Window Seats Make Way for Curiosity, Good Stories

I’ve always loved window seats. So it was with great interest that I read this New York Times story about a pilot’s pleasure for seats with views. The pilot, Mark Vanhoenacker, explains his reasoning and writes about which cities offer the best views for passengers who are lucky enough to snag a window seat.

Sure, there’s something to be said for aisle seats — you have a little more leg room, you feel less claustrophobic and you don’t have to clumsily climb over other passengers on your way to the bathroom. (I’ve had to do this more times than I’d like to admit. Note to self: Lay low on the water consumption before boarding a plane!)

But window seats make airplane rides entertaining, and they make for a good escape. “Indeed,” Vanhoenacker writes, “as new security rules and ever busier airports continue to change air travel, rediscovering the romance of the window seat may be the most practical way to make flying more enjoyable.”

I couldn’t agree more. I’ll sit in the very last row of a plane if it means having a window seat. I start staring right after takeoff. Like a little kid, I practically press my nose to the window and gaze at the happenings below. I like to look at the tiny people, the cars & the boats and wonder where they’re at in their journey. If it’s nighttime, I look at the lights until they grow dim and there’s nothing left but darkness.

My curiosity then turns to the people on the plane. Where are they going? What’s their story? Maybe it’s this curiosity that compels me to always want to write on planes. No doubt, there’s something about the experience of a shared journey that lends itself to good stories and that makes you realize there’s value in looking out from within.

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at

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