False Start?

Trip Start Aug 06, 2011
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Trip End Oct 06, 2013


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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Saturday, August 6, 2011

So here's the plan: both DH and I are going to retire early, put our finances in order, sell our home of 17 years, sell most if not all of the contents, put our wills and various other legal doc's together, arrange for extended health insurance, sell our cars on the day we leave on our worldwide trip, and do it all within a couple of months so we could hit our hard coded departure date. In our spare time we travelled to Morocco, Winnipeg, Cleveland, and Nanaimo.

What could possibly go wrong with this carefully crafted and somewhat delusional plan?? Real life perhaps.

After a somewhat difficult acceptance of a conditional offer on our house via the Staples in Nanaimo, we started questioning how easy it would be to wrap up our legal affairs deep in the bowels of Papua New Guinea. But we had already booked a couple of things around a festival in PNG. So there we were; squarely on the horns of a dilemma. The only obvious solution was to take in the festival and then make the painfully long journey home, close on all outstanding issues, and restart the worldwide journey with a painfully long return to Asia.

So after hiding all of our packing boxes as best we could (how do people with kids and full time jobs manage to keep their homes ready for real estate showings?), we overstuffed our backpacks and headed to the airport... only to be confronted by a typhoon- not in Toronto but in Shanghai. We had used our Areoplan points to book the air portion of our adventure and, in the finest tradition of air points programs, the sadistic computers hidden in the dingy basements of the Areoplan offices thought we should stop in both Shanghai and Bangkok before landing in our desired destination of Brisbane. For anyone able to read a map, this doesn't make a lot of sense but I think the ultimate objective of the program is to have us meekly give up on trying to use the points. But for us, the lure of a 'free' ticket was enough to compensate for a somewhat extended flight plan (although at $1200 in taxes and airport fees, I'm not sure 'free' is an accurate descriptor-  is Toronto's airport the most expensive in the world?).

Back to the situation in Shanghai. Apparently Captains in the employ of Air Canada are reluctant to land planes in a typhoon so the flight was sufficiently delayed so as to ensure the landing would avoid the storm as well as guaranteeing a missed connection for us. And then the strangest thing happened- we ended up with two of the most helpful Air Canada service reps that we have ever encountered. Fighting through the thick forest of ill conceived AC policies and computer program limitations that even the best mountaineers couldn't climb over, our trusty AC Rep (who at one point was using 2 computers to fool the system??) was able to rebook us on flights to Brisbane via Vancouver and Sydney.

The itinerary actually made sense with the only negative being an unexpected 6 hours with which to enjoy the Toronto airport. Oh well... time to find a secluded area, doze a little, and dream of kangaroos.
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Comments

May on

OMG! It sure is a good thing you are persistent. I do find that when you ask nicely & don't act irate or demanding, people will go out of their way to help you. It doesn't hurt to put on a sad puppy face & look very tired & worn out. LOL. I'm sure you will meet many, many more friendly & helpful people on your journey.

Too bad you will have to come back to NA. The offer still stands to help out with any logistics on this end.

Doug & Elaine on

Wow! Imagine finding not one, but two, Air Canada employees who are willing and able to provide a decent level of service! With that kind of luck, we are fully convinced that your odyssey will be fun-filled, safe and secure!

Love, Elaine & Doug (Dad)

Tracy B. on

Glad you could rearrange your plans, Vic and Deb. Looking forward to updates! Travel safe!

Martin Weiler on

Helpful Air Canada employees? Time to short the market, the apocalypse is nigh! Anyway, good to hear you've arrived in the Land Down Under. Your Blog posting is appreciated, given how exhausted you must be from wrestling with crocodiles, running from Tasmanian Devils, playing rugby, Waltzing with Matilda and drinking Foster's while cooking a shrimp on the barbie! Is it true that the toilet water runs counter-clockwork when flushed? This is the kind of thing that home-bodies such as I are dying to know. Look forward to your next posting and say hello to Crocodile Dundee from me.

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