The September Issue I.

Hello y’all!

… and somehow without me knowing November happened to me. I have not managed to log into “Journey” since my last post on the 4th October. Shocking! I have had my busiest roster yet and the little sleep and a lot of excitement over everything has taken its tool on me and I have spent the last few days in bed feeling ill and oh-so-sorry for myself.

But here it finally comes – the long promised post about September 2014 :

 

It’s that time of the year again. All restaurants, clubs and cafes in Dubai have opened their outside areas to the public. It has slowly become bareable to walk, run and generally live out in the open again after a long and sizzling summer. We have our lives back. At last.

And so the reasonable thing to do would be to stay and enjoy this freedom and the beauty of the great middle eastern outdoors, right? But since when am I ever reasonable? I have been born with an infection I refer to as the travel bug. It can be dormant for months, years even but once it gets out of control it takes over my life and overrules everything. I could feel its power rising within me all summer. My job – of course- helps a lot to keep this little devil in check but there just hasn’t been enough excitement to keep him happy. Day by day I grew more and more restless and by the time September rolled in I had my suitcase packed and was ready to go with no real plan, just a faint idea of being anywhere else but in Dubai. And somehow I succeeded to entertain this tiny monster- I can safely say that the amount of times I slept in my own bed in the last four weeks could be counted on one hand solely.

I started the month off stylishly in Bangkok with my gorgeous wifey Holly. It was one of those multi sector flights and she missed so much she couldn’t take it any longer, jumped on the first available flight and stayed with me for the rest of the trip. I was ecstatic of course. Thai massages, facials and exotic fruit shopping just never are the same without her. I couldn’t imagine having to part from her and so in return of her favour I decided to come as a passenger on her upcoming flight to Dublin. It wasn’t much of a sacrifice since I have never been to Ireland and had always wanted to go. I literally landed from Bangkok, took off my uniform, repacked my suitcase and checked in for Dublin. My travel bug couldn’t be happier. Seven long hours and three tear jerker films later I landed in sunny Ireland. Yes – it was sunny and as I was assured by Holly it wasn’t expected or normal. But it was fabulous. The best way to be introduced to a new city and a new culture is by someone who is familiar with it. And so I let Holly to play her part of the perfect tour guide which she did with flying colours. Only a few hours into my stay I was already buzzing on my second Irish coffee happily chatting nonsense and counting fellow redheads (of which I have seen many) in the famous Bewley’s Cafe. I have heard of a Leprechaun museum (because out of everything Ireland has to offer leprechauns seemed the most interesting after so many irish coffees) and made my only request to see it and so we set of. Somehow tho we got lost in the tempting streets of the Temple Bar area and never made it across the river. It was only in the very early morning hours- and after many drinks I just HAD to drink in order to blend with the Irish culture when we found ourselves wandering aimlessly and enjoying the nightlife – that I remembered. We gave it a second shot in the morning of yet another bright looking day. But by the time we found a place to restore our strength and consume delicious bacon for breakfast, got lost, got found and finally stood outside the museum it was already too late for the entire tour. Visiting the Leprechaun museum just wasn’t meant to happen this time around. I took it as a sign of having to come back again which I would have done anyway. I loved every second of my 24 hours in Ireland. I’m now a strong believer that only every whisky but also every coffee and every man should be Irish. Just because.

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Comebacks and Second Chances

Would you like to know what is The Number One Question I get asked all the time? It is not “What’s this- water ?” (ok this was a crew joke and unless you’ve ever done a round of drinks you are not likely to understand it.) And strangely it is not “Where are you from?” (oh – how much has my life changed in just two years!). The one thing people always seem to want to know is how long am I “in it for and what’s next?”. How long am I gonna stay in Dubai and have I considered what I wanna do next? As if it is quite impossible to believe that I would want to stay in Dubai forever and fly until I can’t lift my cabin bag no more. 

