California Gold

Initially I was a little bummed that I was assigned 4 flights between SFO and LAX on my first of 3 reserve days in a row. Boarding the passengers, rushing through food and beverage service, and sitting through deplaning 4 times in one day without even having a cool layover to finish it off didn’t excite me – especially after having had the last 12 days off. But what I expected to be a long, tiresome workday ended up being such an amazing gift.

When I got to the airport this morning it was cloudy and rainy, but by takeoff the clouds were finally parting and the sun was finally starting to stretch its arms through the gray fluff. The ocean was sparkling gold and silver. I saw endless rippling sets of waves dancing along the coastline and crashing into the crumbling cliffs.

Sometimes I would get funny reactions from customers as I’d ask them what they wanted to drink, but would be staring straight past them trying to catch another glimpse of the unbelievable spectacle that was happening just outside the window.

Flight number 3 was by far the greatest. The sky was blue when we left SFO, but there were still scattered cumulous clouds lurking around the horizon. Once we reached 10,000 feet the sky burst into flames. As the sun collided with the ocean all of the clouds changed to neon pink, orange and violet. My description or even a photo would never do it justice.


Once the sun had mostly set, I could see glowing city lights out of one side of the plane, and the Pacific Ocean cloaked in black reflecting faint twinkling stars out of the other. My love for California had renewed itself once again.

After we touched down and traded our passengers out for new ones for the fourth and final time for the day, I felt drunk with gratitude. What an opportunity it is to go in for a days work and leave feeling so moved by nature.

Today didn’t suck.

Just Go

I’m here in our JFK flight attendant lounge preparing for a trip to Shannon, Ireland. My airline has a system where you can request a “move up” which is basically when you have a regular domestic trip, and you ask to trade it for an international trip if they end up needing staffing. Everytime I have a domestic trip assignment, I look up 20 of my dream trips, and submit them as a list of my move up requests. I’ve never gotten one before today.

This morning I was commuting to JFK from LAX for a trip going to Las Vegas for one night, and then Detroit. When I landed, I had a handful of voicemails from scheduling telling me I got my request for Shannon, Ireland, and to call back as soon as possible. I couldn’t believe it! Sure, many of my flight attendant friends have done the trip, and eventually I may have gotten it, but I couldn’t help but feel lucky and overjoyed, almost like I won something.

Ireland is a place I’ve dreamt of going my entire life, and now all of the sudden, with no expectations, I’m going there.

Before I left my previous job I felt like travel was something out of my grasp. Something I could only dream about. “Wanderlust” was just a trendy term on Instagram and not something that I would ever explore, unless/until I found a way to make a ridiculous amount of money that would allow me to do it. While my adult life has been the happiest, most freeing time of my life, I still had a slight feeling of hopelessness for not being able to do what I truly wanted. I didn’t want to wait to be middle aged or retired to explore the world, I wanted to start young and never ever stop!

It took me a while to realize that the mentality I used to adhere to was precisely why things weren’t happening for me! I knew that the feeling of “not having” was only attracting more “not having” and I knew I needed to change myself. I began thinking, if other people my age can drop everything and travel, there is a way for me to do it too.

I remembered things that I’d read in “The Secret” back in college and I began focusing on self-help materials that advised me to maintain a positive mentality, to imagine myself doing exactly what I wanted to be doing, and to practice daily affirmations. On my daily commute to my 9-5 office job, I would repeatedly tell myself, in the same exact sentences that I was on the right path, creating my opportunity, and that the opportunity to travel was already mine.

Although I still had no idea how I was going to make my dream happen, I began feeling really good about it! Driving to work wasn’t a drag, because I knew that The Universe was helping me create something new for myself. Also, I made a point to practice gratitude for all of the wonderful things that I already had. I think that being grateful may be one of the most important components to being happy and maintaining a positive mind.

I could go on and on about the rest of the process that got me into the position I’m in now as a flight attendant, but that would require a novel. The reason for this post today is to remind myself and others that you do create your own reality. I am not rich, I am not an overwhelming success story, and there’s many other people doing what I am doing now. What’s important is that I felt stuck, and hopeless, and after changing my mind and creating a new reality, I’m living my dream of seeing the world!

Six months ago I had never left the United States, and had never even been to the East Coast, and today I’ve been to 35 states, up and down both coasts, and I’m getting ready to visit my 7th country!

There is always a way to do what you want with your time here as a human. Please don’t let extravagant travel blogs and dream vacation photos make you feel hopeless, let them inspire you! Good vibes are the very best way to get what you want out of life.

Barreling Through the Storm

When I was younger, I wondered how flight attendants managed to remain calm during turbulence, or even when the airplane would journey through thick fog, let alone a storm. Don’t they ever worry about the wings breaking off? What if another airplane is flying directly at us and the pilots can’t see it? What if we need to land and they can’t see the runway?

As a person who hadn’t flown much, my irrational fears and questions seemed completely legitimate. I had no idea how much more went into a flight than just what the pilots could see from their tiny flight deck windows. I did not know that aircraft wings were made to be flexible, in order to give and bend to withstand turbulent air. I did not know that I was generally safer at 35,000 feet than I was walking across an intersection in broad daylight. I would not have expected that I would one day fall in love with flying during a thunder storm, like I did today on my flight from Orlando to New York.

I am three months into my flight attendant career and only now have I realized my love for turbulence – Mother Nature’s hands rattling the sky. The direct and unexpected jolt is nothing new to me, but this time I tune in. With a flight load of only 13 passengers, and not much to do, I take a window seat and begin to gaze outside. We tear through fluffy gray patches of sky, lightly bouncing along the way. I can see water streaking off the ends of the wings all the while. And then the light fades out as the sun sets in the west, and the lightning makes its appearance.

One moment, there’s a pitch black sky, with the faint light pollution from the MD-90’s flashing lights in the background. The next minute, a fiery white-hot beam dances and illuminates all of the thick tropical storm clouds in sight. One small crack of electricity to uncover what appears to be a 20 mile radius of sky. And then it happens again. And again. Sometimes far away, sometimes so close, it looks like it could touch the wing outside of the window. I wonder what it would look like if it did.

The gentle turbulence continues to rock me. My mind is so consumed by the amazing natural show of light that’s occurring right in front of my wide open, bloodshot eyes, I lose track of time completely and slip into a trance. The universe is so strong, so mighty and vast, so capable of wonderful things. I think about how soothing it is to slip away into peaceful thoughts.

I dare to consider how long I can remain in this intrinsic state. And then a passenger presses their call light. A chime sounds, violently ejecting my mind back into reality and placing my love affair with the sky on hold, for now. I bravely look forward to the next time I am fortunate enough to meet the storm.

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