How To Make An Overnight Stay In An Airport Memorable
…or anywhere, for that matter.
The other day, I found myself stuck in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, having missed my connecting flight back to Miami late at night. It was the last Miami flight out that day so I had to reschedule the flight to the god-forsaken time of 5:45am the next morning. Great. American Airlines kindly offered my a discounted rate of $50 for a night’s stay in the lavish Super-8 Motel. I was extremely tempted, but figured sleeping in an airport terminal might be significantly more cozy and comfortable.
I knew it was gonna be a long night. Being 6’6″, sleeping anywhere that isn’t a large bed is tough. They promised me cots would be set up around the airport, but I knew they’d be normal size cots, not mega-cots designed for giants. Either way, I knew I had some time to kill. I made my way to terminal D on the Skyline Tram and noticed how empty and dead everything was. I got in the tram completely by myself and felt strangely alone. That’s never happened to me anywhere, in any airport. So I did a cartwheel. I thought, I need to document this. So I spent most of the night and early morning taking photos in the eerily empty airport terminal. It was pretty fun. All I needed was my iPhone, a self-timer app, and Instagram. BOOM. The TSA probably just added me to the no-fly list.
Needless to say, that whole stay was memorable. Why? Because it was totally absurd. Had it been any regular crappy overnight stay in an airport, it would have been forgotten pretty quickly. But that fact that I spent so much time doing weird and notable stuff, while also documenting it on camera, made it that much more memorable.
So how do you make your own trips, vacations, dates, whatever, memorable? Try this:
1. Keep things fresh and do as much as you can. Think outside the box and be adventurous. Don’t lame out and stay in and watch TV, go out and do things. Not only will this make your trip memorable, but it will also make it feel longer upon reflection. Know that feeling when you say “time flies when you’re having fun”? It’s actually not true, time flies when you do nothing, at least it seems so when you try to recall the memory of it. Time stretches when you do a lot of different stuff.
2. Document it somehow. Take pictures, film it on a GoPro, take little souvenirs from each place, draw it. The extra external memory of a place will help cement it in your brain. Plus, you can always look back through them to remind you of your trip.
3. Review it. This is a neat piece of advice I learned from a friend a while back. When your vacation is over, mentally review the whole trip. You don’t need to remember all the details, just the highlights and as best as you can, in order. Do this frequently after the trip and then every once in a while thereafter. Reviewing helps cement anything into your long term memory. The same works for actual experience memory.