Dubai is so conveniently located which is one of the reasons why the Airline I work for became so successful. It connects the East and the West, it makes travelling to and from Down Under so much more bearable and brings Asia to everybody’s doorstep. You can now take a flight that’s shorter than 6 hours from pretty much anywhere in Europe, spend a layover in the glorified Sandpit and travel on refreshed a couple of days later. Which is what everyone seems to be doing. The popular opinion is that none in Dubai is here for the long run. All of us expats have come for a more or less a layover that can sometimes last years – to have our fun, earn some tax-free cash, travel as much as we can whilst we have the rest of the world within our reach… and then eventually return back and start living the responsible life. Nobody moves to Dubai to establish themselves. Or do they? Having read back my latest post it occurred to me I could have left you feeling like I don’t particularly like living over here. Which would have been a very wrong impression. I love Dubai and my life here. I don’t love it all day every day. But I love it enough every day to consider it my home and staying here for as long as they would have me.  Not to mention the fact that -unlike many others- I don’t really have anywhere to go back to. See – I don’t do comebacks. When I left Czech all those years ago I always knew that was it. I was never to come back and live there. I do adore my country and I would proudly ramble on about its wonders to everyone who is or isn’t willing to listen. But it’s just not for me. Ever since I could remember I never saw myself actually spending my life in Czech – it was never even an option to consider. So I lived there for as long as I could take it or for as long as it was necessary to come up with a plan and then took off. I never looked back. I never doubted the decision to leave a respectable job in a respectable company where I was earning twice as much as anyone else my age that I knew (I was 22 then). My heart just wasn’t in it. My heart was in the hands of a guy I thought I loved then. So much I would have followed him anywhere in the world. Oh wait – I actually did that! Many years later this romantic affair has ended in a disaster but despite that or maybe just because of that I decided not to run back “home” and heal my wounds but to stay right where I was and make this new life work for me. And so somehow I found myself living in the UK and liking it. But me and the English don’t seem to agree with one another. My relationship with the country has followed the same pattern as the relationship with the guy – after being initially smitten with each other we started to see each other’s flaws in the everyday life’s light and slowly but surely we have come to a point where none of us could take it anymore. I was allergic to pretty much anything the country has laid my way and in return it seemed to have rejected me. I was ready to move on. The only issue was – I was much older than when I so carelessly thrown a great job opportunity away and followed my heart. I was worried. My life wasn’t going the direction I had wanted it to but I felt I was too scared to change it completely. And so I waited. And waited. And waited, For what I did not know. I think I was waiting for the brave 22 yo old girl to wake up in me and take charge of our live again. And as the time passed me by I started to realise that wasn’t going to happen. I was going to have to (wo)man up. And so I did and moved to the Middle East. When I told my family I didn’t get a single “Oh but..” not a single eyebrow was raised not even a little bit. They all knew just like myself that that’s the kinda person I am. The kinda person that takes “moving on” literally. And then up a notch. How was I feeling leaving the UK for Dubai? Relieved most of all. I have come to the end of the road and for all I knew I could never see myself coming back to live there. Because as I told you – I do not do comebacks. Ever. To anywhere. Or anyone.

And that’s where my job comes in. After more than 18 months of flying – it turns out not only do I do comebacks. I also give second chances. Who knew? I most certainly did not. August 2014 saw me give a lot of second chances. It had me coming back to many places I have visited and left behind before too. August 2014 has been one big learning curve, one big journey into the depth of my own self and mind you – it is still not over yet..

 

Exploring new places and flying to new destinations can be exciting… as much as it is tiring. Sometimes all I want from my roster is for it to be easy, short and familiar. And as Asian as possible. And my late summer roster has turned me into the Queen of Asia. Singapore, Bangkok, Shanghai, Hong Kong on top of Rome and Frankfurt. I could not have been happier or more familiar with any of them having visited all of these places at least 3 times before. Sometimes it is just so nice to know what to pack, where to go, what to eat and how to behave. It’s also nice to give another chance to a place I wasn’t too sure about. Like Singapore. It’s a great place no doubts about that. It’s just not the kinda place I thought I would ever want to visit again once I’ve seen it. Singapore is quite spectacular with its clean green and luscious streets, friendly people, big expensive cars and delicious food. It’s also a little too high maintenance for my liking. I feel like I should try hard and harder… like I can’t really let go and be myself in a place that has literally made it to the top of world’s capitols. I always feel a little lost when in Singapore. And as I was wondering and wandering in the SinCity I suddenly found the one spot I needed to calm my slightly agitated senses. I little beach bar on the Sentosa Island. A piece of heaven. A sanctuary. The Bikini Bar. Where they played good music, served mean frozen Margaritas and I could read my book undisturbed. And just like that Singapore and I became friends for life. Because as it turns out I don’t need that much to be friendly. Just a little time and space to be myself…

 

The Bikini Bar

                       The Bikini Bar

 

As for the other comebacks I have mentioned – well not much new has gone down in Bangkok and even less so in Shanghai. And I’m not about to bore you to death talking about my massages . I guess one very successful return I should tell you about was to the Friday Brunch at the Atlantis hotel – the crime scene of my mad birthday bash back in January which I have still not been able to blog about… Some stories should remain untold. There was no particular occasion to celebrate this time apart from Salma coming back to Dubai and with the pressure off we simply let go and enjoyed ourselves to the fullest. And Saffron has not disappointed us.

Brunch in Jan

           Brunch in Jan

Brunch in Aug.. same same

Brunch in Aug.. same same

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OK- this post could go on for hours. Yes I indeed have so much on my chest about second chances and comebacks. But I’m gonna spare you this time since I also want to tell you about a few first times I have gone thru in the past month or so… Y’all just wait :)!

Lots of love 

G. 

The 800 Magical Candles

People keep all kinds of weird and wonderful stuff in all kinds of weird and wonderful places in their lives. I have met people that keep old pairs of shoes under their beds, people that collect little pieces of rocks from all the places they have visited. I know people that keep a stash of emergency pain killers in beauty boxes on their bed tables and take them as precaution “just in case” and people who would never let go of a worn out t-shirt even tho there is no chance in hell they’ll ever wear it again. I myself am guilty of keeping a few too many skeletons in my own closet and cherishing some of them way too deeply. There is a little sentimental freak in each one of us that from time to time forces us to hang on to certain beliefs, feelings or a memory that we are scared would fade into oblivion if we didn’t have that small reminder hidden somewhere…

I have recently met someone that keeps 800 candles in the bedroom. Countless white paper boxes full of candles neatly stacked in one big box and carefully placed in a corner of a green and a maroon wall. As if that was the most natural place to keep 800 candles. Because  isn’t that where we all eventually end up anyway? In a neat box somewhere between the green grass and the maroon ground?

