Living close to the airport is a bonus. Our last house was fifteen minutes from the airport and for the last ten years, we have been eight minutes away – using the shortcut. Enroute to a New York City girls weekend just after 9-11, I forgot my international ID and still had time to dash home and return with time to spare. With the amount of travel we do in our household, we have a soft rule that whoever is travelling, the other drops off and picks up to make the departure/arrival a pleasant experience. It’s so nice to have a smiley face greet you after a long journey or even just a short hop. The opening scene to the movie Love Actually, where they capture the arrivals and expressions of love at Heathrow airport is still an all-time favourite of mine. For us to do the work that we do, we need to fly to get there. Years ago, this sort of business activity would have been reserved for the corporate elite while today hopping on a plane to fly across the continent is not even given a second thought. The first time my pilot friend explained that he commuted to Toronto from Halifax by air every week, it shifted a paradigm for me. For those who are not in positions that require travel, the act of travel does still hold some romantic cache. The first time our entire family flew to Europe to visit relatives, I remember dressing up in our finest to board the aircraft. It was also the era that served meals with flatware, gave out playing cards to the children and had a smoking section one row behind non-smoking. The good old days!
A couple of weeks ago, I was assigned a middle seat to fly four hours west. There were no aisle/window options available. It is a frequent traveller’s nightmare. Not the middle seat – pleeasaeaase! So I did what any business traveler does, I hauled out my credit card and paid the extra $45 to upgrade my seat. My new assigned seat put me in the second row from the front and I had the entire row. Travel nirvana for a mere $45. On the return trip, I thought I’d take my chances and let destiny guide serendipity and I ended up one row ahead of a three year old child who kicked the back of my seat and screamed for four hours while her parents gazed on lovingly. The midnight landing on a Sunday night at YOW was not one of my freshest arrivals. Monday was even less pretty…
The best thing for me about travel is coming home. While I very much enjoy the adventure away, walking in to my house after being away is a great feeling. Over years of doing yoga, I’ve always loved how the sound of OHM and the sound of H-OME are wonderfully similar. Ok, so the service standards at Chez Howes may not match the calibre of the establishments we frequent, the comfort and tranquility are matched by none. Plus the bonus is the furry tail that bounds down the hall to greet the returning traveller.
Timely yours, Brenda