“New York, New York…” my driver whispered jokingly under his breath as he shook his head and avoided the four big bags of garbage that had found their way to the street en route to New York’s John F. Kenndy International Airport. At this point, I knew my move back to Charlotte, North Carolina was the right decision for me. I was never fond of the garbage ridden streets of New York.
All of the ladies of ‘The Flight Attendant Life’ can agree that finding your home base, to keep you feeling grounded on days off, is very important. Seattle is that place for Celessa, the small beach towns outside of Los Angeles is where Kara finds peace, and for me, well…it’s my charming little southern town of Charlotte.
After spending two years of living “in base,” (this is debatable as I took every chance I could to leave similar to what Kara does in FLL) I have ultimately made the decision to become a commuter for my own sanity.
Despite my feelings of overwhelming happiness that I now have my own home again, (Seriously…A bed, dresser, normal roommates, normal social life, etc.), I am apprehensive over throwing commuting into my life. The small additions of non-airline roommates and a place different than a suitcase to put my things are to me, little dreams coming true. I need this ‘home thing.’
I think we can all agree that becoming a commuter is the best and worst decision you will ever make. Here are the reasons why:
- You don’t have to spend time in a place (base) that makes you unhappy and you have the freedom to make a change. You can live almost anywhere in the world as a flight attendant.
- You can be based wherever you desire! I choose to stay based at the most junior base in our system, because it allows me to get the most out of my schedules.
- 2x the homes = 2x the friends! I am so blessed to have friends in both Charlotte and New York City, so when I’m stuck in either place, I’m pretty content.
- I’m closer to my family now that I’m living in my hometown again. Its nice to be a car ride away from my grandparents and siblings, as it was very difficult to make sleeping and travel arrangements in order to visit them before.
- Double the fun, too. I have fantastic living situations with great roommates in both places. This allows me to take advantage of exploring both cities.
- The trips you pick will change drastically. Late reports and early releases are ideal for me now. I don’t have the seniority to hold those yet, so finding ones that are available to me can be challenging.
- Paying for two places—my Charlotte home and my crashpad in NYC— is also not ideal for a newbie like myself. Financially, this is probably not the smartest decision I’ve ever made as I am at the bottom of the pay scale.
- “Where is that dress I want to wear on my date tonight? Oh… It’s in New York…” are common problems I have with having two closets, two dressers, and one bag going back and forth between two locations.
- Commuting is hard work! It adds another layer of stress to the job. “Will I get to work in time? What time do I need to leave for the airport? Will I make the last flight home tonight?” Are all common questions commuters worry about.
- Establishing new friendships and otherwise is extremely difficult as you spend about a third of your life in one place, a third of it in the other place, and a third of it in the air. It’s surprisingly difficult to find an individual with a “normal job” that is willing and able to understand our lifestyles.
- My life feels more divided than ever. Even though the negatives to commuting weigh on my mind, when I’m in Charlotte, I’m happy. Thats the bottom line. That is what is most important to me. My happiness. I won’t lie to y’all; I do feel a tug between going back to Charlotte for the comfort and routine of my little home and my adventurous side begging to be constantly on the go and escape both New York and Charlotte to wherever that airplane can take me…
I’ll find my balance between these places eventually, and for now, I feel like everything happens for a reason. I am elated because I have that sense that I am exactly where I need to be.
- To learn more about what commuting entails, please watch this video on YouTube. And this one. And this one also. And read this blog.
- Follow @Flywithmeghan on Instagram and like her new Facebook.