I have left that bedroom thinking about those candles.I have never kept 800 of anything. It just seems like such a vast and intimidating number. I went to bed that night and dreamt about 800 magical candles coming to life and each telling me a story of its short and rather pointless existence. I woke up with candles on my mind. As if they have all melted overnight and the wax has covered my body and created an invisible shield all over me. And I just can’t seem to be able to shake it off. It is after all a powerful shield – 800 candles have been used on it.

It’s been a couple of days now. And here I am still thinking about those candles and that fantastic number 800. Would I ever be able to keep anything of such quantity? And if I did would I proudly display it or would it be my dirty little secret – for my eyes only? Let’s say I did have 800 candles laying in a corner. If I decided to burn one each night it’d take me exactly 2 years, 2 months, 1 week and one more day to get thru all of them. That’s a commitment to alternative energy sources if I ever saw one. Or if I’d want to use them every year on my b-day cake I’d have enough till my 46th birthday – which would of course still officially be my 21st…  

I could also turn them into wax figures and become the Mayor of the first ever wax village. I’d call the place Waxville. “Welcome to Waxville – a heart melting place.” It has nice ring to it don’t you think? 800 tiny wax soldiers would also make for a nice powerful army. Waxarmy. And I could be the general. It’ be protected and forever safe under the watchful eyes of my soldiers…

My mind has literally taken me on a Magical Candle Mystery Tour. I started to feel slightly obsessed. And that’s when it hit me. I may not have 800 candles but do keep something so numerous it surpasses The Great 800 (as I decided to call the pile of wax in somebody else’s bedroom) by far. And I keep it so close to my heart it hasn’t even occurred to me at first. It’s my chants. My guarding angels. My happy thoughts. My blessings I count everyday before going to sleep in order to remain grateful for the life I have been gifted. In order to never become oblivious to the fact that I’m a epitome of a happy-go-lucky in the most literal way. 

There must be thousands upon thousands of people, things and experiences I’m thankful for every minute of my life. Do not worry I’m not about to try and list them all – I cannot afford to bore and consequently lose any of you my dear readers. Y’all are one of the first items on my “Thanks for” list. Because without you I’d be just a crazy nerdy girl publishing random stuff on the internet. It’s you guys that make all the tossing and turning over syntax and endless grammar checks and author’s blocks so worth it. So thank you. For every click you make on this site. None of them go unnoticed. And all of them are highly appreciated.

But then I still feel like to make this post come together I should mention at least a few of my Magical candles that I light every evening before bedtime and that shine so brightly and guide me thru the unknown waters of my life like countless reliable lighthouses. 

There is the Big Ten. The Big Obvious Ten. You know – the fam, the friends, the job and all the trimmings. I write about being thankful for those in every post so why repeat myself all over again? I thought instead I’d let you on about the Big Five after The Big Obvious Ten. Now how about that? 

1. FLUFF 

Oh – how thankful am I for all the fluff. How bruised would I be by all the edges of everyday life should there be no fluff. Fluffy animals. Fluffy food. And fluffy conversations in particular. What’s a fluffy conversation? You know- it’s those that don’t necessarily have a purpose and yet are so meaningful. They lift you spirits and leave you all warm inside hours after they’ve happened. Put a fluffy smile on your face. 

This kinda fluffy smile :

Happy hamster is happy - Imgur

 

2. SVEN

You remember Sven? Some of you may some of you may not. Anyway he is the guy I write so extensively about here. You know The Guy. The one that made me believe in love again and then kinda went on and broke my heart and sometimes I feel like he also broke me for the rest of the male population on the Earth. But no hard feelings. There is always the outer space I could try my luck in- I just hope they use Tinder over there. Plus I’m obviously joking. He has not broken me. He merely highlighted areas in my life that I have been ignoring for long enough and that are in a desperate need of improvement. I still think about him every day. But not in a I-hate-you-way. In a very thank-you-for-all-the-nice-moments-and-have-a-nice-life-way. I do miss him from time to time. Well I mostly miss the way I used to feel around him. I miss what I thought we had when we had it. But I no longer believe that he was the only one I could ever feel like that around. Because after all – those feelings came out of me and not him so it is quite possible there is someone out there who could bring the same feelings to the surface again. If I ever let them. 

So thank you Sven. Thank you for trying to break me (I know you did not mean to) because I know it will eventually only make me stronger. And I will forever love you for that. 

 

3. BAD DATES

What would a girl’s life be without all them bad dates we have to go thru to eventually have a really good one? I mean- some of them are true horror stories that we exchange over liquid lunches with our girlfriends. Like when you go out with a guy and he disappears and next time he contacts you weeks later he casually says ” Sorry I was in jail for beating up a guy once.” Yes – that happened! To me… 

Or when you bravely venture out on a blind date and the bloke brings his best mate along. Probably for moral support, who the heck knows? Also happened. Also to me. 

I’m not even gonna go into details about all the others that just can’t take “no” for an answer and would try pretty much ANYTHING to change your mind. The mind that has been made up the moment they first spoke. And when you still try to remain polite but firm they still try the ” Ok well how about at least a BJ?”. Yes- they are out there believe me… 

I’m so grateful for every single one of them because they make me appreciate the good ones that much more. Plus what would I have to write about and what my best friend to have to laugh about? 

 

4. Le PQ

I simply do not know what I would do if there wasn’t Le PQ right at the bottom of my building. I would probably starve to death without realising. Because when I blog for hours (very much like today) unless somebody comes along to ask if I wanna eat or drink anything I simply don’t. 

