I recently flew on a plane for the first time in more than two years, and it really reminded me of my love for travel.
A few weekends ago, I went to Ontario for four days to visit my wife’s extended family and meet her grandparents in-person for the first time, as my only previous interactions with them were via Zoom or FaceTime. As someone who loves to visit new places and meet new people, it was a trip I had been looking forward to.
Prior to our departure on Aug. 20, my last time travelling by plane was in the summer of 2019, when I flew to Indiana to visit my best friend from high school, whose wife had recently had a baby. In the two years since that trip, I'd seen my travel plans kiboshed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – I hadn’t even left Alberta since the pandemic began.
Flying for the first time since COVID-19 arrived in Canada was quite the experience, (as I’m sure many readers have already experienced for themselves). My wife and I showed up at the airport much earlier than we typically would, as we had heard from friends that checking in and navigating airport security is even more of a hassle now than it was pre-pandemic. However, to our pleasant surprise, the early departure time for our flight meant there were barely any people in line for any part of the process, and we arrived at our gate in no time.
I’ve written a column before about how I, unlike most people, actually like flying. Being short means I don’t require a lot of legroom, and I always enjoy the fact I can read, listen to music or podcasts, or binge-watch movies or a television series guilt-free while I’m on a plane, as there’s little else to do when confined to a seat for hours on end. Usually, I would feel like there were more productive ways I could be occupying my time.
Having already gotten used to not wearing a mask as often as I did for most of the pandemic, I confess wearing one for the eight-plus hours that we were at the airport and during the flight was a bit annoying. By the end of the flight, my mask was feeling pretty gross. But considering how full our flight was – and the fact cases are once again skyrocketing in Alberta – it was definitely for the best.
As for the trip itself, I had a blast for the three days I got to spend in Ontario. The city we visited has some very charming 200-year-old architecture, and the municipality’s proximity to the St. Lawrence River provided plenty of opportunities to go swimming – which was nice, considering temperatures were in the low 30s C the entire time we were there.
I look forward to visiting again in the future.