Bon Voyage

2 min readNov 2, 2023

In which the writer arrives at a chastening reality

A pink rollerbag carryon suitcase, full of folded clothes in pastel colours, topped by a pair of sunglasses and some white flat ladies’ shoes decorated with flowers
Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

I was in a bit of a mood.

The airline had emailed to say our flight was 75 minutes late — we hadn’t even begun the holiday yet, and already there was something to worry about, since that delay severely cut into our time for getting through the Schengen Zone passport control and into the EU before catching our connecting flights to Sicily.

My irritation was growing.

I was finishing my packing, listening to the radio. How many pairs of shoes for two weeks? Would there be a need for a formal outfit? Do I really need to bring a jacket? It was odd to think about a sunny 28C day when the weather outside was a rainy 8C.

As I put my summer clothes into the suitcase, I listened to the latest news.

In Gaza, people had no time at all to decide what to pack as they fled for their lives, not knowing if they would ever return.

That realization cured my mood, and the contrast stayed on my mind over the next two weeks as I sailed through the privilege of airline travel, four star hotels and wonderful Italian food and wine.

A hand holding up an airline boarding pass and a Canadian passport, in a check-in hall of an airport full of people.
Photo by Kylie Anderson on Unsplash

Its just one of the ways I am reminded that I won the birth lottery, thanks to my ancestors’ decisions to emigrate to Canada: something I must never take for granted.




Recreational writer, collector of antique corkscrews, urban gardener and retired management consultant to social profit organizations. Proudly Canadian.