F<3<3d

F<3<3d

Thank you PQ for your being here for me, for feeding me, for putting up with my many overstayed welcomes and for being generally very awesome. 

 

5. GUESS

My newest obsession that managed to overshadow the one man I thought could never be replaced in my life- Michael Kors. Thank you Guess for so gladly accepting all of my pay checks. You are great ! I love you too… 

It's all about the watch !

It’s all about the watch !

Lots of love

x

G.

Note: If you are wondering what’s the reason there are 800 candles kept in a bedroom somewhere – they were once used to try and mend a relationship that was about to break. They carried a love message. The message didn’t work. Or maybe it was the candles… maybe it is a very intimidating number to carry such an intimate message or that’s at least what I think. But then again what do I know about love messages or romance in general? Quite possibly very little… 

 

 

 

 

Oh-man

Back in March when things between Sven and I were still peachy we decided on a short getaway to Oman. I have heard so much about the country , I have seen pictures and I have wanted to go ever since I moved to the Middle East. Mountains, sea, dolphins and beaches … sounded exactly like my kinda place!

And since Sven was – or as I’d like to believe- still is the type of guy that will do anything to keep one’s eyes sparkle with joy we finally made that trip that I was planning for over a year happen.

There is a lot one can do in Oman. There is also a lot of places to go and stay at to choose from. I had my mind set on camping. Frankly speaking I get enough of hotels at work and it stopped feeling special a while back. Getting woken up by the sound of crashing waves on a beach sounded like a much better option… And so that’s what we did.

I spend the day before the weekend in Oman in Prague with Rudi and Nela. Normally I wouldn’t want to leave even if you paid me (wait ..but I DO get paid… nevermind then:) but this time around I couldn’t wait to land the plane back in Dubai. I was particularly looking forward to the road trip and I wasn’t disappointed. The coastal drive is truly something – even tho we crossed the borders at night and all I could see was that little bit within the reach of the beamers – I still loved it. We woke up the sailor that was supposed to take us to the remote beach where our camp was set. He didn’t look too impressed at that ungodly hour but I bribed him with a few Sudanis – don’t worry that’s just the Arabic word for peanuts- and off we sailed. Well- speed boated.

The camp… well how to best describe the breathtaking view I was treated to when I woke up the next morning and opened up the tent? I guess pictures will have to do all the talking instead:IMG_9066IMG_9292

The day started off with a brisk hike up the cliffs surrounding the beach, after that a breakfast consisting mostly of flies that just wouldn’t leave a single bite of food untouched and then it was slowly time for the main event of the day : the Dhow tour. What’s a dhow?  A dhow is a traditional fishing boat that looks more like somebody’s living room rather than a fishing boat. I guess since most of the people use it as an actual living room it only makes sense:) It’s covered in carpets and cushions , catered with figs, arabic coffee and overly sweetened tea. It’s perfect. I felt like a Cleopatra sailing down the Nile, nodding off to the slow rocking of the boat. But that was just the calm before the storm. And by the storm I mean the arrival of the dolphins ! Yes – real wild dolphins !!! The closest I ever got to a dolphin before was watching Flipper on a Saturday morning at my Dad’s. So you can imagine how super excited I got. I was running around the boat like crazy – managed to stay on board only by a pure miracle. I was quite ready to call it the best day of my life already but I was in for a treat. Later that day after a tasty lunch served on the dhow and an amazing scenic sail around the cliffs and mountains we stopped the boat for an afternoon dip. Everybody was feeling lazy and so I was one of the very few that decided to go into the crystal clear water. I swam quietly away from the others and that’s when I noticed something big and graceful swooping around me. It was the most beautiful dolphin that was probably as curious about me as I was about him. Now – he was probably about 10 meters away but just for the sake of the story let’s go with “within an arm reach” ok? I froze for a moment and then tried to alert everybody else without alarming the that wonderful creature next to me. Big mistake. Obviously everybody WANTS to swim with a dolphin at least once in their lives. Nevermind a wild one! And so the entire crew jumped into the sea and once and that pretty much scared the shit out of the dolphin and that’s the very anticlimactic end to my wonderful story .IMG_9138 IMG_9172 IMG_9154 IMG_9149

However much everyone tried to discredit my experience (jealousy is a b*tch:) nothing could ever take it away from me! I – and only I – have swam with a dolphin ! I sat quietly for the rest of the day watching the coast, watching the little black sharks (yes there are Great Whites and then there are Little Blacks) , watching the waves swallowing the sun with a warm furry ball of happiness inside of me. I capture some of the most fantastic moments of my life here on my blog, some of them thru the my camera lens… and some of them I capture with my soul. Forever there and never fading. This is one of those.

