It has been a while since I last posted, a little over a week in fact. I feel I should apologise. After all, everyone says that you should post consistently, but sometimes life just doesn’t go that way. This time last week I had just returned from Toronto where I attended the Steemcreators conference along with @rhondak, @ShadowsPub and @Jasonbu. We were there to introduce @thewritersblock to the audience, our future plans and projects. I also did my very first public speaking, introducing @steempress-io.
My return trip took just over twenty-four hours. @Jasonbu was to drop @rhondak off at Toronto Pearson International Airport mid-morning in time to catch her flight. Although mine wouldn’t leave until after 11 that evening, I felt it too much for Jason to have to make the trip twice, as it was a roundabout journey of two hours for him. We said our goodbyes at terminal 3, shaking Jason’s hand and giving him a Muxxy man hug. Throughout our time in Canada, he was an awesome host, guide, and driver. Besides all that, he really is a cool laid back down to earth guy. It was great to meet you dude.
Keen not to miss her second flight ever, Rhonda and I exchanged hugs and goodbyes too before she made her way through security. Luckily this time my allergies weren’t playing up and my eyes were not moist at all. This was the second time in a few months that we have met, and we will likely meet up again at Steemfest. My evening flight was to depart from Terminal 1 so I made my way to the monorail.
Silly Muxxy didn’t pay attention to the first shuttle he caught as it took him in the opposite direction to where he was supposed to be going… Not to worry though, I had ten hours to kill. Hopping back on another shuttle I soon approached my destination. It felt like the world’s slowest and least exciting rollercoaster as it weaved over and under roads.
Finally, I reached Terminal 1, but it still took a while to reach departures. Luckily the airport is populated with many travelators making the job less tiring for some.
I, however, am a big child, and whenever I get on a travelator, I still walk at full speed to get the feeling of walking super fast. One day I might grow up…although, at this point, I doubt it very much.
After the obligatory walk through duty-free, where I picked up a few gifts for the family, I eventually reached my destination. At that time of the morning, around 11 am, it wasn’t all that busy. I had a little wander around and found my go-to coffee place since arriving in Toronto – Tim Hortons. Equipped with coffee and donuts, I found somewhere to while away the hours.
All of the seating areas had comfortable chairs and tables equipped with iPads to use – all linked to local eateries from which you could order food and drink to be delivered to your table – and power points including USB sockets. At this point, I was chatting with Rhonda while she was in the air, as she had paid for internet access during her flight. Naturally, she needed to receive a photo of me with my Timmy’s. She hadn’t asked for it but I felt the need to remind her she was Tim Hortons free. Not long after I had caught up with Steem, my Discord, and emails, I received a message from Rhonda to say that she had landed. Great, only another eight hours for me to wait for my flight…
Before I left the UK, I made sure I had some movies downloaded to my Surface Pro. I donned my headphones and settled down to watch two, taking a break in between them to stretch my legs, visit the bathroom and stock up on more Tim Hortons. I promised myself to read some fiction work I had been sent and even went as far as loading it onto my Kindle. Alas, although I had the time, I started to flag and listened to some music instead. The hours trundled by and departures became much busier.
There’s something about spending hours somewhere like an airport, just people watching. Over the past twelve months, I have done plenty of it. Stories form in your mind, imagining where they are traveling to or from, who that person next to them is, do they know them, what goes on in their lives, are they serial killers or potential serial killer victims? Like I said, I was becoming tired and slightly delusional.
Eventually, the time to board dragged its sorry ass on and I queued up like a good Brit. We are experts at queuing. Even though we don’t enjoy it, we still keep a stiff upper lip about the whole affair.
The 11.10 flight AC842 bound for Dublin began to board just after 10.30. I totally ignored the fact that by now Rhonda had reached home and was probably settling down for the night with her pack of dogs and a raccoon. Although I have done much flying over this past year, I still get a little nervous, especially during takeoff. Nonetheless, I looked forward to getting some sleep during the seven-hour flight. Despite the many planes I have boarded, I still enjoy a window seat and, as we took off, I began snapping away at the Toronto skyline. For the next half hour, we experienced some of the worst turbulence I have ever felt, the plane lurching up and down at it tried to gather height.
I was sat next to a very pleasant young lady and as we began chatting I put my neck pillow on. I was terribly embarrassed a few hours later when I woke up when asked which meal I would like: I had fallen asleep while talking to her! She laughed off my apology, I ate most of my meal, drank a little wine and promptly fell asleep again. The sound of the flaps engaging on the wings woke me up. I opened up the window next to me and was blinded by daylight as we were heading in to land in Dublin.
I busied myself by searching for my shoes I had slipped off during my sleep and by packing my Surface Pro and headphones away.
We landed with quite a bump, but nobody seemed too worried. I shrugged my shoulders as we slowly taxied to the terminal. Once more I got to play superhero while riding the travelators. Many tuts followed my path through the terminal. Luckily I only had just over an hour to wait for my connecting flight back to England.
Showing the others how it’s done, I queued once more before boarding. The difference between this flight and my previous one was very stark as Ryanair is a very budget airline. They cram in as many people as possible so legroom is an issue for somebody as tall as me. Thankfully it was only a brief flight across the Irish Sea, taking less than 45 minutes. Once through security back in Birmingham I made my way to the train station and caught the first of three trains back to my hometown.
Since coming to Steem I have very much enjoyed the opportunities and excuses for travel that it has afforded me. Travel is great, apart from the time it takes to do. Still, I wouldn’t swap any of these experiences for anything. Thanks for having me Toronto, it was a blast.