Post-COVID, it is still possible to traverse the globe.  Last Sunday, I got a surf in and then packed up my apartment and dispersed my belongings between Lorena’s and Erin’s.  After what turned out to be a long travel day, I ended up in Toronto.  Friday, I took a 13-hour flight to Dubai, then flew to Bali on Sunday after a long layover.  All in a week!

Here is what struck me about being in Canada after a year and a half in Barbados:

  • The roads are so smooth! The Kia Soneta that I rented felt as though it was hovering above the pavement.  I was worried because I have not driven over 80 km/hr (and the other side of the road) in a year and a half but had to hit the brakes a few times when I looked down and saw the needle over 120.
  • Pre-spring is stark in Ontario. I took a picture of the beautiful daffodils that had come up in my aunt and uncle’s garden, but the leaves have not covered the trees yet and the landscape is bare.
  • I miss being outside. It reinforces how much of our lives are outdoors in Barbados.  I had to buy lubricant for my nose (it’s a thing) because it was so dry and sore from the change in weather and being indoors in the forced air heating all week.
  • Speaking of heat, I wasn’t as cold as I thought that I would be even though it was not warm in Ontario. Amazing what a few layers can do.  A shame that I hate layering.  Although, it was like Christmas opening the suitcase I left at Heather’s and pulling out my favorite winter clothes.

Daffodils are a sure sign of spring in Ontario...finally...I hear it has been a long winter

For anyone who is traveling through Toronto, the rumors are true.  Security is a nightmare, and the lines are long! I have never seen so many people in the immigration hall upon arrival and such wait times through security upon departure.  The COVID procedures were not onerous, and flight check-ins were not a big deal.  In saying that, it was enough to deter me from leaving the airport in Dubai for my long layover.  The Dubai airport is a “quiet” airport, meaning that they do not have any announcements.  You must know where your gate is and get your butt there for the flight.  The only projection over the loudspeakers is the call to prayer.

I had the first-time experience of sleeping in a pod, an “airport coffin” as my friend Destine would say.  I enjoyed it – like curling up inside a cocoon.  But I tell you, when I got into my hotel room in Bali last night with a real bed, I thought that I had gone to heaven.

It is hot and humid here in Bali.  Less humid than in Barbados when I left.  It feels glorious to be back in the tropical weather again.

I thought that my love of shopping had died in Barbados.  I hadn’t been as excited to hit the outlet mall in Ontario as I thought I would be.  I thought maybe I was just out of practice, but this afternoon I went up and down the street to the Seminyak boutiques and loved it.  The stores are beautiful and the prices cheap.

Indonesia is the cheapest place that I have been for a couple of years.  This afternoon I had a 60-minute massage in my room (a real massage – I know what some of you are thinking).  It only cost $16 CDN.

The first silly sign that I saw in Bali...right away in the airport bathroom.

I had forgotten what an ordeal it is to travel so far.  I was so tired by the time I went to bed last night that I could barely remember my name.  On the other hand, I had almost forgotten what an amazing experience it is to be transported into another culture.  I am on the move again, and this time I likely won’t stop.