First SOLO Trip of 2019!

balloons
View of Dawn in Goreme, Cappadocia

It’s been a long time since I did not write anything on this site. I blame it on having started flying again. Something about being back makes me disconnect from reality and turns me into robot mode. It’s very strange to explain but it drains my energy and motivation when I’m off work. Either way I will try to get back at it and start posting more often! (Even though I’m not sure if someone out there reads me)…

Last week I ticked off something from my bucket list: I FLEW ON A HOT AIR BALLOON IN CAPPADOCIA! It was truly amazing! Best thing of it all, I went on a solo trip. Sometimes we have got to reconnect with ourselves, take us somewhere new and see how we behave in a different surrounding. Let me tell you that those 3 days did me a lot of good. I felt at ease with myself, walked across rocky valleys and alongside a creek, breathed fresh air, met people from other countries and overall had a beautiful time.

The icing on the cake was the balloon ride. After being picked up at 05:50am we reached the take off location. It was freezing cold, still dark, but you can see a few stars in the horizon. Watching how those huge tents start getting inflated by hot air is just unbelievable. Couple of minutes later and the basket was fully standing and ready to be boarded. Inside we go! There’s 2 big baskets divided in half which accommodate 5 people so in total the balloon takes 20 passengers and the pilot.

Once it takes off, the feeling is as if you are floating in a bubble. You don’t feel scared or agitated. The view of hundreds of other balloons in the horizon is beautiful, like a dream come true! All of them with beautiful colors and designs, going up and down in an amazing clear dawn.

The maximum altitude they fly is around 700 meters above the ground, descending and ascending throughout the 45 minute ride. The pilot makes sure to go in between the fairy chimneys and the beautiful rocky valleys of Goreme all of this while waiting to observe the worth waited sunrise. TOTAL BLISS! The moment the sun came up, I felt extremely grateful for having the chance to experience something like that. I thanked god and the universe for giving me that opportunity and a feeling of pure happiness embraced me. I was ready to continue with my day.

 

Ready, Set, Go! Training starts

After 2 days of relaxation and getting mentally prepared for the following weeks there I was, sitting at the first day of training.  I can still remember the faces of the other 15 girls who like me, felt fear and excitement at the same time for what was yet to come.

Amazed at how diverse our group was, I was eager to know where they were all from. One by one we stood up and introduced ourselves. We were coming from South Africa, India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, The Philippines, Slovenia, France, Rumania, Lithuania and finally Mexico and Costa Rica. Our Service trainer was from The Philippines and the Safety one was from India. They were both ladies, perfectly groomed but with a serious yet charming flight attendant personality.

We were told our batch would be named AB 629 and all our classes were going to be from 7:30 am until 2pm.

After the introduction, the trainers started mentioning the drill of the following 7 weeks: They strictly mentioned that tardiness was not going to be tolerated, we would have breaks between 15 to 20 minutes and a lunch break of 40 minutes.

If we fell sick, we would have to go to the Airline’s medical center to be evaluated. Under no circumstances were we able to go out past 10pm during Initial training. Even during the weekends which we had off.

We were bound to read, study and learn the Manuals by heart. If we failed the oral or practical exams we would not graduate and would be sent back home.       Training days were absolutely intense! Countless nights of reciting word after word the evacuation drills, drawing maps about all the aircrafts we were about to fly. They were Airbus 320, 321, 330-200/300, 340 and Boeing 777-200 and 300. For someone like me who never knew anything about aircrafts it was perfect panic…

Looking back at how this airline trains their crew, I must say hats off! One of the best trainings I have ever got! I still remember some things. Those days of crying during practicals paid off. They made the training in my current airline way easier!

 

Goodbye West, Hello Middle East!

There I was, after 2 months of sending papers back and forth, waiting for the Airline to send me notifications of my DOJ ( Date of Joining) and a serious case of jitters. I finally received a One-Way Ticket that will let me embark on 20hrs of traveling via Houston to my final destination Doha, Qatar.

I remember the time I landed into Doha and stepped out of that enormous metal bird, which I know identify as a Boeing 777-300. I was wearing reading glasses which I used to watch movies, the humidity suddenly covered my lenses and I was unable to see for a few seconds. The air was so sticky that I felt it right in my lungs.

Once at the arrivals, there was a lady with a board filled with names. I quickly identified mine and joined the group. We were about 10 girls, some of us had a farther journey than others. We looked like a committee from the United Nations, so diverse…

We got our suitcases, a welcome bonus and a paper that stated our new flat mates. To my surprise, mine was from Mexico so I quickly felt calm since I wouldn’t have to struggle in getting along with her.

We reached our compound. It’s name was “My City” it was a girls only accommodation. Six buildings, a common gym and a roofed pool (unfortunately). Our apartment was 2 bedroom with 1 and a half bathrooms, a medium sized living room and a small kitchen. Yes we had to share the shower, it sounds crazy but we managed.

Everything was brand new, we got cutlery, plates, glasses, towels, sheets & pillows. Later on we just customized the rooms according to our taste. One thing I must say is, don’t go wild with the decoration and other things, because when it’s time to leave, you’ll end up with a bunch of unnecessary things! LESS is definitely MORE!

It was time to decompress from that 16.5 hour trip and relax. Looking out through my window all I could see was sand, a few not maintained buildings and at far the majestic area of West Bay, where all the fancy buildings of Doha are. At that moment  lots of thoughts crossed my mind, what if I don’t like it here?, how will I survive being so far?, I don’t know anyone, Will I feel lonely?…

There I was a girl from Central America, who was about to spend her first night of many in an Arabic Country.

How it all Started

Hi there and welcome to my blog! This project is my personal story of how I decided to adventure myself in the outside world and attend an Open Day that would end up changing my life!

I would like whoever reads me to feel identified in my journey. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment!

My story began in 2011. I was a vibrant, energetic 22 year old girl who had come back to Costa Rica after living in New York City, where I completed a Certificate in Digital Journalism at the New York Film Academy.

When I got back home, I didn’t feel at ease with myself. Coming from such a crazy and lively city back to the Tropics to try and find a job in Journalism. One day while I was interning at a News Channel, I read an ad about a Middle East Airline coming to recruit cabin crew in Costa Rica. I said to myself oh wow! I wonder where this country is and what it must be like!

The Requirements to attend where: Customer Service Experience, Able to reach 212cm on tip toes and Good command of English. All of a sudden, I got an exciting feeling and decided to attend the event!

On the big day, around 200 people showed up. We saw a presentation of the country and the airline, got some questions answered and then we proceeded to some games that involved role play and decision making.

It was a long day, we were all exhausted and nervous because as the day advanced, they started eliminating people. I always had a feeling that I would make it through and so it happened. Finally we were down from 200 to roughly 10. Later on, I came to know that only 3 of us embarked in the adventure!

Looking back now, I do not regret what I’ve done, I have lots of nice memories and amazing places that I’ve seen but I believe that if you want to do this job. The earlier you start, the better. Because it is mentally and physically demanding. Yet one experience I will never forget!

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all. — Helen Keller