Remember Travelling?

Resuming in-person visits with friends-&-relations-over-yonder after an 18-month hiatus, my primary impression is that the kids are all taller and the folks my age all look older. But travelling again was also a chance to remind myself of its many features. And maybe just a few of its bugs.

It was a reminder that bathrooms/restrooms/washroom/toilets can serve more than one purpose, and that people in other places face hazards I can only imagine.


It was a reminder that Alberta skies really are as wide and as blue as I remember.


A reminder that technology continues to offer new solutions to old problems.


A reminder that beauty can be found in apparently unremarkable landscapes — and that 9C is not warm when paired with a cutting NW zephyr.


A reminder that although many aspects of air travel have changed with COVID-19 — think wearing a mask all day and being handed a drippy alcohol wipe on boarding a plane — some things remain reassuringly the same. Things like being YELLED AT by security personnel (even more incomprehensibly, now behind a screen and a mask) to REMOVE shoes for a security check (shoes that had been emphatically INSTRUCTED to be KEPT ON during the previous check that day), and to COMBINE the laptop with its bag in ONE BIN ONE BIN (when it had ABSOLUTELY had to be SEPARATED on the previous check). I think these folks are not happy in their work.

But these annoyances do not photograph very well. Nor, in the long run, do they stick.

And so it was, again, a reminder that almost everything looks better with some altitude.


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16 Responses to Remember Travelling?

  1. Tom Watson says:

    One granddaughter, her husband and two small children are flying here in November. The question for the rest of the family: Is it safe to come and visit?

    In December, I am flying to Manitoba. The question posed by some of my family: Is it safe?

    Remember when that wasn’t the uppermost question in our minds?

  2. Jim Taylor says:

    When I remember that I was called “four eyes” in my youth, the picture of a toaster could be the picture of a face.

    Jim T

  3. Jim Taylor says:

    On a more serious note, the contradictory instructions you were given at airport security remind me that simply getting an edict from the top will not stop racism, Islamophobia, conspiracy theories, vaccine rumours, or ANYTHING ELSE. The prophets thundered, “Thus saith the Lord…” — you can’t go closer to the top! — and nothing changed. It’s a massive delusion that a) we live in a hierarchical structure, and b) getting to the top will change things at the bottom.

    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim T – True – and not true. Edicts from “on high” don’t seem to work entirely as intended, and yet leadership matters. Many people ignore the best instructions/advice and the promptings of their own better angels, and yet every kind, responsible act matters. There’s no fixing life, I guess, but we can make it better.

  4. Beautiful photos, reminding us why we travel. And, I want the toaster with “a bit more”. Thanks for coming for tea and the most useful gift.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Judith – Many thanks. The toaster is a Breville – not sure it works entirely as advertised . . . 🙂 but what a cool idea, eh?

  5. Marilyn Smith says:

    Seriously, I thought the toaster image was a photo of a new radio dial in a rental car that I hadn’t seen yet, not having travelled for nearly two years! I was trying to equate the names with what you’d hear if you pushed that button.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Marilyn – LOL. Ah, that old bagel music: German polkas and Israeli horas. Once you get sort of sideways, it’s hard to recover.

  6. barbara carlson says:

    John’s and my travel days were over even before COVID “hit” and continues to live amid us and the whole world out there.

    We did a lot of wonderful travelling, but as the getting to and getting back became so friggin’ tedious, we decided to tend our garden. Don’t miss travel, but always like to hear tales of adventure from you. I take it you and the Big Guy are in Alberta.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – Yeah, the being-there was always better than the getting-there, and the disparity grows every year. We *were* in Alberta but are home again now.

  7. John Whitman says:

    From Jim Taylor: “It’s a massive delusion that a) we live in a hierarchical structure, and b) getting to the top will change things at the bottom.”

    When I was in the military I developed the theory that the higher I got promoted in rank, the more people there were above and below me to tell me all the reasons why what I wanted to do, or knew I should do, wasn’t a good idea. Leadership was the ability to convince the people above and below that it was a good idea after all.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      John – With respect to leadership/persuasion, my limited experience is that confidence sometimes carries the day. If you think you know what you’re doing, others tend to think so too. Mind you, that’s in a fairly limited application of deadline-driven project management – not strategic decisions.

      • John Whitman says:

        Isabel – the flaw in your statement above is that unfortunately our current PM also thinks he knows what he is doing.

        • Isabel Gibson says:

          John – Fair enough – confidence can be misplaced but it’s a driver of follow-ship, seems to me, even when it’s wrong.

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