It seemed that whatever was about to happen the day after couldn’t possibly stand up to The Dolphin moment. But once again I stood corrected. We packed up and got picked up by our grumpy speed boat driver again. He took us to yet another driver – but this one was manning a questionably powerful 4×4 and took us on what was called a “Mountain Safari’. Don’t be fooled by the name – no animals were involved. Instead we were treated to an amazing tour around the Omani mountains. I felt like travelling back in time – especially when we stopped at about 1000 m and saw the remains of fish fossils scattered around. We stood so high up looking down at the world beneath and yet we were walking on something that once was the bottom of a sea. An incredible feeling of time passed thru me. One of my favourite writers Eckhart Tolle says that we are all one and that time as such does not exist. We create it within ourselves. And I guess it wasn’t till then that I fully understood when he means by that. IMG_9326 IMG_9323 IMG_9237IMG_9293

The end of our Omani weekend came way too early but before we had to go back to the Dubai reality of our lives we still managed to visit the best restaurant in Khasab. Oh – excuse me – the only restaurant or shall I say eatery in Khasab. I was hoping for something local but it was a Yemeni establishment. Delicious nonetheless. Also I ate the food of the floor. Sorry Mum – I know how you feel about that:)

Oman is a magical place. One of those you absolutely have to visit and experience before you die !

Take care everybody

Love

x

G.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucky Number 215

I generally consider myself a very lucky person. I live for free in a place that is for many the ultimate dream holiday spot. My job is essentially as heavenly as a job can get. I spend my free time either sleeping, eating, chatting to one of the precious people I can proudly call my friends or the combination of all of the above.

Life Is What You Make It

Life Is What You Make It

Sometimes I get so caught up in the bliss of my everyday life that I tend to forget to appreciate it fully. So from time to time I get to experience moments that leave me speechless and beyond grateful . Like last month in LA . Oh – yeah I forgot to mention. I flew to LA. And it was great. Amazing. Fantastic. Fabulous. So much better than I have ever imagined it. So good that as my wake up call was approaching all I wished for was the chance to stay longer and enjoy more of it. And that’s when my good omen kicked in.

I woke up expecting to put on my uniform, shut my suitcase close and take off direction Dubai. But instead the hopeful red light was flashing on the room phone and when I pressed it I heard the most amazing voice mail of my life :

“Your wake up call has been postponed for at least another local night .”

Thanks to the foggy weather in Dubai that delayed some of my flying friends by hours and hours and stranded the others in more of less desirable places across the globe I got to spend three happiest days in L.A. All expenses paid. With a cherry on top :).

First time seeing the Pacific

First time seeing the Pacific

Most of the crew flying with me have -just like myself- never been to California before. So the first day most of us agreed to book a tour and see all the local attractions people are always after. The Hollywood sign. The Avenue of Stars. Beverly Hills. Rodeo Drive. Santa Monica. The New Port Beach. The enjoyed all of it. I was living my Californian dream to the fullest with the sun shining bright and high and everybody flashing their broad american smiles. I was in awe of New York when I first got there. But I BELONGED to L.A the moment I laid my eyes upon it. It felt like finding a long-lost home honestly.

Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive

Stars

Stars

one day...

one day…

902 10

902 10

Chuck and I

Chuck and I

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HappyHolly In Hollywood

HappyHolly In Hollywood

Especially when I took out the roller blades that I brought with me all the way from Dubai and headed for the beach. Some of my new friends came with me, rented bikes and we cruised up and down for miles and miles passing all the other bikers, runners, walkers and holiday makers. Then we purchased cold beverages and hot dogs, sat on the beach and just chilled watching these weird tiny little birds running into and away from the tide. They kept us entertained for hours! IMG_7732 IMG_7828 IMG_7804

My absolutely favourite place in L.A. must have been this outdoor farmer’s market called The Groove. It was crammed with people craving all the yummy food you could get there – everything from a fresh fish chowder to an organic chocolate covered beans. Whoever says that the Americans have no culture where food is involved has evidently never been to The Groove. It was most definitely one of the top ten taste bud enticing spot I have ever been to. I wished I was a cow and had three stomachs just so I could fit in more food… Not the first time that has happened to me either… 🙂 IMG_7649 IMG_7680IMG_7645 IMG_7682

I also went shopping because that’s an absolute must when in the States. Have you ever seen the prices of clothes and sportswear out there? My jaw literally dropped when the cashier announced the final price.

“Are you from Europe?” he asked

“Yup” I said

“Thought so. We usually get this reaction from you Europeans.” he replied wisely.

My bank card got a good work out that day but I came back to the hotel with a brand new skiing outfit that I’m absolutely IN LOVE with (and got to use immediately after the L.A. trip and you can read about it here) , entire running outfit and much much more. So much more I had to ask one of my colleagues to lend me some space in her suitcase since I just couldn’t fit it all in. Yes. I have a problem. I know.

I HAD to buy it

I HAD to buy it

That unexpected turn of events ate into my annual leave but to be completely honest I couldn’t care less. That one extra day in Cali already felt like a wonderful holiday !

x

G.

Flying with Friends

Hullo my pets!

Guess what? You darling redhead blogger has been officially flying for a WHOLE frigging year! Are you finding it as hard to believe as I am? Some of you have been with me this entire time since the very start some of you joined just recently but still guys – what a year this one has been huh?! I have taken you with me everywhere I went. You guys tried all the delicious food I ate (wait – why is it just me who gained weight then ?! So not fair!:) and jogged using my poor little legs around Europe, Asia, Australia, USA and Africa . Together we have taken off and landed hundreds of times and went to sleep in so many different beds that if I wasn’t cabin crew I would have to be a… ehm… nevermind :). I feel like every each one of you is a very dear friend of mine and I hope those feelings are mutual.

