For a decade, Salt Lake International Airport was my airport. It was the airport I flew out of on my first few visits to Europe. I traveled to Mexico and Brazil from SLC. When I’ve had free flight benefits — both recently and in my early 20s — I spent countless hours at SLC trying to fly standby.

Which makes me wonder: is it possible to feel nostalgia for an airport?

Airports can be interesting — Madrid’s Terminal 4, for example, is beautiful — but most of them are pretty boring. SLC probably falls into that category (though there are actually a bunch of great, locally-owned restaurants there). Still, when I went back this winter to visit family, after having moved away from Utah, it felt a little bit like home. I remembered the artwork, the restaurants smelled familiar, and I knew exactly how to get around. It still felt like my airport, which is a feeling I never expected to have.

— Jim Dalrymple II


Written by Jim Dalrymple II

Urbanism and travel writer. Also a journalist covering the news.

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