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During 2022, according to AAA, 113 million Americans traveled somewhere! How did they go “somewhere”? Most likely the trip started with an airplane ride.

Most of us don’t relish the airport: frenzied Arrivals and Departures, long lines, and crowds. In the United States there are 5,211 public airports (and 14,850 private). The global count is 41,700 airports.* Like it or not, airports are our launch pad. 

The world has become more reachable. Humans are on the move. And, like it or not, airports are our launch pad. 

No Coffee Line at #DEN #CaribouCoffee

How might we manage the start of a trip with aplomb?

A recent trip through Denver International Airport (DEN) and Orlando International Airport (MCO) provided me with a chance to “Walk The Horizon” navigating the experience with ease. With a persistent cough I wondered how the trip would affect my health. Even with the required “critical path” for departure (Check-In, luggage drop-off, security line, boarding etc…)  I needed to wander differently to feel well from start to finish.

Here are some tips for Walking the Airport Horizon:

Passing Through

Sometimes we must go to a destination not high on our list. Like any difficult “place” we just need to remember that we’re only “passing through”. Allow emotions to come and go. Let the insignificant stuff float away. The airport visit is a “blip” compared to the total experience. 

Way Long Coffee Line

Walk the Other Direction

The line for a cup of coffee was ridiculously long. So I walked a different direction, away from the gate and crowded Starbucks. And then? I came upon a wonderful coffee bar that served me a delicious, exactly “how I wanted it”, cup of Joe!  As I returned back to super busy area, my coffee cup and me gleamed. “Go the other way, People”, I wanted to yell.

Switch The Thinking (or at least stay neutral)

You are “going somewhere” by the way.  In most cases, thankfully, you’re not flying to a funeral. The airport is where things start!  Smile and look at the happy kids gleefully galloping with Disney World on their minds. Wonder a little more about fellow travelers around you. Stay kind.

Who Knew? Coffee Machines at DIA

Obvious Extras

  • If you have time ahead of travel, pack easy snacks, a peanut butter sandwich, gorp, a tea bag, so you can control your diet and enjoy what you’re eating!
  • Wear comfortable “pulled-together” clothes. Look good, feel good.
  • Bring a “neckie” and once on-board, sleep as soon as you can. Naps are good for the soul and the flight will go by quickly.
  • If you worry about those near you, wear a mask.

You’ve arrived for departure, a beginning. Check-out where you are, even if it’s the airport. Walk and then walk some more before boarding your plane. The horizon is wide and this time you’ll be a part of it in the open sky.

You’re on your way.


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