Holiday season

Last week I went abroad and despite being a regular traveller for over a decade, I saw the airport in a completely new light for the first time.

I couldn’t help but notice how relationship dynamics were impacted by the rollercoaster of emotions – anxiety, excitement, frustration, fatigue and fear. From parking, to finding the check-in counter, to the nail-biting baggage weighing and tediously long security process – travelling abroad isn’t quite a breeze. And the facial expressions and body language of passengers tell many stories.

It’s not the first time I travelled abroad alone, but this time I was so relaxed that I took the time to soak in my surroundings; and boy was it entertaining.

What stood out the most was my absolute worst kind of passenger – the tantrum-throwing child – especially in the early hours of the morning! Surely it must be child cruelty to make infants travel at ridiculous o’clock – and the reaction from others is priceless. I saw a few men mouthing the child needed a slap…I wonder how many others agreed.

There were plenty of hen and stag parties – who were equally as loud and irritating as the infants. And alcohol at 6.30am??? I don’t know whether to commend them or be disgusted.

Some families travelling with their in-laws in tow were the most entertaining of all. The sons and daughters cushioning the tension – now that’s another kind of challenge altogether. An Asian daughter-in-law who was being criticised by her mother-in-law for not travelling light was like watching a film – the daughter-in-law pulled her husband aside and demanded he have words with his mother if they wished to continue the trip – and they hadn’t even reached their destination yet!

The young couples oozing with love and unable to stay away from each other as if they’d be blown away if they let go. The affection in every glance at each other, every touch, and every comment…was far too sickening first thing in the morning!

And how could you miss the business-types who seem to go out of their way to prove they’re making a work-related trip – checking emails whilst on a conference call. Although the same suited man was switching between his emails and Facebook on his Mac – I wonder what he considered to be more important.

But my favourite sort of travellers are the OAPs. They’re so relaxed with no children to take care of, no excess luggage to tug around, and no work to worry about, no parties to plan and still in love with a lifelong companion. I admire their dependence on each other and how they have grown to know each other’s habits and preferences so even the silence is amicable. The occasional glance is often sufficient communication. I look forward to growing old with a partner and sharing that.

But before that there are other stages to conquer – the hen party weekend abroad, the honeymoon, and travelling with the in-laws…(I may reconsider!)

It was captivating to see people from all walks of life, all sorts of occupations, ages, experiences and expectations of their trip meeting at a common platform to venture on to their destination.

The airport is a fascinating common factor between most of us, regardless of our budgets or aspirations.