My Dubai

My Dubai

I’m not in this for the fame or the big bugs (however if any of that comes I won’t refuse:) I blog because I love to talk and I love to share my self-proclaimed wisdom. But I never ever imagined that having a blog will bring so many new and amazing people into my life. Some of you I have had the pleasure of meeting randomly – one of the proudest moments of my life was when I was sat having a coffee with Ryan in the HQ and this girl comes to me and goes:

“OMG Gabby- it’s you ! I loOoOove your blog- I even commented on it a couple of times!”

Ryan’s jaw dropped and I felt so damn special ! That girl was Carmen, who joined a couple of month after me. I have met her a few times since then – at the pool, in a club .. the usual locations of the Dubai expat scene:) Then there is Kamila, a fellow Czech blogger  and my Shangri-la buddy. Her Instagram posts always tickle my taste buds… and my wallet 🙂 Kamila is not ONLY Czech she is also Moravian – which is far more important! I just love listening to her broad accent that takes me a decade back to the times when I still lived and studied in Moravia. She is as close to home as Dubai gets.

My Dubai

My Dubai

Some of you I have flown as passengers – like Noemi for example, whose blog I have been following long long looooong time before I got this job and moved to the Middle East. This time around it was my turn to feel starstruck ! I have read EVERY single post she ever wrote(it dates about 5 years back) and I still remember how very proud I felt when she started following “Journey” and even commented a few times! So  I was casually strolling thru the isle of my flight to Athens when I noticed her sitting in my area. I thought ” no- this can’t be !”. Then I did that very conspicuous turn that only flight attendants are capable of and walked past her again looking right at her quizzically. I have no idea how she hasn’t noticed because everybody else has done and they all must have thought she is in a big trouble. I wanted to make this meeting as special for her as it was for me so I went to business and asked my colleagues for some sweet treats and gathered all of my courage to approach her. It was so bizarre and yet so very amazing! 

My world

My world

 

And then there is a very particular few of you. The few ones that have a blog of their own, are also cabin crew and above all I have flown with. Greta for starters. Greta is an Aussie from Perth (which as you all know is my second home – at least according to my rosters:) and I have “known” her for quite a long time thru her blog and Instagram. Then one day I looked at my roster and there she was. Flying with me to Paris on Xmas day! You know about my trip to Paris already – I spent it all with my sis so I didn’t get much time to get to know Greta as I would have liked to but from the time we did spend together I can honestly tell you she is absolutely lovely – exactly as she comes across in her posts. She is also as obsessed otaku as her Instagram shows 🙂 (Btw Gretz- I went to see Frozen and I know you won’t agree but I prefer Anna to Elsa… and I also hope your back is getting better!)

And Doyle. I have been not so secretly in love with Doyle’s I-gram and keep bragging on about it to everybody, who is willing to listen. I’m a huge fan of visuals. That’s why I love pictures. And Doyle’s pictures are truly something! Go check it out please! Plus he is very strong visual experience himself :p) Yes – there I said it Doyle :)) I have just flown with him- we did a long flight Down Under together. It’s a four day trip to Sydney and onwards to Auckland and back again. We have had plenty of time to chat in the first class galley ( hahahaha first time I made friends with the first class class crew at all actually they aren’t usually very approachable- ops did I say that out loud?:) I have to say – apart from being in love with him and his pictures I also love his outlook on life and how very loudly he thanks everybody for everything! So Doyle – THANK YOU it was lovely flying with you 🙂 .

I hope to meet many more of you in the future y’all seem to be such an interesting bunch

Till then just keep on reading

x

G.

 

Listen To Your…

…body. If not then at least listen to your best friend. They usually know what’s best for your body. How do I know that? Well that’s a funny story. If you wanna know more – then just sit back and read on.

So I flew to Kuala Lumpur again a couple of days back. You may remember that my first layover in KL wasn’t all that exciting. Well – the second one has definitely made up for it. That one singular trip has given me enough excitement for months of flying. The flight over has not gone as well as I would have wished but I guess after a year of successful flights I was bound to have a… ehhm how to best put it .. let’s say a “challenging” one. I landed and all I could think of was a nice cold drink and a good company. A good company has thankfully been already taken care of as one of my best friends was operating with me that day. And a cold drink was at hand as soon as we reached our hotel. Ok – I may have had a few more than just one. But in my defence… I really had one helluva day that day.

I woke up next morning feeling a little under the weather but nothing a little more sleep couldn’t fix. So yes – I spent yet another KL layover in bed but not entirely. I also pulled myself out to enjoy a beautiful lunch by the pool and even forced myself to do a very minor workout at the gym.

Then I went up to my room and got ready for a long journey back home- and it indeed was a VERY long way back to my apartment. The flight was a busy one. It was somewhere half way thru when I started feeling bad. At first I was blaming the lack of sleep and that one extra drink I probably shouldn’t have had the night before. However as the time and the pain in my lower abdomen progressed I was starting to think this was more than just an indigestion or a mild hangover. But it wasn’t until I nearly fainted that I knew something was amiss. By the time we were landing I was in so much pain I couldn’t sit or stand- both was equally uncomfortable. It took my all to remain smiling for the sake of the passengers. My friend saw my suffering and kept on asking if I needed medical help. That’s when my childhood and my mother’s Spartan upbringing kicked in. See – I was a bit of an attention seeker as a kid and I may have played the “sickness” card way too many times for my mum’s liking. She ended up never believing I was seriously ill until I either vomited or was on the verge of dying in front of her. Once she said she would also believe an open fracture but (thankfully?) I never had one. So when Edel suggested an emergency room I mentally reviewed my state (“Have I vomited?” “No.” “Open fracture?” “No.” “Verge of dying?” “Well…”) and I told him I wasn’t gonna make a big deal out of it.

