??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness

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Covid travel from the arm chair – arrival in Calgary

We would have arrived around noon 24th August after connecting with a domestic Air Canada flight from Vancouver. Hopefully the 1 hour 55 min time between flights would have been sufficient.

On arrival in Calgary we would have travelled to our hotel by cab.

As I try to make most use of my time, I rely heavily on planning. It’s not my style to leave things to chance.

I had mapped out the map for a 3 km walk exploring some of Calgary. The hope was to beat the jet lag by keeping busy. An early night would (should) see us ready to live on Canadian time.

A late lunch was planned at Alforno Bakery and Cafe, then at the end of our scenic route an early dinner. No restaurant was chosen as it would depend on how tired we were and if we were still walking or cabbing it.

Monday 24th would then be finished.

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Covid travel from the arm chair – flight to Calgary

Today I would have been up early to watch the airport wake up. I’d watch the early flights take off as I packed up ready to head to the airport by 7 am for the first leg of my flight- Sydney to Vancouver. At Vancouver I would take my 2nd leg, a flight to Calgary. I say 7 am as 3 hours before my flight but I’d more than likely be racing that 150 metre distance around 6:15ish – not one to be late to the airport, you never know what interruption might happen to make that 2 minute walk longer.

No matter which airline I travel with ( though I have only used about 5 or 6 different airlines) the check in counter is always far from where I enter the terminal. I drag my case, dodging people, taking a moment to marvel at a suitcase being plastic wrapped, admiring some of the suitcases, oh and of course a million stops to check my passport, phone and wallet are still in my handbag. I’m not exactly sure where I think they will go as I clasp that bag tight and am always very alert to what’s happening around me.

On arrival at check in I’ll be a little less stressed once my passport is checked, tickets are printed and my suitcase is taken.

Now it’s a head through security. My liquids ( in their purpose bought resealable plastic bag) will be placed in the little blue tray along with my 5 ventolin puffers ( never be too sure if you have enough – nor if they should stay in the handbag or not). My bag will be placed in the blue tray. I’ll be watching that tray as closely as I can.

Based on my own statistics I will then be chosen for a body scan. I always have ‘hot spots” requiring a pat down. Of course I’m hot, I’m on high anxiety in this part of my travel adventure.

Then as if it’s not enough to have a pat down, I’m usually chosen for the Explosive Trace Detection wand.

Next I recheck I still have my passport, wallet, phone and now tickets still in my hand bag then head to customs and border control. I’m better at feeding my passport into the machine now. Once I pass through that gate I check the walk time the flight board advises for my gate.

By now I need food and while I’m hangry I also want to eat as close as possible to my gate. Don’t want any last minute dashes to make the plane. Only once has this part of my plan gone horribly wrong when there was a last minute gate change for a flight. Of course it was from one end to the other. I had to race off dodging those passengers who enjoy window shopping and chatting in little groups. Argghhh!!!

Then I sit at the gate ( usually with a long wait cause I start so early for check in).

Today’s flight was to be at 10am. I had an extra leg room seat on the exit. The flight price was so cheap as I bought it on an Air Canada ‘Australia Day Sale’. The disappointing bit is the voucher we now have will barely cover one of us to travel- unless of cause another Australia Day Sale happens next year! Fingers crossed 🙂

When boarding is announced I finally get really excited. I sit in my seat with seatbelt tightened as I watch the plane fill up. I play a game bringing the unknown passengers to life in my mind – why they are travelling, where they are headed, did they book on the sale like me, who have they left behind, who’s excited to see them at the end of the flight?

As the plane taxis out of the bay I’m the one staring out the window…even if I’m not in the window seat. 😊

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