So what’s my background? I am lucky to have an adventure thirsty Dad and a super cute Thai Mum who have had me flying around the world since before I can remember.
My Dad left school at 16, academics not being his forté, and joined the Royal Navy as an apprentice engineer. Next thing you know he had travelled to all of the continents before he was 30 (who even gets to say that now!!?), and this was before travel was accessible for most, air fares were extortionate and it would still take several stops to get somewhere that in this day and age we take for granted as a reasonably short flight. They put the idea into my vertically challenged, scrawny 5-year-old self to become a pilot. My Dad said to me that the most valuable thing to a person is to travel. So why not encourage me to go into a profession where I could spend my work life doing what I loved? Voila! One engineering degree, one intense flying course and twenty something years later, I have been flying for 6 years for one of the best airlines in the world.
Now aviation is not what it was five years ago let alone decades ago, even for the best companies, governing desk job bodies that have seen little to do with aviation have deemed their new regulations safe, and thus reduced the legal amount of time we have to recover from fatigue and jetlag (of course airlines benefit from this so jumped straight onto the bandwagon). Where I do generally enjoy my job on a day-to-day basis, I will not portray it as something that it isn’t. Unfortunately the time off down route for short haul trips only range from 14–36 hours, but I have managed to explore places that I certainly wouldn’t have done without my job; casual day trip to Petra, off to the Hezbollah stronghold of Baalbek near the Syrian border (unknowingly so) for a morning to explore the 9000 year old city, the best pasta on Lake Como, hikes up to the Oracle of Delphi in Greece, morning runs on the Seine past the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame in Paris, Christmas markets in just about any European city, sunbathing on the South Coast of France and Barcelona in the summer, and Azerbaijan, where exactly is that?! Okay so writing this down makes me realise quite how lucky I am, that I get to call that work, but it usually comes at a price of sleep deprivation and the job does have responsibilities and standards that are continually examined so it’s not all fun and games. The best thing about my job is the time off and the fantastic global travel perks that we get.
My staff travel kicked in after 6 months of joining the company and after a quick trip to Cairo for my one of best friend’s wedding, I was off to Peru shortly after to join my amazing friend, Safa. I had travelled around Asia with her after university and couldn’t wait for the debauchery to continue. Life has been a continuously exciting adventure since and I hope that it inspires others to explore outside of their comfort zones…