Home is Where the Airport Is


July 1, 2011, Washington, DC: A good friend recently moved to Atlanta. It's a move she sees as fairly short-term. When I asked her what her favorite thing about living there was, she responded, ever-enthusiastic, "The airport. I can get anywhere I want so easily."

Maybe it's a funny and/or telling that the best thing she finds about that city is her ability to escape. But it's a good point. Accessibility is a huge factor for many of us travelers in shaping what we think about where we live. Accessibility to other places on the map is just one element of that equation, but it's an important one.

I was thinking about this today as I navigated my way home through Athens' airport, London's Heathrow, and eventually back into Dulles. The ability to pick up and go is huge. I remember that again as the arriving cruise shippers on our flight arrive in Dulles and still have three hours to go in the car to get to their houses.

But just as important as having an airport nearby for an escape, I love having an airport nearby for the short ride home, for the reentry. (And I'm not talking about Dulles here.) There's no better feeling than to love landing in the city where you live.

Landing at LaGuardia never did it for me. Landing at SFO was a joy. Landing in DC, not at Dulles per say, but at Reagan National, might be my favorite of all.

It's a great feeling to return from a trip away and drive along the George Washington Parkway, across the Potomac, past the monuments, and into Washington. Upon every reentry, the city is clean and beautiful and spacious and green. It is good to be home.