As the story has it, one day I headed to the opposite side of the globe – the Flipside. I arrived in Asia February 16th, 2005 and thought I’d do a year, then leave. Years later and I’m still here. I went from being some random foreign girl to taking on labels I never imagined – university professor, film extra, professional boxer, reality TV star, CEO of my own girls-only fitness company (Flipside Fitness), CEO of my own boxing club (Hulk's Club, formerly known as Hulk's Boxing), and now I'm launching my 3rd business -- Empowered Clubhouse.

After 11.5yrs in Korea, I then picked up one day and left. I returned to Toronto, Canada with Flipside Fitness on my brain, Hulk's in my heart, boxing in my bag, and my four-legged friend Balboa Button by my side. But then I left again. This time it was for the Philippines. That's where I'm at now, living in the land of the happy people.

The struggles are real and the struggles are many but I'm living life on my terms, I'm calling the shots, and I'm doing what I love.

Life is an amazing adventure and this is my story of yesterday.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Gambling on My Happiness... Tuesday, February 28

After the Hell-and-back I've gone through with preparing and over preparing for Balboa's trip with me to the Philippines, I arrived at Pearson Airport, terminal 1, and lined up at EVA Airlines.  

EVA:  Excuse me miss, can I see your papers for your dog, please.
ME:  Sure, here you go.
[EVA lady walks away, checks the papers and then returns.]

EVA:  Looks good but where is your import permit for Taipei?
ME:  I wasn't told I needed one.

...and, just like that, quite the dramatic scene at the airport was launched.

We had exhausted all possibilities, all potential situations, and all questions with the Philippines' consulate, EVA Airlines, CIFA, and Balboa's vet with what was needed for him to go from Toronto, Canada to Manila, Philippines.

Apparently an additional permit was needed for him to pass through Taipei because of it being a stopover point for us.  We will be changing planes there.

Somewhere in the chaos, confusion and complications of it all, no one among what felt like an overdose of people I talked to knew this.

Finding out at the airport that an additional permit was needed was brutal.

My heart sank and I felt sick to my stomach.

ME:  Well how long would it take to get an import permit from Taipei?
EVA:  Usually it takes about a week but I'll call them.
ME:  Okay, then let's do that... Please call them!
[The EVA Representative leaves, calls Taipei, then returns with news.]
EVA:  They said they can put a rush on it, possibly get it tonight but the person who has to officially approve it and sign it can't do that until they leave their meeting, at 11:30pm our time.]

On the positive note, the one week wait could be waved and the import permit COULD get the okay tonight.
On the negative note, it might not get the okay and thus Balboa won't be able to travel.

The EVA Airlines manager on duty approached us and gave me the following options:
1. Take a chance that Balboa's permit goes through.. If it does, we all go to the Philippines.  If it doesn't, we then decide who stays and comes later on in the week, minus Balboa.  He'd stay in Canada.
2. Call it before we go through security check, arrange for Balboa to stay in Canada and us go without him.

I had an hour to decide.  I had till 11pm to decide by which at that point the airport carrier for Balboa would come and either take him away or leave him there, depending on what I decided.  I had to decide by 11pm because of the time needed to get Balboa from the airport gate to the airplane cargo section on the plane.  

I decided to take a chance, gamble it all, and I volunteered to come later on in the week if the permit didn't go through.

I watched as they took away Balboa and then I proceeded to go towards security.

It was 11:10pm when suddenly I got a text message saying I had received an email.

My import permit request to Taipei had been received!!!  I had gambled big but won bigger!!!

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