One of the worst things that can happen to any traveler, and especially to a digital nomad, is to spend the night in an airport.
I did it five or six times, it’s never a pleasant memory.
Time goes extremely slowly when you are trying to sleep while making sure nobody takes your luggages. Your brain constantly switches on and off, which accentuates the feeling of tiredness.
Your comfort at night greatly depends on the airport you are in.
I hate Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport for example: no open store at night, no free lounge to sleep in, worn-out chairs… the conditions are pretty terrible.
In Muscat, on the contrary, every passenger has access to a super comfortable sleeping chair with unlimited Wi-Fi.
In Bangkok, stores do not close and you can have a pad thaï at 3 AM if you can’t sleep.
Sometimes the airport’s doors CLOSE at night. I got locked outside once in Treviso because I didn’t know that and tried to look for food and water in the neighborhood (there was no store inside and it was a scorching summer). I ended up homeless, tried to sleep on a bench, and apparently, a neighbor called the police thinking I was a hobo or something. I got woken up by two policemen. I was really confused, explained my situation, and then they left. I still had to spend the night outside to catch a flight early in the morning.
It’s actually quite interesting to notice how airports mirror the countries they are built by. Hospitality is not universal.
I’m writing this because I’m currently at Charles de Gaulle airport, at night time. It’s going to be a long night.