I think we all have one place that makes us unexpectedly happy. For me, that place is the airport.
Whenever life gets to be too overwhelming I love to drive over to the international airport and park outside the fence across from the runway. Takeoffs and landings are few and far between, sometimes it will be a half an hour or more before anything new comes rolling down the runway but the truth is I’m not just there for the airplanes. Its a beautiful, relaxing time even if there are no flights to admire. The airport observation area is always quiet. I turn on good tunes (like Gary Allan’s song “Watching Airplanes”) and I watch the clouds roll by and the birds fly overhead. Anytime an airplane does take off I wonder where it’s headed, and I realize how vast the world is. I think about the passengers and their adventures, and of course I think about the pilots and how different their lives must be from mine. I also think about my dream of being a pilot and I do my best to remember the feeling of an early morning takeoff. If my life feels overwhelming, the airport helps me put it into perspective. My problems seem small and insignificant when compared to the world of an airplane.
The airport inspires me in so many ways. Being there, just outside the fence, is like being just beyond the reach of my dreams and it inspires me to work harder for what I want. It inspires me to be hopeful, to be positive, and to remember that there is always an adventure waiting for me if I should want it. In less poetic ways, it inspires me photographically. I love to try to capture the airplanes as they take off and land. I love watching the clouds, which seem bigger and more powerful whenever they are over the empty stretch of runway. I even find the barbed wire fences oddly beautiful.
In the winter and the spring I spent a lot of time at the airport, but this summer I’ve missed out on my weekly airplane watching trips. As autumn rolls around again, I hope that soon I’ll have more time for bird watching.
Tell me about your happy places?
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Develop Your Photo Habit & Style E-course Giveaway
Don’t forget, you have more chances to win a spot in Nikki’s Develop Your Photo Habit & Style (Session 2) e-course. Comment on any post from Tuesday (9/2) through Monday (9pm EST 9/8) for your chance to expand your visual style, make photography your daily habit, and sharpen your technical skills. One winner will be randomly chosen Monday night and we’ll announce the results Tuesday (9/9). You can find giveaway and e-course details here.