Away From Base.

Year Two. Month Six. #YYC.

I discovered something today.

I woke up to sunshine, blinking confusedly at my fifteenth floor corner hotel room, wondering what city I was looking at.

(This is a very common theme for flight crews).

Tall buildings, people wearing coats in September, signs in French... and then it came to me.

Canada. Calgary to be exact.

Being in a different city almost every night can really mess with your since of "home."

(When your suitcase becomes more familiar than your own house; when you have slept in a certain hotel more times than your own bed in the last month; when the barista in Fresno knows your drink order by heart but you don't even have a punch card for the coffee shop in your hometown.)

How do flight attendants deal with life on the road?

Here's my secret: I look for the familiar in the unfamiliar.

I wander outside my hotel in whatever city I'm in. I wander through the city parks, the riverfront walks, the urban trails. I look for a farmer's market or a little coffee shop. I get my usual London Fog tea, a pastry and set up shop near the window. I people watch. I get cozy. I take photos. I call home.

I connect the new and the old.

Today, I wandered downtown Calgary. I found a funny little corner store that reminded me of a grimy convenience store outside my old apartment on Capitol Hill in Seattle. A man sat on the sidewalk, strumming a guitar and singing a traveling ballad in French, similar to the performers at Pike Place Market. I threw a few coins into his case. Down the street I wandered into warm, sunny Kawa Espresso Bar, reminiscent of Cafe Solstice in the University District of Seattle.

I found a little piece of home in Calgary.

And next week, I will find a little bit of home elsewhere.

Happy exploring!


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