My first of five legs – Toronto to Vancouver went off without a hitch.
But for the most part that was the only thing that went according to my best laid plans…
I was denied entry to Hong Kong when boarding. This was even though I had approved entry documentation for each country in which I was transiting.
What I didn’t have was my boarding pass on Singapore Airlines from Hong Kong to Singapore…
My plan was to transit in Hong Kong and then obtain my boarding pass. I could then recheck my bags into Singapore Airlines from within the transit area.
Well, what I learned was that in a time of Covid all bets are off and normal expectations are thrown out the window.
As you can imagine my dismay when I was denied boarding.
I was a little more than frustrated given that I’d filled out and made copies of all the approvals necessary.
Once I had gathered my thoughts and now deplaned bags it was time for some quick thinking to get organised.
Having worked in Vancouver for 3.5 years during my corporate career, I had all of the inside info on where to stay and rental cars.
Fortunately for me this was all very familiar territory and so began to calm down. The only thing I told myself was to look on the bright side of this adventure.
Here I was in one of the most beautiful cities in the world albeit stranded…for the time being. It was only a temporary situation after-all…
After checking into the hotel, I spent the next 2 hours on the phone with Air Canada trying to unravel my current predicament and understand my options.
All I knew was that I needed to get back to Australia.
It came down to buying another flight…
I’m still hoping that I might be able to recover some of the lost dollars on my aborted flight to Hong Kong, but it will be at the whim of AC at this point.
After whittling down my options I realized that my only real option was via San Francisco with United Airlines.
Trust me, this was NOT my first choice given that the pandemic and its impact on the population of California, particularly with a five-hour layover.
That being said, beggars cannot be choosers so brought the ticket.
If you’re playing along at home, you will know that this was my 6th airline ticket that I’ve purchased.
Unfortunately, not all of them are refundable, which pisses me off. This is especially annoying when the airline cancels your flight after taking your money. Then doesn’t give you a refund, but a future flight credit.
This is simply bad behaviour! I hope consumers have long memories…
Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I had a ticket for two days hence.
My flight path had me departing Vancouver for San Francisco (another of my favourite cities), before jetting out over the pacific bound for Sydney some 15 hours distant.
Then all things being equal a short hop up to Brisbane and onto my new place in Newport.
I spent my two days walking mostly. Even with the rain it’s always a pleasure to walk the seawall around Stanley Park and soak in the gorgeous vistas.
Actually it was a super chill two days! 🙂
What I realized was that all my woes were truly first world problems. And that I had to look on this detour as a blessing. This was a perfect opportunity for me to reconnect with a city that was a big part of my life during my time in Canada.
Once I changed my perspective all the stress evaporated and began to really enjoy what was before me rather than hold on to my anger and frustration.
Truly liberating once I was able to elevate my thinking above the noise if you know what I mean?
Perhaps it’s a maturity thing, or just a place where I am in my life but rolling with what life has in store for me is both energizing and exciting.
I also realize that there may be other possible roadblocks on my path before my next flight but staying positive is important.
Holding onto feelings or ideals that serve no practical purpose is debilitating, and I’ve made a conscious choice that when faced with situations like this to just breathe and let it all go…
No longer constrained and burdened with anger or frustration has given me an opportunity to see the world differently.
This is the world I choose…for me.
Until next week