There is Always a Choice


Y, T, and I had our bags packed and were ready to fly to Canada.

When we arrived at the airport, we discovered the plane would be delayed 3 hours.  First choice: be annoyed or just accept it.

It’s so easy to choose the path of least resistance, and often that path is the one of negativity, intolerance and impatience.  But we – and by ‘we’, I mean humans – have the ability to choose however we want to feel; how we want to react; how we decide to deal with every situation, whether under, or out of our control.

Yes, the plane being delayed was annoying and unexpected.  But we had no timelines nor further reservations or connections to worry about.  So we continued, happy to be on another trip.

After waiting to check-in, we were presented with another situation: T did not have the necessary electronic travel authorisation (eTA) to fly to Canada, despite being both a Canadian and Japanese citizen.  The summer before we traveled to Canada with the exact same documentation (a Japanese passport and no eTA).  But the rules changed in December of 2016.

So T, not having an eTA nor a Canadian passport would not be allowed to board the plane.  This realization was shocking, depressing, saddening, maddening and simply unfortunate.  My head and heart became cloudy with emotion.  With no solution in sight, and only a couple of hours before the flight was to leave, we assessed the situation.

The main purpose of our trip was to provide quality time together for T and my mother.  If I made the trip alone, I might not be able to enjoy myself, leaving my family behind.  Canceling the tickets wasn’t much of an option because they were so cheap, that the cancelation fee would have be similar to the overall price.  Perhaps a trip elsewhere – Austria, Thailand, Australia – would be interesting we thought.  Our bags were already packed and we were already at an airport with the time booked off.

I sat down to consider the options.  I had ceased to depressed when I realized that we had other options, and would be able to get a passport perhaps a month later and fulfill our goals at a later time.  Sure the money was annoying, but this situation was beyond our  control at that point.  With an open mind and a fresh perspective of adventure I started to think.

But yet, I still wasn’t completely convinced Canada was out of the question.  I checked the immigration Canada website, looking for answers.  Sure enough, I found the rule change that had prevented T from traveling.  But then I found something else: a loophole.  It was this:  Canadian citizens without a Canadian passport who are traveling within the next four days are eligible for a special travel authorisation.  T fit this description perfectly.  Similar to an eTA, the process was done online through an application submitted to the embassy.  Great, I thought, now I just submit the application and wait.  I waited, and waited some more, but no response came.

I walked over to Y to discuss what I had found and to evaluate our next move.  Perhaps a response from immigration wouldnt come until Monday.  It was late Friday afternoon, and we all know governments don’t work on weekends.  I told the lady working at the counter about our situation and that we were waiting to receive special authorisation.  But the minutes continued to pass, and it seemed doomed.  We resigned ourselves to the fact that we couldnt go to Canada this time, and mentally and emotionally we moved on to our next plan.  It was going to be great no matter what we decided!

I’m a big believer in the power of vibrations.  Our feelings and emotions are manifested through vibrations and sent out as powerful indications of our energy.  Every living being sends off wavelengths and vibrations.  Producing positive vibrations attracts similar vibrations, and with that, good things inevitably follow.

After we took control of our feelings of disappointment and failure, we shifted gears.  With new excitement and energy, we realized our choices were plentiful, and acted accordingly.  It was then that the lady came running over and said, ‘You can go to Canada, you’ve been approved!’  The feeling of relief and happiness washed over me.

Challenging situations happen often.  It’s our choice how we react to them.


The Right Attitude

I remember something Tintin said at the end of a story: All’s well that ends well.  It’s simple, and doesnt really have a deeper meaning I think.  But it’s appropriate for the trip that I just recently completed.


I had misgivings about the trip ahead of time.  I was responsible for the safety, security, enjoyment, and general flow of the schedule for two people.  There were financial issues, and legal concerns, as well as miscommunication slip-ups that created a slightly uncomfortable and uneasy agreement between myself and the clients and almost threatened to derail the whole trip.  Nevertheless, I decided to continue through with the plan and I can point to the moment where I made that decision.

I sat down and thought about why I had planned the trip, and what factors contributed to me agreeing to do so.  I realized that all my anxiety and negativity concerning the trip could only result in something undesirable.  So I made a decision to think about the trip in terms of positive outcomes only.  I put aside all the what-ifs, and focused on the pluses that surrounded the trip; the reasons I decided to do it in the first place.  My mind had tricked me into thinking there were too many negatives for the trip to succeed; I merely had to revert back to my original mindset in order for everything to be right again.  If the trip had any chance of succeeding, then I needed to believe that it would.  Thinking the opposite was counterproductive.  So I flipped the mental switch and once again began imagining the best results.

I am what I think I am.  I become what I think I will become.

Thus the trip was a huge success.  It was a great learning experience in so many ways, and it started from the beginning with the correct attitude.