In my travels I’ve come to appreciate the airports where customs/passport checkpoints are reminiscent of the pre-September 11th days of travel. We all remember the ease of stress free airports around the world before terrorism became the name of the game. Now days, there aren’t too many airports that will give you this feeling. Not that I’ve been to all that many, but between the 18 countries I’ve visited, and the countless others where there’s been short layovers, I have to say there’s one airport that sticks out in my mind, even now, months later. That’s Singapore’s Changi Airport! I passed through there on a 12 hour layover on my way to Hong Kong in June, and it has been a long, LONG time since I remember such an EASY entry into an international border. Wayyyyy better than when I got to Gold Coast, Australia earlier this year and forgot that I’d stored an apple in the bottom of my carry-on luggage at Los Angeles International. Let’s just say I was detained for upwards of one hour, threatened with a $1000 penalty and I think my name went on some kind of list! My mistake. But I’ll never travel with fruit again!  But back to Changi…

What really impressed me was that when I stepped off of the Singapore Airlines plane around 7AM (also the best flight of my life!), I don’t know what exactly I expected, but I was completely surprised at how welcoming the airport staff and facilities were. Passing through customs was really as easy as 1-2-3, and that type of morning, it was extraordinary that not one person was in front of me in the line. There was no line! Unheard of!!

Singapore - Butterfly WorldBut what I’ll never forget about the airport is the attraction called Butterfly World. Now, this will sound absurd to most people, but all of my life I’ve had a fear of butterflies! Don’t get me wrong, I think they are lovely, whimsical creatures, full of love and wonder, and I don’t think there’s a chance that they would ever harm me. But that’s never alleviated the anxiety I feel if a butterfly starts flying in my general direction!

Nevertheless, I got the bright idea that I should use this time before my flight to Hong Kong to face my fear of these magical flying beings inside of the butterfly sanctuary.

butterfly 1 Singapore - Butterfly World 2 butterfly 2

Standing at the top of a winding staircase that leads down into the sanctuary, I stared at all of the people just casually chilling among the butterflies. Some actually TRYING to pick them up! It was pretty cool because I could see the various butterflies resting on the intricate floral arrangements, but they weren’t obnoxiously hovering about in my personal space. I walked around slowly and took a look at the different types of butterflies and even attempted to take a couple of selfies while a few of them soared in the vicinity. I literally almost dropped my camera a couple of times while ducking and dodging them though!

Singapore - Butterfly World 3

At the end of the day, I’m glad I took the time to experience something life changing, if only in the most minor of ways! There’s no way I would have gone into a butterfly sanctuary if I was just at home looking for something to do! But, looking for a mini adventure in the middle of my “commute” to the other side of the world, I was willing to open up to the possibilities! If only for a moment…