I was so eager to leave the snow behind that I packed my bags two weeks in advance. This morning, when I reached the airport, I read the outside temperature on the dashboard of my friend’s car: minus 29 degrees Celsius. I couldn't be happier of going away for three months.
I got down if the car, took a luggage cart and put my two suitcases on, placing my carry-on bag on top of them. I gave a quick hug to my friend and hurried inside the airport. When I got at the counter of the airline I was supposed to fly with, I discovered that without having a return ticket I couldn't enter Panama.
Therefore, I was facing a delicate situation. My choices were either to change the date of my flight, paying the airline’s penalties for changing the ticket, or to buy another return flight ticket. Both choices involved spending more money than I planned.
When I purchased my ticket, I wasn't able to find a direct flight to Panama City. All roundtrip flights were having a long connection (about six hours) either in Montreal or Toronto. The only direct flight was one way ticket, which I got on Skyscanner. It didn't cross my mind that I would have a problem boarding.
So, there I was standing on a little bench, waiting for all the travellers to check in their luggage, trying to see if I could purchase a return ticket with the airline. As distracted as I was, I didn't think right way of using my smartphone and buying another ticket. It took me more than ten minutes to realize I can buy a ticket to Miami or any other closer destination to Panama City. It didn’t have to be a return ticket to Edmonton. Thus, I bought the cheapest ticket, which was heading to Miami.
Once I received the confirmation email on my phone, I returned to the airline’s counter. I showed the email to the woman working there, and she checked in my luggage. When she handed me my boarding pass, I felt relieved. I was happy I didn't have to stay and drive another day on the Alberta asphalt.
Coming back in spring was something to look forward to. For the moment I was thrilled of warming up my bones in the tropics, although being there involved some work as well. Getting this contract was the best thing that could have happen to me this winter.