Happy Saturday Everyone, hope you’ve all had a great weekend and whether you’re reading this hungover or high off a morning run or still sleepy after that morning lie-in, I wish you a very happy weekend!
This post is all about my recent venture into the world of flying and to share some more details and my thoughts after my first few months.
First thought: It’s everything I thought it would be. Obviously I’m a little bit more knowledgeable with my mum doing the same job and with me growing up with it and going on lots of flights. So I had a pretty good idea of what the job involved and what my day-to-day life would be like. However, we are on very different contracts and so I wasn’t sure just how similar the job would be, let alone how I would find it on my physical and social wellbeing.
Leading on from this, I’ll say that one of my doubts about me and this job was the social side of things. I’m not going to lie I like a good night out and nowadays I usually find myself partial to a glass of wine or any excuse for a cocktail, but me and alcohol can cause a lot of anxiety if I’m not really in the mood. Basically, I only like it if I’m not having it too often – gone are my second year uni days and now I’m talking a night out once a month if that! I was a tad worried that upon starting this job I’d feel the pressure to drink and go out or get accused of being unsociable for wanting to sleep and do all the tourist stuff. I’m pleased to say I had nothing to worry about. A lot of crew actually don’t go out all that much, or if they do it’s for a few casual drinks like you would after a day at work, because in a job like this you have to look after your body and no-one is going to judge you on needing to catch up on sleep!
Not only this but they are just the nicest people. Yes, you’ll get people you don’t see eye to eye on, but that’s the same in any walk of life and any job, but the first thing I noticed when I started is just what brilliant people cabin crew are! They were all super supportive and helpful when I first started and didn’t know anything – and are still happy to help out or answer any silly questions I have – and no one (mostly) judges you on doing your own thing! I felt a lot of pressure at the start of university which I feared would be the same as a flight attendant but if anything I’ve never felt more confident and freedom to do whatever I want, whether it’s going out on my own to explore the sites, joining a different group of crew on a booked tour or joining everyone on some drinks and food over the sunset!
Another thing I’ve learned through this job is a huge amount about my body. As you know and I will continue to talk about on this blog, I have an ongoing, sometimes conflicted relationship learning about my body. And up until now I’ve been very good at ignoring some signals and cravings and making it do things I think it should. I’m continually learning that this job requires a lot of adaptation and exertion on your body, which I mistakenly thought I’d be fine with immediately having done a lot of travel in my life.
I very quickly realised that taking care of and listening to my body is something I need to take very seriously. As someone who never gets ill – on average before starting this job I’d say I’d get a cold twice a year and hadn’t been sick-ill since I was a child – I got a cold after my first long haul flight (3 weeks into flying) and caught a sickness bug within my first 2 months. Similarly my ways of coping with different feelings and cravings – ie by ignoring them and forcing myself to eat ‘healthier’ alternatives or not to eat at all – weren’t working and causing me to feel worse.
I’m continuing to learn a lot about listening to my body and though I don’t always get it right, the main things I’ve learned is to trust it. Sometimes before a trip or downroute or very often on landing day (the day you land back home after a long-haul flight) I’d get serious cravings (ie I’d feel really lethargic or even sick) for chocolate or a big bowl of just pasta and cheese for example. At first I’d try and ignore these cravings and just go as normal and eat fruit or vegetables or anything but what my body wanted, but now I’ve learned that the only way to make myself feel better and to get rid of these horrible feelings was to just eat what my body was calling for. And guess what, it hasn’t done anything to my health and my body but make my body feel healthy and working as it should! Now I’m not saying I eat this all the time and being new to the job I’m still fighting the urge to not eat all the delicious orange chocolate pots on the plane or to visit the Cheesecake Factory every time I go to the US. But I can tell the difference (most of the time) from when my body needs it and wants it and it’s been a very valuable lesson indeed.
I know I’ve rambled on quite a bit but I wanted to share those two very important lessons I’ve learned upon starting this job. It goes without saying that I’m having the best time and although it’s not as glamorous and it may look sometimes, I find there’s not all that much that I don’t enjoy about the job, yet.