Toronto is busy and bright today. The sun is shining on the high-rises, the famous TV tower, and pools and beaches along the water. My 20th floor balcony overlooks all of this, and as soon as I’m done here, I’ll be going for a run through it all.
I love to explore, especially big cities like Toronto brimming with culture and activity. Even the lobby of the hotel is buzzing with flight crews from around the world.
My wanderlust and love of air travel have recently led me to become a flight attendant. The job entails a very different type of lifestyle from what most professionals are used to. Because of this, people are curious about what being a flight attendant is actually like.
Over the short amount of time I’ve been a flight attendant, I have discovered a few things about the job that I love, and a few things that surprised me.
1. You get to see a lot of different places!
I mean, this sort of goes without saying. And some places are more to see than others. As a flight attendant, you can sort of create your own tour of the U.S. (and Canada). I like to admire local art and architecture and find the best cafes in the the cities I go to.
It’s also really important to go with the flow wherever it may take you. After all, as a rookie flight attendant, you end up going with the “flow” of wherever the company needs to send you.
In Milwaukee, I went on a walk down the river and to the gym, where I saw the largest amount of the most muscular people I’ve ever seen. In Minneapolis, my friends and I went to a British rooftop bar with a huge lawn where people were playing this lawn bowling game and then to a rooftop club that reminded me of a scene from Jersey Shore. In Traverse City, Michigan, (which I had never even heard of) the water was almost tropical it was so clear and turquoise-blue, and the boardwalk along the beach was perfect for running.
2. You get a lot of alone time.
Before I began my life as a flight attendant, I considered myself to be on the verge of codependent. I did not think I liked being by myself, and always sought the company of others.
Now that I’m a flight attendant, I have learned to truly enjoy my alone time; and there is a lot of it. Between waiting around at the airport, waiting for a trip, or sitting at the hotel on a layover, there is a lot of quality time to be spent with yourself.
I thought for sure I would get lonely. I realized, however, that this gives me a lot of time where I can do whatever I want! I’ve been able to work on myself a lot. I get to do a lot of thinking, reading, writing and exercising, which are all things I love, but am generally much too distracted to do at home. The job can be very hard on your body, but you also have a lot of time to rest and nurture your spirit.
3. You fly for free!
I was so worried about being away from home, particularly having to relocate, that I almost did not take the job initially because of this. It’s pretty inevitable, most of the time, that as a new flight attendant you have to relocate, or at least be willing to. I was sent to Denver with many of my other classmates.
What I didn’t realize is that I can go home whenever I want! I actually end up spending about half my time flying around the U.S. (and sometimes Canada) and the other half at home in Seattle with my man, my friends and my cats!
So far, I have yet to use my benefits to go anywhere but home. A trip to Milwaukee with friends is on the agenda though, as well as a visit from my boyfriend. Don’t worry, I’ll be getting more ambitious with my flying soon.
Of course, I can’t always fly for free (I have to pay for international taxes, upgrades etc.), and each airline offers different benefits packages.
I love the job for a lot of other reasons too. I love the unpredictable schedule (I didn’t find out until very late last night that I would be going to Toronto and Houston today and tomorrow, for example). I love staying at all the fancy (and some, not-so-fancy) hotels. I love people-watching and trend-spotting. I love working with different people all of the time, and meeting new people every day!
If you’ve considered being a flight attendant before, I think you should totally do it! If you have questions about the job, please ask me in the comments below!
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Photo: (cover) Alex Indigo via Flickr; (rest) Chase Bucklew