The not-so-much joy of travelling

Flying isn’t for the faint of heart. Actually, travel of any kind is meant for the hardy, for the resilient, and for the patiently tolerant adaptable club of individuals, of which I am not often a member.
I’ve now been up for 25 hours on my travel home from Maui. I know, you don’t feel all that sorry for me considering I have just come from sand and sun and lovely breezes, and jumping through mighty waves and my skin losing its winter white. But hear me out.
I went through security in Vancouver at 6 a.m., where they spent a half-hour searching through my purse for concealed weapons and explosives only to discover some slightly-used tissues and a few Lifesavers.
I arrived at the gate a bit bleary-eyed, but excited to wait for my daughter and family to join me on the leg of the flight to Toronto. I was going to be able to hug my grandson for the entire flight and hold his precious little self.
Then in Toronto, they would head for home and I would continue on to Halifax.
We had co-ordinated these travel plans some time ago at extra cost for both of us as Samantha was on her way home from sister-visiting. I was giggly and it felt Christmas-ish.
But as with so many things surrounded by travel . . . not so fast.
Our flight was cancelled. Mechanical difficulties. The flight originated in Vancouver so I’d like to pose the question to WestJet as to why they didn’t discover these mechanical difficulties the night before (I’m sure there is a logical explanation).
Samantha was siphoned from our “together” flight and put on one through Edmonton, where she would have to endure a few extra hours with her wee one and without my help and support (though she didn’t need it, my help would have been welcomed).
As for me? Well, I stood for several hours awaiting my turn to determine my travel fate. And while I waited, I watched people.
Most everyone remained calm despite the disappointment at missed connections. One young woman, for instance, was to meet up with her husband for a very special trip to Paris.
Alas, her connection was missed and precious time shaved off their holiday together as he worked in some distant locale, away from the every day of her. She was in tears trying to sort out an alternate plan.
An older couple (well, my age so not all that old) were on their way to New York to meet their daughter and husband, who live in London, England, for a much-anticipated reunion for four days.
They would not get to New York in time and an entire day was sliced away from their family get-together. Only one seat was left for them on the flight to Toronto, so they both couldn’t go and would have to wait until the next day.
I had a seat on that flight, it turned out, so I gave it to them and was happy to do so—and they were so relieved and so grateful (I’m only returning to mountains of snow so I’m in no particular hurry).
Another young man had saved for a special opera in Toronto, and now he would miss it and the cost of his opera ticket forfeited. He remained polite and calm, though with disappointment written all over his face.
It happens. Travel is fraught with unforeseen circumstances. I had no urge to shout or complain, but the time with my daughter was lost and these times don’t come up often enough.
So here I sit, waiting for a flight at some unknown time at this point. I’m sipping coffee and feeling my resolve leak away. I hope to get some sleep soon, I just don’t know when.
It’s okay if you don’t care. I’m not sure I would, either. But there it is.
wendistewart@live.ca

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