Problem with accessing emails overseas

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Hello,

I have a gmail account but when I travelled to Canada last year and stayed with my daughter ( and used her computer) I was not able to access my gmail emails

.I was advised that a special number would be sent to mobile phone so that I could access my account. The trouble was that I did not have my mobile phone with me.

I thought that I could access my emails through gmail anywhere in the world.

Please advise !

Anne Mitchell