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I was leaving Wisconsin, departing from Appleton Airport, small one compared to the larger one in the capital. Since I collect shot glasses whenever I’m at the airport, I thought that I’d buy one for Wisconsin as a souvenir for visiting there for the first time and staying there for two weeks. Normally there are many gift shops for souvenirs after security check where I can stroll near the gate while looking for souvenirs and snacks to munch on. Good thing I was cautious today and bought a cow shot glass in the little gift store next store right by the check in location. After the short security check, the place was very cute, with a few shops and little choices for food. Thank goodness I purchased a shot glass to be safe; otherwise, I would have left Wisconsin with regret. This is my first time at a small airport, where there were no lines at the check in or at security. The place was empty with no lines almost anywhere, strange to see at an airport. After landing on Chicago for transfer, I almost went through a size shock (similar to that of cultural shock) of being unfamiliar with the sudden transition. The airline at Wisconsin was so tiny, each row only had three seats (two seat on the left, isle and one single seat on right). The ride was 35 minutes; cruising low in the sky. I did not fall asleep at all, staring out the airplane window, looking down at the amazing few from above, seeing how the ocean mingles with the land, how the more populated locations are so compacted in space while other areas have large plots of land for each individual houses.

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After arrival in Chicago, there was way too many people, everywhere; waiting for food at McDonalds, Chilis, charging stations, walking, souvenir shops and even my terminal gate B17 was divided into five groups of lines. Now there are lines everywhere. Waiting at the gate for 10 minutes, waiting to go on the plane, waiting to put luggage up on the overhead, etc etc. This was a three hour flight, of which I fell asleep the whole time, without much to do.

One tip I want to share when traveling is don’t underestimate the layover time, you may think 40 minutes is a long time, but flight can land later than scheduled, if you have to get your baggage claim or if it’s a large airport and you have to take the shuttle or walk a long way from landing location to the terminal gate of your next flight.

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Another tip, one of the best seats are by the exits. Today from my flight from Chicago, I had the lovely experience of having a window seat in the exit row. This was awesome. I can lean on my head to the window to sleep and you have no idea how much leg room there is! It’s almost like first class seats, except the half the price.

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Size matters when it comes to airports, because there is a difference in waiting time, staff, and more. Not only for airports, you probably have heard that it makes a dramatic difference when choosing for what kind of companies– large corporate or small firm. Would you like to attend a small liberal arts college or a large state school? Again, there ware always pros and cons for both sides, but which do you prefer? From today’s experience, I’d prefer a small airport over the large airport, by far now that I’ve experience what a small airport is like. I’m not a fan of waiting in line for anything, even though I have a lot of patience.

Size matters. Take that into consideration next time you’re making a decision.

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