I sit on the floor of the dark bungalow, with a paper funnel directing air from a blow dryer into a small round opening. The white plasticky beast— resting on the hardwood, with a colorful mane and star-studded horn— begins to rise to life. Welcome to Bora Bora. Welcome to a world where unicorns exist and magic happens.
I’m not actually speaking of Bora Bora as a unicorn and magic, but instead, I’m talking about the job that brought me to a place with water so crystal blue I can’t describe it, and more honeymooners per capita than probably any location in the world. Griffin texts me today; “Isn’t it crazy you are making XX amount of dollars to spend nine days in Bora Bora?!?!” Yes. I know. It’s nuts. It’s crazy. Things like this don’t happen. But, then again, Unicorns exist, or at least they do in private aviation.
This job isn’t just about the money. That’s the bonus. The prospect of lucrative pay was initially why I wanted to get into the industry, but what I didn’t understand was who I might, or could possibly, become in the process. Being a Corporate Flight Attendant is the equivalent of being paid to be a unicorn, and when you are paid to be a ‘Unicorn,’ the thing is, you actually have to be one (or at least make everyone THINK that you are one).
You start thinking in terms of ‘everything is ALWAYS possible. You know that the clients you fly don’t understand the word ‘No.’ So, you take on the mentality that everything and all things can happen in life. You can’t tell them that you couldn’t make something happen because they would have made it happen. You solve quickly, work hard, and learn to adapt to anything and everything. Nothing goes the way you think it will, ever, but that doesn’t actually matter. The job just teaches you to handle anything. The job teaches you to step into the magic of who you are and step up to your potential. When people demand a lot from you, you are either the type of person who will step into the challenge and take on the opportunity or shrink back to comfortability. You will never be the corporate flight attendant— or the person that you could be— if you don’t choose to push yourself further than you think is possible.
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Inflating my unicorn pool float on the hardwood floor isn’t going as fast as I want it to, so I march myself to reception and ask the hotel staff to help with it. “Ok. We will bring it to you.” I smile in gratitude and return back to Bungalow 17 to wrestle with a shitty wifi connection; while staring at palm trees and island flowers. As the hour passes, I become restless. “I should have just aired it up myself,” I think impatiently. Back to reception I go to check on the status of my Unicorn. Unfortunately, I’m greeted by a new face and the realization that the word ‘Unicorn’ and many hand gestures are completely lost in the translation from English to Tahitian-French. Questioning, “Excuse me, where is my Unicorn at?” on an island where most people would be asking where their significant other disappeared to legit makes you (in this situation— me) look batshit crazy. As I’m at a loss for descriptive words and an internet connection to assist, the woman at reception points behind me. “That?” she says as I see my unicorn ‘walk’ by on the back of a brown and shirtless man. ‘YES! MY Unicorn!!!!’ I found it. For now, I have found every place I was always supposed to be in this world of adventure.
I’m known as the ‘girl with the unicorn’ here. I tie him up on my front porch. The hotel staff can’t understand the dynamic of our little ‘crew family’ here. We don’t make sense on Bora Bora. Well, my life doesn’t make sense. It’s like trying to describe the concept of a unicorn to people in a foreign language. Yeah. This is my real job. It’s indescribable. Best. Real. Job. Ever.