To be honest, the idea of travelling alone terrifies me…or so I thought. Listen, I love the idea of travel and exploring new places and cultures. I was fortunate enough when my brothers and I were quite young to travel to different places with my family. However, that was exactly my problem. I was so used to being with my family all the time during our travels that I completely brushed away the thought of just being by myself. I definitely have to thank my dad for really persuading me to enter this new form of independence. He gave advice how I should learn to enjoy my break from university and simply take pleasure on the fact that I’m not too focused on work. In short, I’m still young and I should take the opportunities that are right in front of me and live my life (in responsible and rational ways of course). So, I decided to grab the opportunity and booked a ticket to the Philippines.
I was dropped off at the airport and I was very ready to check in for my flight. Before everything else, let me provide a little bit of a background story. I had two connecting flights, because there isn’t really a direct flight to Manila from where I live. My problem was that I had to check in my bigger luggage, and I wanted to make sure that when I check it in I don’t need to claim it in Vancouver, to line up and re-check in once again. So, I think you know where this is going. I went up to the counter to check in my baggage, but the lady told me that I would have to pick it up again in Vancouver. I tried to ask her nicely if there was any way so that my baggage would go straight to Manila, unfortunately she said no.
So there I was sitting at the airport waiting for my first connecting flight already stressed out. Look, the whole baggage straight to Manila situation was problematic because I would have to wait again and the lineup for international flights tends to be quite long in Vancouver. I was anxious that I wouldn’t have enough time and that in the end I would miss my flight to Philippines.
Literally, the entire time waiting at the airport and in both of my connecting flights I was extremely anxious and stressed out. My parents kept texting me to reassure my thoughts that everything would be just fine. Little did I know, they were correct.
Anyways, I land in Vancouver and as fast as I could made my way down to the baggage claim area. Around this time, I was feeling a little bit more calm because I was on track on what I was supposed to be doing. But, 15 mins waiting by the baggage carousel and still no luggage, there was no bag in sight. Obviously I was now freaking out, it ended up taking 25 mins to claim my baggage! I ran with my bags to the Philippine Airlines counter to re-check in once again. I took my first sigh of relief when the lady told me that I did not miss my flight.
The lady at the Philippine Airlines counter then proceeded to ask about my flight information so they could give my boarding ticket. I realized that during this entire situation, her fellow workmates discussed their concern of the fullness of the flight. They told me that they had given up my seat to another passenger and I was very much upset of this news. I was on the verge of ranting my thoughts, when the lady then hands me another boarding ticket. She tells me that they’ve upgraded me to business class, due to their mistake of giving up my seat and the full flight. I could not believe what I heard at that very moment and I asked her if they were kidding (she laughed and told me that they weren’t).
After getting my hands on my first business class ticket, I called my parents to give them an update on how I was doing and if I had made it to the gate. I told them about the whole running around Vancouver International Airport, my luggage and ticket shenanigans. Also how everything seemed to have worked out in the end, because there I was boarding on a 14 hour flight about to experience it all business class style glory.
I guess my point is that, of course it’ll be nerve-wracking to travel alone for the first time. However as cliche as it may seem, it’s worth it because it is part of growing up and giving yourself new experiences. Enjoy the life you have, give yourself opportunities to see the world your own way.