I can’t remember the precise moment that my love of planes and airports began. One of my favourite memories is from when I was about 12 years old. Pane used to drive me out to the airport on Monday nights to soak up the atmosphere.
(Sunset over a 747-400 at the Terminal 5 British Airways Lounge at London Heathrow)
I’m not really sure why Pane did it, other than he knew that it made me sublimely happy.
We would pull over on the side of the road, in the days before they had rigged up the mesh which blocks the view. From that angle, you had an amazing view of the runway, the lights dazzling on the ground and the fabulous sight of planes waiting in the air to land like well behaved school children in line.
The best trips always ended with a 747-400 taking off over the top of the us, the noise so loud and the vibrations reverberating in the concrete underneath us.
(View from Qantas Lounge Terminal 1 at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport)
There no freedom quite like flying. Being up there, in the air, completely devoid of responsibility and jobs. No To-Do list, no jobs, no people to call, or assignments to finish. Somebody waiting on you, bringing you snacks, while you relax and watch movies. I couldn’t think of anything better. Its a unique experience.
I love the idea that planes can transport you all over the world. Within hours you can be in a new country, exploring new places, meeting new faces, catching up with old ones and creating memories. I feel close to people who are thousands of miles away, knowing that I could be with them within a day if I wanted to be.
Within hours, a plane can have you back where you belong, back home, back where you started.
(Snow-capped mountains on a flight from Vancouver to Kelowna, B.C, Canada)
I do some of my best thinking ‘up there’. Its a funny perspective of life and the world when you are looking down on it from 37,000 feet. I can’t say it better than this:
‘From the air, things look so ridiculous. Our fears so small, our fights so vain. I want to pilot a plane with you, so all our problems look small too. Its just an inch from me to you, depending on what map you use.’
– ‘Cleveland’ by Jewel
(Sunset over the horizon on a flight from Dallas Fort Worth to New York La Guardia)