easter_eggs_8It was a frantic Easter weekend preparing my home, luggage and life for a year overseas. April 6th: Easter Monday was D-Day. My original KLM departure was cancelled, I was rebooked on an Air Canada flight.

Brimming with Gratitude, Barcelona was 13 short hours away.

As I settled into my seat to Spain, the woman behind me attempted to raise a 27lb suitcase into the overhead bin. It slipped from her hands and landed on my unsuspecting head.

Overhead luggage

Below is a 5 day odyssey, kicking off my WalkWithMe journey.

April/6th: With a goose-egg forming on my forehead and growing aches in my neck and shoulder, I was escorted from the plane by a paramedic and 3 flight attendants. Considering it took over 45 min from the time of impact, the remaining passengers gave me an unceremonious send-off, better known as: The-Walk-Of-Shame.

Even though I was mobile, insurance rules required me to be wheeled through the airport on a stretcher, to a waiting ambulance. The upside of riding with this particular medical escort, was the hilarious exchange between the two female paramedics.

Darcee Smith

Darcee waiting with me in Emergency.

Darcee and her partner in crime, had me in stitches and incredibly Grateful to be in the company of professionals who love what they do.


Inspirational reading for Hikers of all ages

I was given a clean bill of health by the attending Dr. and due to the fact I’d cancelled my cell phone, I couldn’t even inform my loved ones of my predicament. The only working phone was for a cab, I called and headed in the direction of my daughters home. I was homeless in my own city as my house was now in the possession of my renters.

As the cabbie passed my favourite pizza place Pulchinella’s, I asked him to let me out. Cardinal rule of drop-ins: never arrive unannounced and famished when begging family or friends for a place to sleep.  I ordered my in-flight meal: a sizzling margarita pizza with a glass of red wine. No turbulence on this journey!


April 6th-7th-8th: My convalescence consisted of: Giggles, tears, laughter, cuddles, potty-training-calamities, sumptuous meals and family time wrapped in the loving arms of my daughter, husband and 2 adorable grand-babies. My Gratitude cup runneth over.

Grandchildren April 8th & 9th: I was rebooked to Barcelona with a quick stopover in London. There was a slight hiccup due to the Air Traffic Controllers strike in France. Flight after painful flight to Barcelona was cancelled. An unlikely landing awaited me in the form of  a hotel near the airport. Gratitude oozed as my aching head touched crisp linen sheets.

Park Inn London Heathrow

April 10th: A 3:45 a.m. wake-up call to board the 4:15 shuttle for a 6:20 flight. A friendly waiter from the hotel offered me a complimentary espresso brewed especially for me as I waited for my ride. It’s interesting how effortless Gratitude flows, when kindness is obvious and recognizable.

Gratitude, patience and joy, eluded me at check-in with the discovery I was one of several over-booked passengers. As the manager from British Airways apologized for the mixup, tears spilled from my eyes and I surrendered defeat. He was ever so kind, kneeling beside me, personally guaranteeing I’d be on the next flight. I looked in his eyes and recognized an opportunity: by offering him Gratitude, my luck would shift.

It’s funny, I know these 5 days were given me, to test my belief in the power of Gratitude. We teach what we need to learn and in order to truly learn, we are given examples after example until our belief is stronger than our doubt. Apparently, I required several direct blows to the head in order to understand, the path I’ve chosen, will have its challenges, it will also be brimming with simple pleasures, when I’m conscious enough to appreciate them.

April 11th: I have ARRIVED!!  I’m writing this from a garden in Barcelona, Spain.


About Italian Living

I'm an interior decorator from Canada. I own a design firm. I have three grown daughters who are confidant women living busy lives. I love my family my friends and my life, however, something is missing. December 3rd, my eyes open at 3:33 a.m. It's time to fulfill my lifelong dream of living in Italy..... I rent my house, pack my bags, say a final farewell to all the people I love most in this world and hop on a plane January 13th.... alone. This is my story...
This entry was posted in Barcelona, Camino de Santiago, Confronting your fears, Enjoying Life by Slowing Down, FRIENDSHIP, Gratitude and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Nice to have arrived after all of the fiasco you have just been through. Another perk….those 5 days of trials and tribulations brought you to this wonderful garden in Barcelona!


  2. Jayne says:

    Obviously a bit of a rocky start but you handled it with so much patience and grace, I know I would have lost it sooner than you did!! It was a test and you passed with flying colours. It will only get better from here. Love reading about your adventures.



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