Today is January 8th, 2019. After an intense holiday season with my sister in town, it is time to put a hold on parties, indulging and spending! Instead, I’ll concentrate on this year’s resolutions.
What are the things that I’d like to change? There are certainly many options but I’ll focus on life standards. You know, drinking less, saving money, acting more responsibly, perhaps even settling down if I meet the right partner in crime. In general terms GROWING UP! Because hello, This year I’ll be 32!
I won’t let 2019 slip away of my hands without me having a clear north of the future to be. I will try to do what’s best for me.
Sometimes, we get a little carried away by fantasies that we can’t ever come true and then frustration comes along. Let me tell you something, we just have to be realistic with what we want and off course act towards that goal, don’t wait for it to fall of the sky because that only happens in the movies right?
My advice is: write down a letter to the Universe, ask what you really really want and believe in it. Carry it always in your wallet and sometimes, when you feel a little lost go ahead and read it! In the meantime grind your way through life always feeling grateful towards what’s best to come! Happy 2019!
Do you ever get that feeling when December comes and you start reminiscing about your life and how this year has been? That’s exactly where I am now. I’ve just renewed my residence visa for 2 more years which means if I decide to complete that, I’ll be in UAE for 7 years by 2021.
My life here has been full of surprises, the original plan was to play house as I call it. However, the universe drew me back to flying and it’s been a rollercoaster ride! Regrets? Some, Lessons? A million, Happy times? Definitely, Loneliness? Oh yes! But I wouldn’t change much of this time. Now I will concentrate on back up plans in case of waking up one day and realizing it’s time to move on.
There’s just something about the last month of the year that makes us nostalgic. Maybe it’s realizing how fast life happens and we cannot afford to loose precious time. We should be grateful for what we’ve had, communicate more with our loved ones, visit family more often and just try to live happily. Do it before another December knocks on your door! This year I am grateful that my eldest sister is coming to visit for the first time since I moved to this region. Can’t believe neither of my sisters has been here so I’m super excited! I’ll get to play tourist guide and show her around. It’ll be one of the few Christmas that I won’t be flying somewhere and I am very happy about it!
One of the biggest lessons I learnt this 2018 is that if you feel the need to reach out to someone to tell them how much you miss them and care about them, you should not be afraid to do so! Even those friends who distance has played its role on, talk to them, meet up and you will see that the majority will be more than happy to reconnect!
I just arrived in Abu Dhabi after being home for 1 month due to a broken ankle. It took me 2 flights to get here (San Jose-Paris 10hrs) and (Paris-Abu Dhabi 6.35hrs). I am jet lagged, with a swollen ankle and off course, missing my family.
This slight sadness while being on the other side of the world, makes me think WHY AM I DOING THIS? It’s not like I am going to fly forever! Especially knowing that this job is not a lifetime career here. On October 1st, I turned 31 and we have all heard that Middle Eastern airlines are known for the early 20’s crew. Now that I’ve got my flying license suspended until my foot gets better. I’ll have plenty of time to think about my life and try to think what my future step will be!
While I was flying back from home, I took Air France and as crew, you can’t avoid but compare the service between cabin crew of other airlines. That particular crew had a median age of around 45 years old and they all looked so calm, poised, polite but with a don’t mess with me look. They do have this job for a lifetime, no age restrictions or exhausting schedules. Plus, passengers don’t get all complicated with them because they know that they simply can’t!
Us on the other side, are supposed to be bubbly, excited to serve and always looking pretty. It is extremely demanding and tiring sometimes! If I had only 4/5 flights a month or so, off course I could do this for a VERY LONG TIME! Instead, I feel my body is getting drained quickly. This past month, I was able to sleep deeply and without interruptions. Going to bed around 21:30 and waking up without an alarm at 6:30/7am and just having a “normal” life.
Now that I’m back in UAE, the first night was terrible. Off course I passed out at 16hrs, woke up at 21:30 and couldn’t manage to close my eyes until 06:35am! Yes its jet lag but also the stress of not knowing when I am going back to work and if I’ll feel comfortable after being on ground for a while…
We fly with different people every day. Before each flight, we have to attend a briefing where we introduce ourselves, where we come from, how long we’ve worked in the company and our position for the flight.
