The Power of Human Connection at the Airport

This afternoon, I walked back to my dorm room and halted when I got to my door. Do I hear Christmas music playing? Yes, around the corner of the hall, one of the boys’ suites was blasting holiday music. I rolled my eyes, thinking this was the perfect kickoff to the bombardment of holiday cheer, items and commercials that I’m about to experience during the next month and a half. Merry Christmas, everyone. And it’s only November 2nd.

How I felt when I heard Christmas music only 2 days after Halloween.
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I’ll most likely act like this about listening to holiday music until about 3 days before Christmas.
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After hearing the sound of cheer and merriment coming from their suite, I walked into my dorm room and started surfing the Internet. I did my routine check of Facebook and then clicked through the blog posts featured on Thought Catalog. This blog has quickly risen to one that I check religiously every day. The posts feature every topic you could imagine, and many writers contribute to the site.

Today, I read a post titled, “The Connections We Make When We Travel,” by Koty Neelis. In the post, she explains the many connections, if only fleeting, she has made while waiting in airports for her flights. She ends the piece with a sentence that has me yearning for my upcoming trip to Denver. It reminds me why it is almost necessary to experience those incredibly honest human interactions that only come with knowing someone for a brief moment.

“The experience of meeting strangers and waiting together to head to unknown departures creates a feeling I long for outside of the airport. If only I could find that human connection beyond the glass windows overlooking the incoming flights.”

Neelis summarizes what we all long for, newfound human interactions that bare all honesty at the moment of meeting. Airports provide us with this opportunity to make those connections in the hope that we’ll delve into the unknown and develop the same level of connection in the real world. For some reason, there’s comfort in knowing that you most likely will never see the person you’ve connected with at the airport again. It gives us a chance to be who we are and bare our souls in an unmistakably raw way.

Heathrow airport, only one of many airports that provides the location for honest encounters.
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But what if we had the courage to do this outside the airport? Our relationships with others would grow deeper, and our appreciation for the people in our lives, no matter how insignificant, would reach a new level.

So as Neelis says, I hope to “find that human connection beyond the glass windows overlooking the incoming flights.”

I bring up the fact that I heard Christmas music playing because this Thought Catalog post reminded me of the opening monologue of my favorite holiday movie, Love Actually. If you’ve never seen it, I highly suggest you sit down to watch it. Many well-known actors tell multiple stories of human relationships during the holidays. Honest and poignant characters are brought to life by actors including Liam Neeson, Keira Knightly, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, and Hugh Grant.

In the opening credits, Hugh Grant’s character explains why he goes to Heathrow airport when he’s “feeling gloomy.” He details the meetings of love that he witnesses between many different types of relationships and ends his monologue with, “Love actually is all around.”

Reuniting at the airport.
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A brother and sister reunite after 20 years.
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Koty Neelis’ Thought Catalog post and the film Love Actually remind me why I love to travel. It’s about the connections we make with others as we’re all rushing off to different parts of the world. It gives us a chance to experience the raw honesty we don’t encounter in our everyday lives. I can only hope I’ll make a connection like this when I wait in the airport on the last day of December.

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