I’ve always felt more at home at airports than in a respective country and its respective rhythm.
My relatives often tell me of how as a child I used to cry at the sight of an airplane in the sky. While other kids were excited to see this man-made apparatus in action, I was often sad. The shape of a plane was something I recognised because I’d been in it. I recognised what that it symbolised too- people whom I loved and who loved me elsewhere on the other side of it.
There is this sense of composure only endemic to me at this port that comes from having my belongings minimised, consolidated in boxes- labelled, marked, and put in storage away from me.
There is this sense of freedom in the way I have my passport, my itinerary, and my dreams and goals jotted down and in a carry on bag next to me.
There is this sense of clarity when the sun shines through the large windows into the gates, or even in darkness when I look back out into the planes’ blinking lights in the night.
The sadness it was to me in my childhood became my rite of passage- my raison d’être. My prerogative. My joy. Airports are a limbo perhaps a bit like my elusive identity. The airport is in between places as am I. It is romantic place; a poetic place. Therapeutic, even. To wander aimlessly in terminals is my meditation. It is the closest I get to turning back time or moving forward in time. When I land, it is only a countdown until my next time at an airport.
It’s where the third culture ends and begins, I guess- up in the air.
About Mishell Hernandez
Mishell uses her difference to make a difference by writing poetry and prose about her experiences growing up in between worlds. To learn more about her, check out her voice out some opinions on what it’s like to be a Third Culture Kid here.