"A Week at the Airport" by Alain De Botton captures that which I love about flying. That sense of bustle in the airport, the seeming magic of flight itself, and the excitement of going somewhere new. It's easy to get caught up in the drudgery of constant travel, but A Week at the Airport helps rekindle some of the little things that enjoy in a beautiful way.
There's a beautiful quote in the book that sums things up nicely:
“I explained – with the excessive exposition of a man spending a lonely week at the airport – that I was looking for the sort of books in which a genial voice expresses emotions that the reader has long felt but never before really understood; those that convey the secret, everyday things that society at large prefers to leave unsaid; those that make one feel somehow less alone and strange.”
Excerpt From: Alain De Botton. “A Week at the Airport.”.
I've always said that I love the experience of flying, all the way from getting to the airport to arrival. I've loved it ever since I was a kid, and that love of flying has stuck with me. I've flown in everything from little puddle jumpers where I could reach out and touch the pilot to a C5 Galaxy, one of the largest cargo planes in the world. I've slept on the floor of the airport in Hanoi for 12 hours, and literally sat on the Tarmac in the Azores and felt a warm sea breeze in January.
I'm publishing this while sitting in an airport. I was here a few weeks ago when leaving for Key West and I'll be back here again in a few more weeks as I'm headed for a new job. And you know what? I love it. Sure, there are times that flying is a nightmare, or just another part of the grind, but there's still something about it that I love.
I guess that's why "A Week at the Airport" really stuck out to me. De Botton's writing is flowery and fun, and it does a great job capturing all of the little things about an airport that are easy to overlook. If you're the traveling type, I highly recommend this book. Maybe give it a read on your next flight, or while sitting in the airport. It's easy to get overwhelmed with the drudgery of travel sometimes, but "A Week at the Airport" does a great job of rekindling some of the magic of travel again.