The time I tried to be a Fashion Blogger
I’ve never really been aware of fashion. Truth be told, I can often be found slumming it in yoga pants or my old, tattered blue jeans. I prefer to do active travel and spend time in the outdoors, so it’s just common sense that the majority of items I pack reflect this. That means I’m often the chick clomping around in my hiking boots, favouring my infamous pink backpack over a trendy handbag or flowy ensemble.
That all changed last year when I was invited to my very first press trip. I had never been so excited! It felt as if all of my hard work blogging and on social media were being recognized. I looked at the roster of influencers, bloggers and journalists who would be attending and speaking during the event, and quickly realized my usually hiking gear would not fit the mark. They say “looking the part” is half the battle, so I hit the mall. I got myself a big floppy hat (the in-trend Instagram algorithm-beating weapon of choice). I pulled the trigger on a wool poncho (it seemed like a legit idea at the time). I even packed a purse. I was ready!
I showed up to Toronto Pearson airport in my poncho and hat, looking like a movie star! I removed my big sunglasses as I expertly wheeled my bag through departures, heading towards the Starbucks. I was early and wanted to get a few last-minute emails done, so I settled down at a table with my coffee (in my favourite travel coffee mug).
The poncho was proving to be an occupational hazard; draped across me like an oversized cloak, it kept getting caught on literally everything. In a fit of annoyance, I attempted to pull the corner of the poncho out from under the leg of my chair and knocked over my coffee…my full mug of coffee…all over myself and the poncho.
Great, just great; I had a notably huge brown stain and smelled like a coffee plantation. I decided to head through security and then to the ladies room, to deal with my little situation. I was somewhat deflated when I had to remove my new ‘get-up’ at the scanner, displaying serious hat-head, but I recovered quickly nonetheless, stowing my hat and shoes in the basket alongside my backpack.
On the other side, it became apparent that I had failed to close the lid of my coffee mug (now resting in the side pouch of my backpack) and the remaining drops of coffee had pooled out into the basket, soaking into my hat and toms. My new outfit was now literally head to toe covered in Starbucks’ dark roast. In the bathroom, I rinsed off the coffee in the sink, but to my horror, there were NO hand dryers. The paper towel was plentiful, but useless.
I mended my woes with a glass of wine at the gate, hoping the rest of my journey would be less eventful. Thankfully, my outfit dried quickly on the plane and I was able to get a few hours of sleep. I awoke to the smell of fresh coffee and the flight crew serving beverages, so I accepted a cup of joe, taking meticulous care to not spill on myself again. For some reason I couldn’t quite finish it all, so I placed the cup with the remaining drops of coffee in my seat pocket and dozed off. Apparently, my neighbour on this flight had decided to do me a kind favour and hand off my cup during the flight attendants’ trash round-up…SPILLING its contents on my lap. Coffee on the poncho, yet again. I couldn’t help but laugh uncontrollably…because what are the odds?
Jetlagged and tired at this, I didn’t even bother trying to clean myself up. Once we disembarked, I meandered to my gate to catch my next flight to my final destination…but something didn’t feel quite right. There was no flight information on the gate screen. Surely, we should have boarded by now?!
I left to check the electronic departures screen and felt a wave of sheer panic. In my redeye-induced mental fog, I had gone to the WRONG GATE — in an ironic twist of fate, another flight to the exact same destination was departing at the exact same time…at the opposite end of the airport.
I took off running, my coffee-stained poncho gallantly flowing behind me like a cape. My floppy hat (completely useless at this point) embarrassingly whipped off my head as I sprinted through the terminal. I continued racing against the clock, my wheelie-bag in tow, every-so-often flipping over onto its non-wheelie side to awkwardly drag behind me. I prevailed, reaching the correct gate, only to see the airplane taxiing away. I had missed my flight and was now a hot mess.
On my way to the ticketing office to salvage what remained of my trip (and my dignity), I hit the ladies room to change back into my faithful yoga pants. I learned in less than 24 hours that I’m definitely not cut out for fashion blogging — and now those old, broken-in hiking boots are seemingly much more appealing.