A few months ago, while biking to a small Swedish town, I asked Rachael to contribute to 'The Flight Attendant Life.' I felt that the website could use her contagious energy and spirit of adventure. I love being around this girl who exudes a love for people and shares a smile that makes everyone's day better. I am better for knowing Rachael and love that I can be her colleague and friend. Rachael will be contributing regularly as 'The Story & Interviews Editor.' A�Please feel free to reach her at editorial at theflightattendantlife dot com. Enjoy! -Kara
What are you infatuated by?
What do you want more than anything else in the world?
Night after night, I sat slumped in a wooden chair in a cold, dark 15ft x 15ft hospital room. A�I wasn’t sick, ill, or in the need of medical care. A�It was my job to sit there, in the 15ft x 15ft hospital room. A�There was the sound of telemetry monitors beeping and bed alarms screeching. A�It drove me insane. A� Maybe I did need this hospital, or at least the mental ward.
I askedA�myself constantly, ‘What am I doing?’ and ‘How did I get to this place?’ A�I was working; working with patients who were at their lowest points in life. A�I certainly wasn’t at my best either. A�The greater percentage of these people had attempted suicide. A�I wasn’t at that point of hopeless, but more of a numb mundane dissatisfaction with my existence. A�From 11pm to 7am, it was my responsibility to monitor these patients, making sure that they didn’t harm themselves or bolt for the door. A�I forcefully fought sleep, battling eyes closed, which if that did happen, would have been grounds for an automatic dismissal. A�I sound over dramatic, I know, but this was honestly my own, personal hell. A�Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed sharing brightness and positive energy in these peoples’ dark situations, but all I was doing in the midst of their sadness was dreaming of my own escape. A�I was dreaming of the things that I hoped to do, and the better days that I hoped to experience. A�The days that belonged to my future. A� The days that would include my obsession with seeing…
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I had to do it, but sitting there in that hospital was not getting me a millimeter closer to what I day dreamed upon. A�Dreaming without effort is fairly pointless, thus I kept my fingers busy googling everything to do with traveling. A�Programs for young travelers, Peace Core, Mission Trips, Study Abroad…everything. A�Nothing seemed possible, felt right, or fit into the timeline of my life, but that didn’t stop my search.
I remembered a dream I had as a young girl. A�I was never sure if it met the requirements society seems to have set for a proper career, or if I was the stereotypical type for this job, A�so I didn’t push it. A�But now, at 23, I no longerA�cared what people thought. A�I understood what mattered most to me, and I understood more of who I was. A�I refused to be locked into a box any longer. A�Where I was, in that hospital, wasn’t the place forA�me. A�My excessive energy and eagerness needing exploration. A�The world belonged to me and I belonged to the world. A�I was born to explore.
I began to type into that Google search bar streams of words like, “how to become a flight attendant”, “flight attendant jobs,” and “flight attendant open houses.” A�For months, I completed more employment applications then I ever had in my life and probably ever will. A�I went to open houses, and got a couple of one-on-one interviews, but still no job. A�There were rejections, but with each “No Thank You. Please pursue other opportunities,”A�I learned. A�I met great people, gained confidence, and my smile grew brighter. A�One late evening, I got a call from a man whose accent I couldn’t place with its correct geographic location. A�He invited me to A�interview for a job as cabin crew for an International airline. A�I chose the first day available, and the earliest time possible. A�I couldn’t wait! A�This time I needed a bright red scarf. A�That wouldA�complete the deal.
I couldn’t find that scarf, so I made one to go with my navy blue skirt suit. A�I repeated to myself, “It’s your turn Rachael Anne. A�It’s your turn,” and I believed exactly that. A�I could feel the sincere smile painted across my face during that interview. A�I know that the interviewers felt it too, because after an extensive interview, swim test, uniform fitting, and a week of anxiously awaiting (and to say I was anxious is an understatement) an email from them, I was offered a position. A�My body trembled after reading the good news. A�What I had always marveled about was now my reality. A�I did it. I finally did it!
I’ve been flying about five months now, and every single trip is such a journey for me. A�I don’t care if I am sitting in a crew room with my colleagues, biking to the gas station for a snack, or making a bonfire on a beach in Denmark and then jumping off a pier into the sea, it’s all complete bliss. A�All of it. A�Hiking through a Swedish forest, enjoying the beauty of California, or being engulfed by the energy of London- it all makes me so incredibily happy. A�Actual work is not bad either. A�I love simply talking the passengers, making their adventures enjoyable, and getting to know my colleagues. A�The places we visit blow my mind; the landscapes, sights, famous landmarks, andA�are so intriguing. A�When I amA�buckled into my jump seat going away or coming home, I can’t help but think “Is this really happening? A�Is this really my life?”
There have been lessons for me even in just a few months. A�I have found that the locations mean little without the people that are tied to them. Both the people I work with and the people in the places we visit. A�I can’t explain the euphoria of introducing myself, or being introduced to someone I haven’t known before. A�Every single person’s story interests me. A�I am always digging deeper to discover more about who they are; their culture, their lives, families, how they got where they are, and where they are going. A�I have this idea that you never get to truly know a city unless you get to know that city’s people. A�So, I’m on a mission; a mission to explore, to share love, to make memories, to take pictures, to talk, to listen, to care.
To meet you, and to find out your story.
Santa Monica, CaliforniaA�
And maybe I’ll even tell it here if that’s ok with you. A�If you want to tell your story, I would love to listen. A�Please introduce yourself and by emailing editorial at theflightattendantlife dot com.
Now go explore!