Carry-on Baggage Rant (or Why I Hate To Carry-on)


I’ve decided to share with you, or more appropriately rant, as I sit here in at the airport waiting to board my domestic flight. About luggage you ask? Yes, about luggage. I’ll give it you straight – I have issue with carry-on baggage. Yes, I know, many passengers are avid devotees of this form of airline travel, declaring it far superior to the alternative of checked baggage. Not for me. I don’t get the appeal. Even though I do participate in carrying on I am not a fan of it. I sit here in the boarding area with my purse, a book, my FitBit, and my approved carry-on size wheeled suitcase. It is my standard gear for domestic flights. Yet if this was an international flight my suitcase or backpack (usually backpack) would be checked and ready to go in the underbelly of the aircraft (yay for free checked bags most of the time)! I would have with me a small bag containing what I need for the flight and far simpler! This is my preference. That is when I have a manageable-size bag that sits nice over my shoulder or on my back, sometimes with a an additional purse, sometimes not. It makes me happy happy happy that all I need is within simple reach. Not today though.

Yet when I fly domestically and am far too cheap (way to cheap) to pay for checking my bag 90% of the time. I opt to carry- on. This results in feeling like a packhorse weighted down while meandering down the airport corridors forever bumping into everything. I honestly don’t understand when others tout the benefits of carrying on (insert perplexed emoji here).

Let me explain the horrors (in a bulleted list no less):

  • Bathrooms! Dragging luggage into often busy bathrooms is cumbersome and awkward. Many airport bathrooms are narrow. Trying to fit myself and bag into one often resembles a wrestling match with the stall coming out the winner.
  • Wandering! I enjoy wandering through shops, stopping to grab a drink, or plain walk long lengths of airports (mainly to pass the time and to get some steps in on my FitBit). Much harder when dragging a suitcase or backpack behind you. I have knocked things over 😳.
  • Connections! Rarely do I fly domestically without a connecting flight so having extra bulk while being swept up in the throngs of passengers scrambling along escalators and corridors can make for a harrowingly life and death situation. It really is a dangerous endeavour!
  • Aircraft! I don’t know how they come up with the zone boarding system though I usually end up in zone 4 – the last lot. So when I finally board every other person has scooped up all the overhead bins. I mean people use them all! Even ones that aren’t above their seats. Mine ends up 10 rows behind!! Or under my seat and my small bag that contains what I need above and out of my reach!

Yeah so there ya have it. I am a checked bag girl! For those who carry-on with ease: I may not get it but kudos for excelling at the Carry-on Olympics. And for those like myself: you are my tribe. Oh and maybe I could consider being less cheap…er…economical. LOL!!

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Saying Good-bye


I always thought that I would have the big ugly cry when one of my parents passed.  In actuality it was some tears especially the first week of my dad’s passing. Mostly its been bouts of sadness. Not depression. Sadness. Some days things feel surreal, like he really is not gone. Other days are like most of my days – work, friends, errands and then I remember and the sadness remains for a moment, hours, or the day. Then is leaves. It really is a odd process. I’ve heard it said that we all grieve differently. I believe that. My sister, my mother, my relatives – we all process differently. Coming back to Vancouver from Ontario was probably hardest time since he first passed. It hadn’t even been a week. I asked my sister how she was. She said it was the same for her. Perhaps the shock wearing off despite the fact that he was in declining health and in long-term care for almost seven months. It was setting in.  I had a trip planned to visit my parent for a week and then off to Toronto for a three days. I changed that to spend the whole ten days with my mother. Two weeks before that trip was when my sister and I flew out as the doctors said he regressed and they did not expect him to survive. We had a few days with him and were all present when he passed, as he had wanted. It was very peaceful.

The service will be at the beginning of July as my mom wishes. I like that. It allows for processing and adjusting to him being gone. Back and forth to Ontario. Not quite how I imagined my trips there would be this year. I knew he was dying when he was first admitted into long-term care. I had a dream that he passed. Though my dad was a tough one, full of that Finn “sisu“. He did as much as he could on his own terms. He had given us a couple of scares in the past. About seven years ago he developed a very serious case of pneumonia and was induced into a coma. He survived though his lungs took  a beating. At that time the doctors discovered he had a severe kidney infection as well. His kidneys never recovered and he was on hemo dialysis for years.  Sometimes I wondered if he would keep going and outlive everyone. I think several people in his life may have pondered the same. Over the last several months he slowly declined and was somewhat of a crotchety old man at times, though can you blame anyone who is hospitalized for so long? In the end he was more sentimental especially when speaking of my mom. 

