring to look out the window as we climbed higher and higher into the sky. The cars and buildings would get smaller and smaller, eventually being lost to our vision, either covered by clouds or just the altitude of the plane prohibiting us from seeing the ground. It was amazing to look down at the buildings that seem so enormous from street-level be reduced to looking smaller than your fingernail.
As we began to descend and prepare for landing, the sun was setting, creating a beautiful natural filter to be cast over the buildings in Miami that got larger and larger as we approached the land. Even though we were still millions of miles away, being in an airplane gave off the illusion that we were closer to the sun than usual.
Our vacation was filled with laughs, happiness and vitamin D. I was sad to leave, although I must admit I was ready to come home and see my family again. Our flight home was a late one, departing at 9:45 pm, about an hour before the time I usually go to sleep. Our flight was around three hours long, but getting our luggage and finding the car elongated our time at the airport.
I was very nervous for the first flight. I tend to get sick on planes, and the change in air pressure and my claustrophobia combined did not help. However, on the flight home, my friend and I danced in our seats to music playing in our earbuds, excited for our upcoming flight rather than stressing out about it. As we departed, we looked out off the windows at the city lights.If I thought the flight before was extraordinary, this view was extra-extraordinary. Miami was alive with orange streetlights, white headlights and the occasional blue-and-red flashing police/ambulance/fire truck lights. It was all organized and put-together, like the city put on a light show just for us. It was beautiful.