I had thought about the possibility before, but I never had the courage to actually do it. Or maybe I did not yet found the right airport.
When I arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport it is already 20:00 a clock in the evening. Before my trip, I failed to book a room in a hostel or hotel. Determined to save some money, and to step out of my comfort zone, I decide to stay at the airport for one night. However I have no knowledge of this airport. It is my first time visit to Malaysia. I have also no knowledge of the language, the people, or the city of Kuala Lumpur. This is another reason why I decide to stay at the airport at my first night. I want to get to know this country slowly, step by step. Exploring the airport is my first step.
I have always liked airports. In the past I used to spend most of my working days at Schiphol airport. It is nice being around people from all over the world. A safe environment where nobody looks at you in a strange way, if you hang around. Just another passenger waiting for a flight.
Walking around airports at night also makes me think hat nobody cares if you just set up camp, spread out and take a nap. For me however this is a new challenge in stepping out of my comfort zone. For some reason I feel slightly embarrassed with crashing out at the benches. A bit as feeling like a bum. Then there is also a safety issue, which always kept me from doing it. I have never been keen on losing control, and taking my eyes of my luggage. However I always see so many people crashing out on airports that I start to feel I worry to much. All these people are doing it, why not me. Time to overcome my fear and just do it.
Walking around Kuala Lumpur International Airport, I quickly start to realize that this might be the perfect place for my little experience. Unlike Schiphol, this place is a much more comfortable location for travelers who want to take a nap. The benches have no annoying armrests. This is great because because you can sleep in a horizontal position. What makes it even better is that the benches are faced to the outside windows of the airport. Then you are not in direct sight, so you can actually have some privacy.
I look around, and sneak over to a bench. Uncomfortable fears try to nest into my head. My brain detects what I am about to do and starts to rationalize me away from the idea. What if someone steels your shoe’s? that would be a really annoying problem. What if someone manages to steal your valuable belongings? What if you are dragged out of the airport by the guards?
Luckily I am tired and it makes me overrule my thoughts. I put my bag under my head. Bag up my shoes, and hug them like a teddy beer,while I stretch out on the bench. I manage to take a nap for two hours. Not a record breaking one but I feel like a hero. I did it, and I passed some time. Outside daylight is awaking. I survived the first night at an airport, in a far away country. Next step, surviving my first day in Kuala Lumpur city.
Have you ever slept at an airport before? If so which one? Do you have any advice for sleeping at airports? Share your interesting responses in the comments section below.