Well my body decided otherwise. By the time we got to disembark the aircraft and collect our luggage I cared very little for smiling and could hardly walk without whimpering in pain.

“Ok- that’s it” Edel said “I’m taking you to the hospital and I don’t care what you think.”

“Thank God” is what I thought but I didn’t say it because the pain was growing by the second and I wasn’t gonna waste energy talking.

We got to the Emergency room around 6am still wearing our uniforms and carrying our crew bags, which strictly speaking is possibly not allowed but honestly at that point I didn’t care much. It didn’t take much for the nurse to understand my condition and I was hooked on the drips before I even knew it. Wow – I don’t know what it was they pumped into me but I wouldn’t mind having a top up of that stuff! Not only did it make the pain go away – it also gave my memories a nice shiny glow … 😛

I’m not gonna make this any more dramatic than I already have. As you may have guessed it was a suspected appendicitis but thankfully it wasn’t. It took the doctors about 9 hours and a whole list of tests to decide on that but in the end I wasn’t gonna have to go under the knife and they just let me off with some very strong painkillers and other goodies to keep my guts in control.

I'm only smiling coz I'm high

I’m only smiling coz I’m high

They have also put my on a very strict diet of no alcohol (drag!), no coffee (my life is over!!), no tea (uff) and no milk(oh well I’m lactose intolerant anyway). Hence the extensive blogging today. Thanks to the painkillers I spent a whole day sleeping and am now full of energy that needs venting!

The point of the story has however not been made yet. I have come to realise that I haven’t fully appreciate the treasure I have in my life – Edel ! The amazing person who got off a 7-hour flight, dragged me to a hospital and remained fully awake by my bedside the entire time. He wouldn’t leave even when I kept sending him home. It wasn’t until later when I realised how much his support meant for me. Spending a day in a hospital not knowing what’s wrong with you is not the kind of time you want to be alone. And I wasn’t…

Thank you so much boo … You are a true friend!

x

G.

Time Flies When…

… you are having fun. Is that how the saying goes? It also flies when you have to work hard and sleep little. It flies when you are trying your hardest to find time for the important things in life and end up killing it with the very unimportant ones.

Time is such a funny thing seriously. No matter if rich or poor, wise or stupid we all get our fair share. No more no less. No matter how hard you try to fool ourselves we will never be able to earn some more. It’s only up to us to decide what to do with it to make every second count.

In the past year there were many second that created moments I will cherish forever. Regrettably I also have to admit to a few second I have been trying my best to forget. But as I love to say ” You loose some and then you win some”. So I focus on the good things that 2013 has brought me and do not dwell too much upon the ones it has taken away from me.

You may remember my last year’s resolution – I have promised to love myself like nobody else has loved me before. Well – I have given it my best shot and almost lasted the entire 12 months. But at one point I had a look at some of the choices I made in the past year and somehow loved myself a little less. Does that happen to everybody? Does everyone go back on their word?

I guess it matters little since the entire 2013 has been an amazing learning curve and I strongly believe that a mistake is only a real “mistake” if you do it twice, three times, four even and always without realising.

Is this all a bit too vague for you guys? I’m so very sorry – some things are just too personal to share but anyway the thing I’m getting at is my new year’s resolution for 2014.

I have to admit -it is not entirely mine. I have heard it in a song and felt inspired. I have quietly celebrated a year of living in Dubai a couple of days ago. And what a year it has been – The Year of Thousands of First Times I decided to call it. And as I was approaching that day- coming hand in hand with the last day of 2013- I also decided I didn’t want to stop there. I never want this constant flow of first times to dry up. I want them to keep on coming. And that’s why my new year’s resolution for 2014 is to lose the fear of trying. They say there is a first time for everything. And I wanna know what this “everything” is.

Belayed Happy New Year everyone

x

Love

G.

The Pleasures of Perth and Novelties of New York

Hi to all of you my sweetest dearest readers!

You must be all very excited, mustn’t you? Not only have we entered the most anticipated (and stressful) month of the year but you are also about to read the most anticipated blog post you must have been all so eagerly waiting for … The one about NYC !!

Well I’d like to keep your suspense for a bit longer so let me first tell you about some layovers that I haven’t had the pleasure to write about just yet. Like Perth for example. Perth is one of the regulars on my roster. It seems to somehow find its way there every other month. I don’t mind at all. As a crew I have to admit it’s one of the easiest flights. Never full, relatively short, perfectly timed. It’s a duty from heaven. The only reason why it hasn’t become my favourite layover yet is that there isn’t awfully much to do once you are in Perth. Don’t get me wrong, the city is lovely and all … It’s just not very exciting I guess. But on the other hand sometimes it’s good to just get to the hotel, sit back and relax without the haunting thought of missing out on something that’s out there. I usually take Perth as my workout layover, bring me my running shoes and go for a jog down by the waterfront just 2 mins from the hotel and then change into my swimsuit and do a couple of lanes in the shortest pool in the history of pools (on the upside it’s the only time when I can casually say “yeah I’ve swam 100 lanes today, no biggie”).  It’s exactly what I did today. Now I’m happily typing away comfortably parked in a cafe surrounded by young professionals having their quick 30-min vegan organic lunch. Life is good. Knowing myself I will probably give in to the shopping addict inside of me and go and browse some shops down the high street later. I love clothes shopping in Oz. It is unfortunately a very expensive hobby of mine since the Aussies have obviously never heard of the concept of “a bargain”. The only sole reason why I haven’t moved Down Under is that I haven’t found my multi-millionaire husband to pay for all my clothes. That’s a joke of course…. About the “only sole reason”:)

