I am part of a club for a non-profit organization at my university. We had the opportunity to go to a national conference in Calgary during reading break, where club members from universities around Canada got together to learn more about AIESEC’s operations. This conference focuses on building leadership and meeting new people.
The trip was supposed to last three days; however, the trip took an unexpected turn.
I arrived in Calgary on Thursday at 1:30pm. The conference started at 2:30pm, so we took a 30 minute bus to the city centre.
First impressions of Calgary: cold. It was a low of -35 degrees, so walking outside was a shock to the system. The air was so dry that you start coughing when you first breathe. Your nostrils also freeze, so inhaling air is a strange experience.
I arrived to the venue just in time for the conference. I got to meet people from other universities and learn about the organization. The conference ended at 7:30pm. After that, we went to our hostel and settled in.
That night, many people from the conference met up for karaoke. I was hesitant for karaoke because I am not a good singer; however, I had a fun time!
After that, a small group of us went to a club called “Cowboys.” It was Barbie themed so they played a lot of Nicki Minaj. They also played some country songs, but I unfortunately did not know most of the country songs they played. This was a very fun way to end the first day in Calgary!
The conference started bright and early 9am. We attended workshops until lunch time. Lunch was delicious banh mi sandwiches.
The workshops continued for a few more hours, when I suddenly got an email from Westjet saying that my flight was cancelled due to the snow back in Vancouver. My flight was not until the next day (Saturday) in the evening; however, the airline was canceling flights in advance.
My flight got rescheduled for Monday afternoon. Two days after my original flight. This was not good as I had an important class on Monday that I could not miss. Since it was supposed to snow Saturday and Sunday, the only option I had was to book a flight for that night to beat the snow; otherwise I would have missed my Monday class.
I literally had to drop everything and catch a flight that night. The conference was supposed to go on for another day; however, I had to miss the rest of my trip to make it home before it snowed. I quickly said goodbye to everyone and went to my hostel to pick up my luggage. I walked for 10 minutes in -30 degree weather with a carry-on suitcase and a backpack to get to the bus stop. Ubers to the airport were $70, so the bus was the best option.
I got to the airport and caught my flight back to Vancouver. It was a hectic few hours, but it worked out in the end. Although I was sad to leave Calgary early, it saved me a lot of trouble. I would have had to find accommodations for the additional days that I would be in Calgary, which would have been very stressful and expensive.
Although I only spent around 30 hours in Calgary, I still had a good time. I am glad that I made the most out of my first day by going to karaoke and to the club.