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Au Revoir Airlines

I graduated from college three years ago with a restlessness that pulled me away to walk the earth. With absolutely no idea where I wanted to go, only that I wanted to be anywhere new, I applied for a job as a flight attendant. A few months later, I found myself packing up all of my belongings and leaving the sunshine state to move two thousand, one hundred and forty seven miles across the country, on my own.

I reached my base of Phoenix, Arizona, where life took off at 170 miles per hour, riding a dream on wings.

As I began my new life of travel, I threw myself into my work. The trips were exciting and I started to keep tally of all the different states and countries I visited.

A good layover was always one where I’d get the chance to go out and explore. As often as I could, I went out with crew members and got a taste of whatever local flavor I could find. I viewed the city from the top of the St. Louis Arch and walked the Golden Gate Bridge in the pouring rain. I learned that only the best crews “debriefed” together after a long trip and got to experience a full flight sitting in the cockpit while eating fried chicken and viewing the sunset. I lived in a crash pad with six other flight attendants and bounced around from family to friends on my days off. In year one I went to Hawaii, Canada, and Germany. I traveled in a tiny blue car with my sister around Lihue and fell back in time as we viewed Jurassic landscapes in temperamental climates. I climbed to the top of the Cologne Cathedral and saw the house where Beethoven grew up. I ate bratwursts and drank beer with the Geramans, tried poutine with the Canadians, and sipped Mai Tais on the beach with the Hawaiians. Year one was the year of living out of a suitcase and finding my wings.

Year one was the year I took a risk. In year one I wanted to be free.

As year one turned into year two, I found myself craving independence.

I moved into a studio and started to search for trips I could take on my own. I worked my first Alaska trip and experienced it’s towering beauty as I climbed one of it’s many mountain tops. Then I began to check of my Hawaii trips and visited every Island by the end of the year. I swam under pounding waterfalls in Hawaii, hiked to the summit of cloud breaking mountains in Alaska, and listened to aspiring artists as they worked the bars of Nashville.

I lost myself in the waves of colorful sand as my brother and I walked below the earth at Antelope Canyon. In year two I packed my bags and took solo trips to Ireland, Mexico, and Italy. I walked the cages of the Roman Colosseum, tossed a penny in the Fountain de Trevi, rode a race horse around a track in Ireland and dangled my feet of the edge of the Cliffs of Moher. I bar hopped the streets of Galway and drank Irish Coffee while listening to live bagpipes and ate pasta and drank wine next to the Pantheon in Rome.

Year two was the year of challenging myself and testing out my wings. Year two was the year I discovered my own strength.

In year two I wanted to be independent.

As year two turned into year three, I began to crave stability.

I traveled to see my family more and sought out relationships of all kinds. I moved into a town home with a complete stranger I found on the internet and ended up finding an inspirational woman and amazing friend. I traveled with my mom to Canada where we walked among pine trees taller than sky scrapers and sipped apple cider and ate maple fudge in the misty rain.

I took a month of leave to fly across the pacific and experience a third world country for the first time.

I washed down mangos and sticky rice with beer cheaper than water and discovered street food was tastier than dining in. I played with monkeys on the Islands of Phi Phi and bathed with elephants in the jungles of northern Thailand. I shared in the original, spiritual lantern festival with millions of locals in the city of Chiang Mai where I also experienced my first strip club. I climbed the rice fields of Thailand and stayed in a homestay where I showered in murky brown water and gave up on eating meat.

I saw children running around naked and playing with trash in the sewers. I was met by the poorest, thinnest, oldest people with the biggest smiles and friendliest waves. I learned that relationships and interactions are infinitely more valuable than material possessions and personal gain.

Year three was the year I started to spread my wings. Year three was the year I challenged my own perspective.

In year three I wanted to be whole.

But, as year one turned into year two, which turned into year three, I also found myself faced with obstacles I’d never known before.

Short on money and long on time, I found myself craving less individual experiences and more connectivity with others and the world around me.

I cherished renewed relationships with family members I hadn’t known before. I saw the adults in my life take on the form of normal human beings and learned that I got to choose who I wanted to look up too. I felt friendships begin and friendships end.

I took chances and fell flat on my face. I felt helpless as I tried to mend fences all around me that were not mine to mend. I struggled with maintaining a physical and spiritual health while always on the go. I fell in love, twice, and had my heart broken, twice. I gave my whole heart and soul to another just to have it thrown away. I learned my time, love and trust are valuable and started to be more choosey with who I gave it to.

Just when I thought my heart couldn’t take it any more, I experienced true loss for the first time as my uncle passed away and then my grandmother. I learned that some hurt is so intense that only you can only attempt to withstand the storm on your own.

I flattered myself, calling my nature free spirited, spontaneous and fearless.

My whole life I’ve been on the run. When things don’t work out the way I planned, I pack up my bags and take off before disappointment can set in. Being a flight attendant fueled my disposition as I jumped from place to place, from moment to moment, and only ever spent enough time there to experience the good. At first sign of something bad, I would set off again, seeking out something new. I never had to face my heartache because I always patch it up with a passport.

I would pour one hundred percent of my soul into every interaction I had, and when it wasn’t returned, leave pieces of myself behind in a jet stream of emotions.

There’s an old saying, “If it scares you, it might just be a good idea to try”.

But what scares me has never been the unknown; it is staying in one place.

I’ve been sky diving and bunjee jumping. I’ve traveled on my own to all kinds of foreign countries. I’ve hitched a ride with a stranger and ridden on the back of an angry bull. But one thing I’ve never done is stay when the going gets tough. I’ve never had my heart broken and stuck around to find out what I’m made of. I’ve never been forced to cope with loss on my own without running home. I’ve never had to challenge myself and produce something useful from my own hard work.

Now I am taking that chance and I am absolutely terrified. This is an adventure like none other I’ve ever been on. So as year three turns into year four, I will not only fly, but I will soar.

Year four will be the year I know no limitations. In year four I want to be unapologetically brave.

In year four I want to be me.


Thanks for sharing in my journey!

Remember to have fun while flying through this crazy thing called life!

(Brought over from 04-30-2017)

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