Her name is Kelsey and she made her dream of flying a reality when she joined the famous Gulf carrier, Emirates as a cabin crew.
Confessions of a flight attendant: get out there and travel:
Before I became a flight attendant, I really didn’t have the urge to travel the world. It wasn’t until I began working a typical nine to five job at an office that I realized there had to be more to life than answering client emails. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed being a public relations practitioner, but I felt as though I hadn’t experienced life to its full potential. Having a full time “office job” at 22 wasn’t exciting for me. I needed something more.
Something that would allow me to grow, challenge and discover myself.
I’ve always had an appreciation for aviation because of my grandfather. He served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, and would often take my sister and I to the air shows in and around London, ON. Canada, where we grew up. He was also the President of the Canadian Prisoners of War Association and inspired me to become a cadet.
Although I decided it wasn’t for me, I was still fascinated by the concept of flight.
As a PR practitioner, I had the pleasure of working with several aviation-related clients. One of the tasks assigned to my team involved putting together a social media campaign for a German airline. While conducting research for this particular project, I found myself scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed. I noticed that a friend of mine had posted pictures from a recent trip to Europe. Intrigued by the content she had shared, I looked further and realized she wasn’t on vacation. She had become a flight attendant with a Middle Eastern carrier, Emirates.
It was in that moment that I saw an opportunity to escape, and I seized it.
Fast-forward a few months later and I had a brand new office; but this time, it was in the sky. Those emails that needed answering transitioned into passenger call bells, and those nine to five hours slowly became spontaneous and unpredictable. I was no longer sitting at a desk, but rather strutting up and down the aisles of an Emirates Airbus A380, serving locally-sourced cuisines and premium wines at 41,000 ft. The world was at my fingertips and I was ready to explore it.
While I felt prepared to travel the globe, I wasn’t expecting the experience to change me as much as it has so far. If you ask a flight attendant what their favorite part of their job is, they will most likely tell you it’s going from one destination to another. But what came along with this surprised me.
Travelling has given me perspective.
It has allowed me to meet people from all over the world and experience their way of life through my own eyes. It has helped me to learn who I am, changed the way I think and communicate, allowed me to educate myself by experiencing different cultures firsthand and to develop new skills that I didn’t know I had.
This opportunity has also given me the chance to try new things and to step out of my comfort zone; something I didn’t even know I could do.
Last week, I watched the sunset sink beneath the horizon in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. A month prior to this, I gazed deep into the natural beauty of Mt. Pinatubo while hiking in the Philippines. In October, I got over my fear of deep water and took in the crisp ocean breeze while shark diving in Durban, South Africa.
No other job in the world would give me the chance to do this.
The customer service aspect of the job has also impacted me. I’ve learned to become more patient and attentive using the knowledge that I’ve gained while traveling to communicate better with both our multi-national teams and our customers. I’ve also refined my problem-solving skills, as Cabin Crew are trained to handle many different scenarios both in-air and on-ground, ranging from general medical to aviation security.
But, every great experience requires some sacrifice on your part.
A Cabin Crew’s job does sound rather glamorous. We were, after all, considered to be the faces of jet age sophistication in the 60s. The truth is, our jobs are demanding. We are prone to constant jet lag, and finding time to spend with loved ones is always a challenge. We also have a great deal of responsibility. As our primary role on every flight is to ensure the safety and comfort of our passengers, at all times. These factors can place a great deal of stress on us, but we know how to manage appropriately.
I understand that finding time to travel can be difficult. And that not everyone has the ability to hop on a plane and take off for parts unknown. But I encourage you to do what you can to get out there and explore the world.
They say if you travel far enough you meet yourself. I have to say that this is true. There is so much more to life than staring at a computer monitor, watching time tick away. I’m fortunate enough to have come to this realization, and as a “wanderlust enthusiast”, I hope that my journey inspires you to get out there and see what the world can offer you.