Year Three. Month Ten. #SLC.

Just me and some photos and a bunch of adventures in Ramallah, Palestine.

I was scrolling through my Instagram feed today, looking over the past (almost) three years of my airline adventures.

I'm not going to lie, I teared up a bit.

It's been a wild ride. It's been full of ups and downs and complete surprises. It's pushed my finances, my relationships and my sanity to the brink.

I've made amazing friends. I've had incredible adventures.

I've traveled the world.

My most favorite place in the whole wide world: Kyoto, Japan.
But tonight, as I sit in this all-too-familiar town I feel sad. It's never going to be fresh again. I'm never going to sit in my jumpseat for the first time again. I'm never going to stay up all night studying for another exam about POBs and PICs and PBEs. I'm never going to shake in my heels as I shout evacuation commands at an instructor in a room filled with office chairs. (Okay, recurrent training will happen. But it's not the same.)

I'm never going to feel like totally giving up, only to see a magical metal bird lifting off into the sky, triumphant and miraculous, beckoning me to come see the world.

It's all changing. This adventure that turned into a job that turned into my career is becoming part of my everyday life. And it's a smooth ride from here on out.

It's not that I don't like stability.

Regional flight attendant training came with some polyester vests and puffy eyes.
I went through the opposite of all that when I started with my itty bitty regional airline. The stress of training. The terrifying news that I would be based in a city that I didn't know, all by myself. The financial struggle, always. The long days and weeks away from my loved ones. The gritty Skype calls where I held it together just until I hung up, and then sobbed into a pillow and wondered what I had gotten myself into. The uncertainty of reserve at a regional. The ever-changing contracts. The crazy, everyday adventure of regional flying with its mechanicals, maintenance and delays.

(Oh, the delays.)

It was a wild ride.

Today, I met up with some old regional buddies in Salt Lake. We caught up on gossip and laughed about "the good 'ol days." One of my friends asked me how I liked it over at "mainline."

When your brand new airline sends you to New Orleans for twenty-four hours.

"Oh, it's amazing," I gushed. "Ten and a half hour duty day limits, amazing layovers, lovely hotels, beautiful airplanes, an efficient operation, supportive management and a quality of life way beyond what I had at regionals."

I paused. My friends leaned forward as a smile crept over my face.

"But ya know, I wouldn't have traded my years at regionals for anything," I confessed as they laughed and we leapt back into our reminiscing.

It's true.

Everyday chaos at regionals with people who I'll never, ever forget.

I miss it, sometimes. I miss the chaos. I miss the pandemonium. I miss the times where our little crew of four had to put our heads together and figure it out. I miss bonding over Mexican food in Fresno, board games in Edmonton, "Brewvies" with the crew in Salt Lake City. I miss the "not knowing" and the crazy little seventy-seat airplanes and the whole adventure of it all.

But it's okay to miss something. It means that the people and the places and the times missed were important to you. It means that you made memories. It means that you have stories to tell for the rest of your life.

It's okay to say goodbye, even if it takes a while.

The little airline that started it all. <3
Happy flying!


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