First SOLO Trip of 2019!

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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.

 

Holiday feel… Oh December!

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Photo by john paul tyrone fernandez on Pexels.com

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!

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

Oh I’ve always wanted to be a Flight Attendant! 🌎

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!

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This is my lucky charm Minion Captain in the Flight Deck!

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!