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My Love/Hate Relationship with Airports

Natalie Walden
December 21, 2015

I have a love/hate relationship with airports. Sure, I’m like everyone else in that I dislike the long security lines, the hours of sitting in the terminal during delays, and the stampede of people attempting to find their seats in the crowded airplane. But that’s not what I’m really thinking of in this moment.

Why do I love airports? I love that they take me to new places that I have never been to before or that I have even dreamed of traveling to. Never did I think that I would sit on the edge of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, look up at the luminous Eiffel Tower in Paris, or explore a castle in Prague. My weekends filled with adventures in different countries always started with lots of adrenaline and excitement on a Ryan Air flight. They ended on a similar Ryan Air flight as well, however instead of feeling excitement for traveling to a brand new country, I felt excitement for returning to the place that I called home: London. No matter how far I traveled or how exotic and amazing my adventures were, I was always excited to go back to London because I knew that there was always a new adventure awaiting me there. You’d think that after a couple months in a city life would become pretty mundane and typical. Sure, I had my daily routine (wake up, walk to the IES Abroad Center, grab a coffee from Costa, etc.) but even during this routine I would find something new that brought me back to the realization that I’m living in Europe!! That’s why I love airports.

Why do I hate airports? On today in particular, I hate airports the most. I hate this airport because in a few hours a plane will be taking me away from the city that I called home for the past three months. A city that I have tried new things, wandered the streets, and met so many amazing people in. A city that although it was completely new and foreign to me, I was able to find a daily routine that I felt comfortable in. A city that allowed me to gain confidence and independence as I learned new things and was able to experience and do things on my own. In a few hours I will be sitting in a seat on an airplane with 8 and a half hours to think about all of the amazing adventures that I had this semester and remember all of the memories I made. For all of those reasons I despise airports.

I have no reason to hold a grudge against airports though. Sure an airplane may be taking me away from the place that I have grown so extremely fond of, but a few short months ago an airplane took me to this amazing place. While I have so many reasons to despise this airport, one positive thing trumps all of them: I have so many more airplane flights and adventures ahead of me. Although one airplane may be taking me home from this adventure now, I know that in the future I will be taking an airplane towards another amazing experience. And for that I love airports. 

Natalie Walden

<p>Natalie Walden is a Junior at Penn State University, majoring in Public Relations and minoring in International Studies and Vocal Performance. On any given day, you can find her around campus singing with her a cappella group or drinking Jamba Juice at one of the HUB tables. She is a brother of Phi Sigma Pi honors fraternity and one of the THON chairs of the Oriana Singers and Glee Club THON organization. Her talents include impersonating Britney Spears/Shakira and binge watching shows on Netflix (which she will not be doing much of while abroad...). Natalie has never been to Europe before and can&#39;t wait to share all of her amazing adventures across the pond!</p>

Destination:
Term:
2015 Fall
Home university:
Penn State University
Major:
Communications
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