Reason #25 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

Edmonton International Airport

By Emil Tiedemann

On March 7, 2012, I left Canada for the first time in my life. My best friend Lonnie and I took a taxi to the Edmonton International Airport early that morning, boarded a Continental Airlines plane, made a brief layover in Houston, and then arrived in Lima, Peru by nightfall. 

I remember walking into the night skies of Lima for the first time and being awestruck. It felt like a whole new world to me, and essentially was, as we traveled down along the Pacific coast towards our small hotel in the upscale Miraflores region of the city. 

The next morning, Lonnie and I headed out to explore Lima, walking the beach, eating on patios, drinking in alleyway pubs, befriending mostly fellow travelers who stayed in the same Loki Hostel as we did. That’s where I was bitten by the so-called travel bug, quite literally! 

That’s right, a Peruvian spider actually bit me in my sleep a few nights into our trip, and the next morning, the top of my head was swollen and had yellow dots that flaked over as the day went on. I was scared to death, thousands of miles away from home in a foreign-language country, no travelers insurance to my name, and having to take three kinds of medication I had to purchase with money meant for paragliding over the Pacific. 

Despite the bite, the trip was amazing, and eventually inspired Lonnie to travel the rest of the world a few years later, and set in motion my own global plans for the (hopefully) near future. Sure, every major city across the world has an airport that essentially offers what the EIA does, but here in Edmonton it’s one of a kind. 

It’s the place you head to when you’re going to visit those long-lost friends on the other side of the country, or take that much-needed vacation to somewhere tropical, or perhaps to begin a journey around the world like Lonnie’s. It’s a gateway to the rest of humanity, our ticket to ultimate exploration and worldly adventures. And, of course, it’s our way back home, too. #flyeia


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