I was in the airport this morning, and I was thinking about why it is that I love airports. Part of it is obviously because they usually mean I’m going on a grand adventure or coming home from one (like right now!), but I’m not the only one there with a story. I’m drawn to stories. Everyone at the airport has a story. They’re going somewhere exciting, or they’re coming home from somewhere exciting, or they’re traveling far out of their way to somewhere they despise—why?

Sometimes, I wish our culture was different, that I could just walk around the airport asking people what their stories are, where they’re going. That I could ask who they are and where they come from and why they’re here.

In one way or another, travel changes you, especially travel that requires you (or allows you) to fly. I want to ask travelers about the amazing places they’ve been and flight attendants about the crazy things they’ve seen. I want to know where home is, and where the heart is. I want to hear whether people are healing or being torn apart, running away or coming back.

How did we come to be in this place at this moment in this time of our lives, to cross paths with an instant of eyes meeting and an awkward exchange of a few shared sincerities? And where are we going?

I’m living in two places, in the midst of what feels like an identity crisis. I didn’t know it was possible for your heart to exist in two places at once, but that’s what I’m discovering. Travel has changed me in a way that I’ve never experienced before. But in the crowded halls of the airport, I sense kindred spirits in the hordes of anonymous travelers. People hurting, rejoicing, grieving, hoping, despairing, loving, and leaving, but always, always moving. But where we are going, only time will tell.