I love airports, always have. Our parents had us flying from a very young age (I think Ali was about 6 months old the first time he flew), and by moving us from Sydney to Perth, then up to Jakarta and Singapore, we spent a lot of our childhood in the air.
We had our parents, we had each other, we had our matching mini suitcases and we were off somewhere exciting.
These days, I still get the same rush of excitement walking through the departures gate – if it’s a short trip, if it’s on a one way flight out of here, and especially if it’s for a flight headed home.
On Saturday, Mum and I headed for the international airport, but this time we had our eyes fixed on the Arrivals lounge.
After 7 long months, we were here to pick up my baby brother, traveller extraordinaire! from his European Adventures. This is the longest time we’ve spent apart, which included our first Christmas without each other, so I was pretty eager to see him!
My not-so baby brother, and our teeny tiny Mum
It was so good to see his little face and scruffy hair walking through those doors. 7 months really isn’t that long in the scheme of things, but he’s my brother and even if he drives me crazy sometimes, it was like having a little part of me return to where it belongs.
While we waited for him to walk around that bend, we got to see my favourite part of being at an airport. Call me a stalker (you wouldn’t be the first), but I just love watching people walk through the arrivals gate and into the arms of their loved ones.
We saw Dads returning home and their little ones running and jumping all over them, old friends reuniting, husbands and wives sharing a sweet kiss and a huge family waiting patiently – completely decked out in Australian souvenirs and paraphernalia. I wish we’d stuck around long enough to see who they were waiting for.
It reminds me of this scene from Love Actually.
“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”
Qantas have created a beautiful ad, with a similar message.
So, this is mine to you:
If you’re looking for proof that love exists, go to the arrivals gate. There is nothing like being reunited with your loved ones to remind you how much you missed them, how important they are to you and how much you love them.
Ali, I love your guts and I’m so happy you’re home safe.