Tag Archives: manifest

How I made London happen

March 1, 2014: I woke up today knowing that it was going to be a great day. I was assigned airport duty, where I report to work, in uniform, with luggage, prepared to be sent on any trip, if needed. It’s kind of crazy & very exciting at the same time. You just have to be prepared for anything & everything, because you never know where you might end up. There are different time slots to select from. I chose the latest time slot, because I know international flights leave late & I had a good feeling that I’d be sent across the pond.
So, I’m packing my bags & I’m just signing and dancing & being merry. I’m playing some of my favorite music. I start with Chase the Clouds Away by Evidence. The song repeatedly says “I feel happy.” Starting my day with this song is almost a ritual of mine…it really sets the tone for a great day.
I’m preparing for all kinds of weather & filling my suitcase with everything from my bikini to my wool coat. As I’m packing, I’m so mindful of the act & completely in the moment. I know that I’m going on a trip tonight & I’m just so excited.
I give myself plenty if time to get ready for work. I’ve cleaned my room, showered, my hair & make up are done & I’m wearing my formal uniform. The soundtrack for this scene is The Very Best of The Doors *Side note: I’ve always thought that I should have been around in those days, burning my bra, hanging out on Haight & Ashbury, going to Woodstock, and married to Jim Morrison.
Ok, so, It’s time for me to go & I make my way to my bus stop. For the walk, Lady Gaga‘s upbeat Artpop album is appropriate for my mood. “Put some lipstick on, perfume your neck & slip your high heels on…!” It’s hard to contain myself from busting into song on the bus. I’m just smiling at everyone & in a state if pure bliss. I check Facebook and see so much good news…my friends & family all seem to be having a great day, as well. Them being happy makes me happy. A woman on the bus gets my attention. She tells me that she often sees me on the same route & that I always look so happy. She says that she always wanted to be a flight attendant, I encourage her to apply…(it’s never too late)! She’s says she’ll think about it. We’re having a wonderful conversation & she tells me that she knows I’m on the right path & that I’m doing things right in life. Amen!
As I’m walking through the terminal, Lady Gaga is back on & she is boosting my confidence. Up ahead, walking towards me are friends, Devon (fellow Little Monster) & Kalani (who is also my roommate). I sashay over to say hi & we chat for a second. They are just adding to my great mood. They’re on their way out from sitting airport duty…& I have to cut our visit short so I can check in.
My other flight attendant friend, Doug, is in the crew room waiting for me when I arrive. Doug loves to keep me on point & is always encouraging me to take my time & always look my best. I have his approval today. Our shift is scheduled from 8pm to 12am. We’re both set on getting a trip tonight. Doug immediately shares with me that there’s a London trip that might open up. I’m third in seniority out of the four of us sitting airport duty. I’d need the 2 gals ahead of me to “pass” in order for me to go.
Not even 5 minutes into my shift, the phone rings. It’s scheduling. The 2 girls before me decided to pass… I’m going to London!

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Starting “Starting at 30”

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to fulfill a life-long dream to travel to Amsterdam. It was surreal.
I’m sitting in this beautiful cafe, drinking fancy tea with two of my girl friends, overlooking the city. Just outside the window, there’s a church, a tall street lamp, people hustling & bustling on the darling cobble stone streets, I can also see a canal & some bridges in the background. It’s raining…maybe more of a drizzle, and the water is creating this gorgeous glistening effect on the streets & buildings & causing the water in the canals to dance. This is when I have what is known as an “Ah ha moment.”
Here’s what I got for myself:
For months people have been asking me to start a blog. You see, I’m a (fairly new) flight attendant for a large airline & I get to travel all over the world. I’ve been resisting writing a blog & sharing my experiences, because I haven’t wanted to show the “not so glamorous” side of flying. I’m 30 years old and I’m starting over…
After a 10 year career in banking, I reached my breaking point. I was unfulfilled & unhappy & I knew I had to make a change… I was finally forced to make that change when I was let go.
I knew at that point, there was no turning back. There was no way I was going to apply to some other bank & end up in a similar position. Not to mention, I’m single, after ending a nearly 10 year relationship with someone who was a childhood friend.
So, I chose to move from America’s Finest City, San Diego, CA – giving up my beautiful apartment, all my furniture, & most of my personal belongings- to The City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, PA, to follow my dreams of traveling the world. Becoming a flight attendant meant relocating to a hub and taking a huge pay cut from the salary I was used to making in the banking world (I was even making more money collecting unemployment) but these were things I was ok giving up, in exchange for access to seeing the world.
Even though I made the choice, I didn’t want to advertise it…so, I’ve been withholding that information from friends & family.
I wondered, “Who would enjoy hearing the story of a 30 year old, single woman who is living on a budget & not enjoying all the fine dining & fancy living that foreign places have to offer?”
Then, it hit me…there, in that little cafe in Amsterdam…there are so many people that my story can touch!
So, this is for all of you who dream of traveling & seeing the world, those of you who want to break free from a 9-5 & routine, those of you who are ready to make a change, those of you who don’t live on an unlimited budget, those of you who might think that it’s too late, & for those of you who just want to follow my fun new journey through life…I really hope you enjoy it…this is me, Starting at 30.

20140222-013133.jpgEnjoying green tea in Amsterdam, when I had the breakthrough to start “Starting At 30.”

20140222-013159.jpgMy beautiful, amazing friends, Valerie & Guille. They traveled all the way from two different parts of California, last minute, to join me on this adventure!

20140222-013326.jpgThe Iconic Canal Pic…

20140222-013358.jpgThe beautifully lit streets of the city…

20140314-193537.jpgwith some of the amazing crew members from our flight…

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Photos by Guille Hernandez & Valerie Viramontes. Special thanks to Jo Roth for assistance with photo edits