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My Flight With A Stranger

My Flight With A Stranger

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My most recent flight has allowed me to visit Canada for the third time in my life. It’s my second trip to Alberta, home of the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames. They have two professional hockey teams and two international airports. I haven’t seen either team live but I’ve now been to both airports. Here’s how my most recent flight went.


The first thing you need to know about me is that when I travel anxiety creeps in. No matter how much I try to keep it at bay I’m an anxious passenger.

The packing confirmation list of items needed.

Making sure nothing important is left behind.

Getting enough sleep before I leave.


Sleep is the worst for me and is always difficult for me to do before a big trip especially an international one. Bringing my lavender spray soothes my spirit and my mood, helping me to have a better day of travel. Maybe you struggle with this too.


My plan as I boarded the plane was to put on my ‘do not disturb’ eye mask and a breathing mask I got from the dollar store to prevent those unwanted elements in the air to disturb me and get some sleep!


A solid plan considering what happened as I boarded the plane. There was a distinct and foul smell that hit me forcefully as I shuffled to my seat. So I was going to need my lavender spray and mask sooner than I thought.


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So I found my seat which was in the coveted exit row giving me the room I need for my legs. Of course, this comes with the agreement that you help in an emergency with the doors in the exit row. (I can open a door, no problem.)


On this day, I traveled with my vintage luggage set (Lewis and Hyde). It has been reliable for years and still looks good. Don’t bother trying to find them, sadly, they don’t make them anymore.


On this particular day, I checked one medium sized bag and brought the free carry on that I was allowed. I discovered later that the overhead compartments on this airline were so small the average sized carry on wouldn’t fit.

What’s going on? I was starting to feel like this ride might be a flop.

Because of my carry on bag, I have to return to the front of the plane to get it tagged with a pink slip so it can be put underneath the plane along with the one bag I paid for.

It’s winter time in the North. We all know that traveling with the extra bulk isn’t comfortable. So, I put my heavy winter coat in the overhead using the space intended for my bag.


If you’re not in first class or comfort class the snacks you get on the plane may not be enough to satisfy the hunger of an ant. 

Most of the flight attendants are friendly and want to please the passengers. They might help you out with an extra snack but if you get a sour puss on your flight like I did, you’re stuck. 

Plan ahead and bring your own to avoid any attitude.


With my important items out of sight and inaccessible if I need them, and no extra food, I feel like I’m losing it.


Time for more of that lavender!  




The woman assigned to the window seat next to me arrived with a friendly face and smile. This put me in a better mood even though I had to wait for her to be seated before I could do anything else. Putting on my facial gear would have to wait until we were both seated.


Then she started making small talk and the questions began:

Where are you headed?

Who are you going to see?

Is it your first time there?


Well, I just can’t be rude to others, and despite myself, I enjoy meeting new people. The pleasant conversation continued.  We talked and shared with one another some of our passions, likes, and dislikes. I even casually mentioned that my plan was to avoid getting engaged in conversation because I wanted to get some more sleep. She gave me some interesting tips on what to see and places I should visit because she’d been to the area multiple times.


In the end, I was actually happy about my decision to talk instead of sleep. We didn’t exchange information to meet up again or anything. Knowing I wouldn’t see her again was probably the reason I felt so comfortable sharing in the first place. But I feel like we both benefited from the spontaneous conversation. It did, of course, make time go past very fast. When we reached our destination we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.


I’m still working on my photography skills but here are a few of the shots I got before and after customs (the restricted zone) that I wanted to share with my family.  



I hope you enjoyed my little adventure. Comment below if you’ve got a favorite luggage set, travel story, or a way to avoid talking on the plane that works. 


Maybe my daughter can put together a practical checklist of must-haves for international travel. *hint hint*

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