January 23, 2010


Transport Canada recommends that passengers heading to the United States arrive 3 hours prior to their flight time to allow for security screening.
--- gtaa.com, Jan 21, 2010

Flying from Toronto to the United States used to be easy because you'd clear US immigration before boarding. You'd then arrive as if you took a US domestic flight.

That changed on December 26, 2009.

Now, you're advised to arrive at the airport three hours before departure. You go through US immigration screening and then the usual security screening where you walk through a metal detector while your outerwear, computer, metal objects and carry-on get x-rayed. There's more. On the way to my gate a surprise security inspection took place. Again, items out of pockets and on to the table. This time there was a physical inspection.

You wait and wait in line after line. There's no room for jesting or commenting on the delays. You don't want to draw attention to yourself.
Without any carry-on (none was allowed!), the whole process of arriving at the airport and getting to my gate only took 40 minutes (which included walking). The additional security measures were more bark than bite. But that still meant hours wasted at the airport. You may experience longer delays. Arrive early.
Travelling can have other other nuisances
  • adjusting to different time zones
  • speaking the language
  • concerns with safety and food
  • expenses (you're treated like a walking wallet)
Stay Home?
Why bother travelling? The destination is worth it.

Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'.
--- Viktor Frankl
Besides, we have no choice at the airport. We can't negotiate. Other forms of travel are probably impractical.

The Life You Control
Other parts of our lives aren't subject to stringent rules. Think of
  • improving health
  • learning marketable skills
  • investing quality time with family
  • giving to society
  • networking
Without rules, we do less. Unless
Let's turn to finances. We need self-control to
  • set aside money now for retirement later
  • stick to our plans while others quit
  • explore our options so logic can help guide us
When we care about the destination, we'll make sacrifices now and along the way. You may now put your shoes back on and head to your gate. All aboard?

Podcast Episode 51 (3:55)

direct download | Internet Archive page

PS Returning to Canada was a breeze. I brought my netbook and all my luggage as carry-on (they entered the US as checked luggage). Nothing triggered an alert. The process took mere minutes, which meant more time waiting at the gate.

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