working out in PER is fun

working out in PER is fun

Seasonal Greetings from 30 degree heat

Seasonal Greetings from 30 degree heat

The one time when I haven’t followed my usual Perth schedule was when Salma was here. You remember Salma? One of my batchmates and best friends in Dubai? She is from Perth but originally… oh crap let’s not get into that here- that’s a long and old story. It was a pure luck that I got assigned PER just as she was back home for her holiday. She picked me up from the hotel and took me to what she promised “were gonna be the best waffles I have ever tried”. She wasn’t lying. I don’t remember the name of the place but if you ever find yourself on the West Coast of Oz and craving waffles then go to Northbridge and just ask. Oh – but don’t go at night because apparently that’s when Northbridge gets rowdy. I wouldn’t know – luckily I left before sh*t got real … 🙂

Ok -enough about Perth. Let’s take a trip across the globe and travel a few time zones back all the way to the NYC!

Oh my – where shall I start? There is simply so much I have to say about New York. I was completely taken aback by that place. I was feeling very sceptical when landing into JFK. I have just served the longest and by that I mean  THE LONGEST (if you get my gist) duty of my entire career. Obama himself could have been welcoming me but all I cared for was a warm cosy bed, cup of hot chocolate and at least a thousand episodes of ANY sitcom to make me feel human again.  Well – as it turned out I didn’t need any of that. All it took was a glance at Manhattan and I was as chipper as a newborn. Our hotel is situated right on the Times Square so going to sleep after the flight was outta question. I splashed my face with ice-cold water put a woolly jumper on, my headphones in and stepped out in NYC for the first time ever.

Breath taking

Breath taking

How was it? It was big – massive actually. It was chaotic. It was breath taking. Stunning. Exactly like in all the film and videos. I ate a chilli dog in Times Square and bought my obligatory snapback (yes I know what I said about the shopping earlier but c’mon we are talking snapbacks and New York here!). Then I strolled down the 5th Avenue, stopped at the Rockefeller Sq. and went up the Top of Rock. OMG! Probably the best decision I made that day! As if it has been ordered the sun has decided to make an appearance (or maybe I was just high enough above the smog cloud) and I got the most amazing view of the City. I stayed for about an hour, rooming around the deck and snapping pics and then really REALLY wanted to make it to the Central park that looked so nice and green from above. But -alas- that’s when my body finally gave up and recognised the fact that I have been up for more than 24 hours and most of it running around a massive cabin serving cranberry juice and ice to 400 passengers. I literally couldn’t walk any longer and had to return to the hotel for a power nap. One that lasted 7 hours. I woke up refreshed and ready for more sight-seeing. At 3a.m. It was 4 hours before my wake-up call and I wasn’t gonna spend all that precious time in my hotel room in one of the most amazing cities I have ever been to. They say New York never sleeps and I was about to see for myself. Well – it’s bullshit. It does. I cut a very lonely figure retracting my steps from earlier that day. I really wanted to do that one thing that every girls secretly wants to do- have breakfast at Tiffany’s. Hmmm… I found Tiffany’s. But couldn’t find anywhere to get breakfast. Not even the omnipresent Starbucks was open. I assure you that on this one particular lovely freezing morning at 4.30a.m in NYC the only one who wasn’t sleeping was myself. I returned to the hotel with the first rays of the rising sun just in time to watch the city slowly wake up. It was magical. Even more so when a lovely cosy cafe opened in front of my eyes and I gulped down a very much needed hot soya cappuccino and gorging on a blueberry muffin the size of my fist (yes I may have relaxed my diet a little in the States:). Life couldn’t get much better at the very moment.

I only have one word for this - YUM

I only have one word for this – YUM

<3

The Empire State of Mind

The Empire State of Mind

The 5th Avenue

The 5th Avenue

Times Square at 3 a.m.

Times Square at 3 a.m.

I’m due back in three weeks and I’m already getting excited. NYC has definitely made it to my top five layover destinations.

x

Love

G.

The Fame Game

Well the birthday posts just keep on rolling don’t they? Lately I have been crazy busy flying left and right and up and down on the map of the world so I very irresponsibly missed The Big Date. The date that my little baby blog turned 1 year old. I know right? Times flies … just like me I guess.

And the best b-day gift my blog could have ever wished for came from this awesome website that’s all about the cabin crew lifestyle and stuff. Imagine my excitement when I received an email couple of weeks back asking me to do a feature interview with them! Holly sh*t I thought – I’m getting famous !! Well – you all know what I mean… right?

I’d like to express my endless gratitude for this amazing opportunity to share some of my “wisdom” with a wider audience. I hope some of my answers helped somebody out there hoping to become one of us crazy people that know the super secret code behind words like “crosscheck” and “backup” and such:)

If you wanna read the full interview go here.

Thanks again guys for your continuing support, I love y’all !