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!

 

 

 

What is it with flying?

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Photo credit by Me en route to Tbilisi, Georgia.

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…

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!

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