Once in flight and if we have some free time, we start finding topics to break the ice and off course what’s more interesting than our personal lives! In that moment it’s like we’ve known each other forever. It is so easy to open up and talk about our relationships. Maybe because we all left our families, we find comfort in other crew and we start talking about life.
Let’s say that in my case, I have quite the story. I had a relationship of almost 4 years and we were engaged. Then I decided to break up. Whenever I share my story with other people, they think he cheated on me or was not a good person. I laugh because it’s completely different.
I got bored, nothing else. It just wasn’t there anymore. Since my job is so versatile and I’m always on the move, the routine scared me. I could not picture myself in a forever situation yet. After the breakup, I decided to wear a ring for work just because I could not be bothered anymore, I like my space.
It is nice to have someone to be with when you are off work, whom you can talk to about your work issues and de-stress at the same time. However, I think all the possible “Prince Charming” that I have met so far, do not know how to handle me.
I don’t overdo feelings, I like to spend time together but when I need my space, I mean it. Men in Arabic countries can be complex but thanks to them, I have learned a lot about dating outside of my culture.
I am attracted to the manly macho type. Arabic prospects catch my eye and I catch theirs too. They’re charming, smell good, look good and have a witty personality. If you date one, it starts amazing. Time passes by and things might change, its up to each other how to handle it. They can loose focus quite fast though.
I don’t blame them at all! They have so many options in one small city that they might start multitasking between girls. These last few years, in my experiences it’s just ended due to natural causes and boredom again.
Still I’m happy being alone and enjoying casual dating. When the right time will come, I will know it and find my “Aladdin with a flying carpet” 😝.
I hear this line quite often from people when they ask me what I do for a living…
The thing is, it’s not always as amazing as it sounds! Don’t get me wrong here, in my 6+ years of flying, I’ve seen and heard quite a lot of things that make me think, “Yes it’s an exciting job but it’s not forever!”
Quite surely I can say that it’s not a career in the Middle East Airlines. I started when I was 23 and now I am 31 and I feel the difference! We usually work 12 to 14 hour duties from sign in, have multiple flights a week with only 11 hours legal rest in between. Yes sometimes we get 5 days off in a row but in my case, as I fly mostly the 320, I’m constantly living in my uniform and it started to mentally and physically drain me.
My usual routes are India, Pakistan, Africa and the Gulf Countries. Sometimes I try to be positive and say well I get to sleep in my own bed tonight but then, when I get back home at 2am and know that my next duty starts at 14:00hrs, it makes me think is it worth it?
My body is having more of hard time adjusting to my busy schedules which involve Late night Turnarounds and 4 sectors a day most of the time. Yes we look pretty and are smiling to the guests, but they don’t really know how we feel on the inside and they shouldn’t as we chose to do this on our own. However, as an advice be nice to us when your getting on the plane! If we greet you, just say hi back!
It is a constantly demanding job. You have to please everyone even if they’re shouting at you because they didn’t get their meal preference or the person in front of them reclined their seat. We have many duties to fulfill in just 1 flight. We secure the cabin, serve meals, collect the trash, attend to First Aid cases, sell duty free, do walk arounds, clean the toilets and Oh boy, that’s fun! (Yes that’s sarcasm talking). Whenever we are about to sit to eat after running around like headless chickens, there’s something that comes up and there you go to attend that call bell that is only for you to pick up leftover trash.
Being a HUB, the area where I work is mostly for connections. We deal with people from different cultures, manners and beliefs. It is hard to please them all! I remember once, I cried because I felt so insulted by someone that I couldn’t take it anymore. Yet we wipe the tears off and come out with a smile.
Do I regret leaving what could’ve been my long term job as a Journalist to travel the world? Absolutely not! But now I’m in the middle of a 30’s life uncertainty. What will I do next?
Eight years living between Doha and now the UAE started to feel like its time for me to move on. Being alone and so far away from family makes you think a lot about it!
If there’s anyone out there who’s been flying and decided to leave the job for good, share your insights with me! Advices from fellow colleagues are always welcomed!