On the day my mom told me that the doctors were saying there was not much time left a friend texted me. She was asking about how I had come to terms with knowing my father was dying (which I had told my friends was the case even though I had no idea when it would happen). She had her own concerns and looked to me for some insight. I was unable to answer her question because, well, it was only about three hours earlier that the news came. It was a Tuesday. I flew out on Wednesday’s red-eye, arriving Thursday morning. He passed on Sunday. 

It now been a month. The shock is long gone though the small things make it hard. I saw a TV show where a character (a father) fought the evil forces so he could around for his infant son. I burst into tears. I still say I “my parents” instead of “my mom” when talking in the present tense. Things are getting easier day by day though I think of him often. In the past there was a long stretch when our relationship was tough. That improved over the years. He was a smart man, he liked to socialize and to laugh. He even laughed at his own jokes. Which was very funny because he’d be in stitches before even getting to the punch line. I miss him. Good -bye isä.

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Selfie with my dad (Isä in Finn)

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There’s that smile

 

 

I love you Instagram but you’re bringing my travel life down.


Theodore Roosevelt said “Comparison is the thief of joy”. When we compare ourselves to others while seeing the worst of us then, yes, it is true. When we compare and say “I can achieve that too!” or “If they can then I can!” it does not apply.  However, in this particular case it is sadly is the former. Although I am not the most tech savvy I have made decent use of the technology around us. I use much of it in my daily life. And I frequently use social media. In fact, my favourite platform is Instagram. I enjoy sharing my photos and videos on my feed and in ‘My Stories’. I peruse the posts of those I follow and of various hashtags, delighting in the bright colours and locales of far away. I read the descriptions to learn of the photo’s story. I comment on stellar photos and wish to be there to snap similar pictures. I even use it for research – looking up and saving photos of places that strike me as potential sights for my sojourns. My commute times are filled with with Instagram images.

As much as I love Instagram I have, as of late, found myself thinking I should see as much as so-and-so user. Or look all the places that ‘they’ have visited. Sigh, I should go there because it’s trending!! I’m not posting anything new! And so on and so on. It’s enough to make me feel like I don’t travel far or wide enough. The more I look the more I think my travels are paltry and too few. Comparison is the thief of joy. What brought me so many ideas for future wayfaring is slowing being dismantled, photo by online photo. Comparison is thief of joy.

What brought this on I am not certain. Perhaps it is because I haven’t been travelling much or even being able to plan anything for some time. Perhaps because I have not had a specific destination in mind to focus on while figuring out where and when to go. Or simply I am unfairly comparing my life to those of others. That saying by Mr Roosevelt rings far too true. I have lost that bit where I can see my life for all the things travel has brought to me. I need a shift of perspective as well as a reminder. I may not have travelled to as many destinations as someone who I follow. Or live life as a digital nomad, living and working travel. Yet I have seen what I have seen. Experienced what I have experienced. I’ve nearly forgotten that I am so very very fortunate, lucky, and privileged to live and work in a country where I can travel with such freedom.  

It may be a good thing that this slump has happened. I’m still finding it hard when I am on Instagram these days. I try to remember that I can tell myself a different story. One where I will go where I want to go. And when I can. To work towards it and take the joy that comes from the entire process. I travel for me. To places that interest me. And for my own reasons, whatever they may be, in hopes of understanding more, seeing more and to love our world more. No photos on any social media platform should dictate this for me otherwise. So, Instagram I still like you and will continue to post and browse though I will change my story back to taking joy in hearing about various places. No comparison to that.

Next Trip, Blog Additions, and Videos


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Time for new adventures!

I am so very excited to be taking my first trip out of the country in over a year! I will be heading to Hong Kong at the end of January and I am thrilled. It’ll be a quick trip (1 week) and the airfare could not be beat as it’s low-seaon. I hear Hong Kong is warmer than Vancouver and drier at that time of year. Win-Win! So you will see posts about Hong Kong then. I will also be making a trip to visit my folks mid-January.  The stark cold winter may be enough to make me post some snow. We’ll see. 

Some other works I have in progress…okay plan to have in progress shortly, and that  is to add some pages to my blog about travel basics. My intention has never been to provide “how to’s” for travel as the Internet has more than its fair share. However, in the last several months I have had friends and acquaintances ask me about some travel basics, as I call them. So I have decided to add them here as pages that people can refer to. The other thing I may add to my blog, Facebook page and my Instagram account (@wanderstheworld) is video posts. I am hoping Santa (or Boxing Day sales) help me out in getting a GoPro camera. I’ll be video happy I’m sure! So stay tuned to some new things coming and as always, there is the weekly Sunday Special.

Photo taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World