I’m no stranger to a bit of cross-continental hopping, being a Canadian who’s found herself settled in sunny Scotland. It may surprise you that I’ve not been back to the motherland for over 3 years though, and this working holiday is my first trip back! I’m very excited to be ‘home’, catching up with the oldest of friends, and visiting my favourite Toronto spots – as well as exploring new ones! It’s had me thinking about the things I love (and those I’m not as fond of) about the act of travel.
She loves me…
1. The Dutch sense of humour.
Heard over the tannoys at Schiphol Airport:
‘Could passenger Klein flying to Toronto, PLEASE head to gate K9. The pilot is very bored’
2. Airport shopping!
This will come as no surprise, as everyone knows I’m an utter shopaholic…but it’s so interesting to see what kinds of treats are on offer in foreign ports. I especially love browsing the magazine racks and the electronics section to see what is on offer elsewhere in the world. Foreign language interiors mags? Oh yes!!
On a long-haul flight, I know I’ll be crashed out by the time we take off; a fantastic bonus when more often than not, I’ve been up all night packing. I usually wake up when they announce descent, slap on some moisturizer and feel as close to fresh-as-a-daisy as one can muster after 8 hours transatlantic flying.
She loves me not…
1. Airport security.
I realise it’s a necessary evil, and I do feel safer knowing someone is out there checking none of my fellow passengers is a knife-wielding maniac. However, after having whipped out my iPad both at security checkpoints in Edinburgh and Amsterdam, struggling to juggle passports and boarding cards whilst trying to put shoes/belt/zip bag up…not to mention the thorough pat-down because my bracelet set off the scanner…
2. Plane food.
Such a cliché, but airline food is still (most of the time) as revolting as ever. I had something which was described as ‘pan-fried chicken with country style potatoes’, which reared its ugly head as a rubbery breast atop what had the taste and texture of Israeli couscous. I have no objections to couscous, but I can’t remember the last time I thought it was interchangeable with spuds! The only time I’ve had ‘pleasant’ plane food was surprisingly on route from Hong Kong to Sapporo; and it’s rather difficult to mess up zaru soba when it comes in two individually adorable sealed cups!
I do love to travel though, and despite the stresses of being in the airport, it’s always worth it in the end. Anyone else have any travel loves or pet peeves?