Making The Most Of Male

Finally, after spending New Year’s Day in London, with one of my best friends, I get to take ten days leave. Six of which I will spend in the beautiful Maldives. It had been four months since I had any real time off, so I was super excited to spend some quality time with my family.

The luxury break in paradise was in aid of my Mum turning 50. We stayed in Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa which was about a 25 minute boat ride from Male airport. The island was pure bliss and beyond anywhere I’ve ever been to before.

IMG_3826.JPG

Due to work commitments I arrived a few days late into the holiday and missed the New Year’s celebrations. However, I heard it was a beautiful ways to see the New Year in. The resort accommodated a huge percentage of couples, especially those on their honey moon or celebrating an anniversary. So if I was going to comment on anything, it would be that perhaps it’s not the most suitable resort for families or groups of friends. Nevertheless, we didn’t care and had an incredible time, just the five of us, enjoying each other’s company.

IMG_3784.jpg

All inclusive holidays can sometimes be a disappointment, especially if someone is a fussy eater or perhaps the food lacks in quality. It’s difficult to grit your teeth and bare it when you’ve paid for a whole holidays worth of food, and then you’re left somewhat disappointed. However, I can honestly say there was a vast choice in cuisine which varied daily. The resort was small but still acquired three different restaurants and a buffet which served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Although, I will admit if you were staying for any longer than a week, I can imagine eating in each restaurant 2 or 3 times could become tedious. I think the destination itself would become tedious after much more than a week but it depends what type of holiday goer you are.

IMG_3925-1.JPG

This restaurant in particular was my ultimate favourite on the island. It’s called Al Khaimah and serves Middle Eastern cuisine. I would personally recommend the lamb chops which both me and my Dad adored.

Every evening when we returned to our rooms which were situated in the water, almost like little garden sheds floating above the coral and sea creatures, our mini bars were stocked up, ready to take advantage of again. Each night we felt like we were going into our own little house after a long day of soaking up the sun. We enjoyed a few drinks then headed back out to enjoy dinner and more drinks in an informal, carefree environment.

IMG_3703.JPG

During the day there was plenty to do from going to the gym or taking advantage of the spa facilities and enjoying a massage. Each guest also had access to complimentary non-motorised water sports and their own snorkel and goggle set so you could check out the various species of fish and if you’re lucky enough to own a GoPro you can also get some amazing pictures.

IMG_3913.JPG

I’m so lucky I was given the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. I would definitely recommend the Maldives as a holiday destination. I think it would be an incredible place to take some time out and relax perhaps after a tour of India. I think that’s something I would consider for next time as I’m very keen to travel parts of India but I hear it can be tiring.

IMG_3914.JPG

Nicola x

Calling For Home

Once again I’m writing late into the month. I received some very sad news whilst I was on a layover in Adelaide, Australia only two days ago. One of my family dogs passed away because of a tumour on his spleen. He only recently turned seven, he was taken from us far too young and has left his sister, one of our other dogs behind. Unfortunately we had to put him to sleep as he was struggling to recover after his operation and it was the kindest thing to do.

Whilst it was first thing in the morning in Adelaide, it was last thing at night in the UK. After receiving a text from my mum I rang her hoping they’d made a mistake and it wasn’t true. I cried into my pillow feeling helpless and lonely. This time of year is difficult as it is being away from home, but to loose what I can only describe as a member of our family feels horrendous.

We have three dogs at home and when I left I was sure I would be able to see all of them again. They all seemed healthy and full of life as though they weren’t going anywhere soon. I feel so hard done by, and at times like these all you want is to be surrounded by your family.

The 12 hour flight back to Dubai was a real struggle. The load was light so I had too much opportunity to let my mind wander. I often became teary eyed and locked myself in the toilets. I tried to hold it together, telling myself as soon as I get back to my apartment I can let it all out. In a normal job you’d have support from your colleagues because it’s likely you would’ve known them for years. Although people were kind to me I felt so alone only knowing these people a short time.

Carlos will be sorely missed by our family, he was a lovely dog and a huge part of our family. This time of year a lot of people tend to buy dogs, but nothing can prepare you for their short life and the heartbreak their departure brings. 

IMG_3601.JPG

December has been a difficult month. Christmas is hugely celebrated in my house, it’s a time where we all come together as a family. This year I feel excluded from the celebrations but I’m trying to stay as positive as possible because I have ten days leave in January, plus I chose this path for all the positive elements it brings. I can’t explain how excited I am to get home and spend time with all my friends, family and especially my two dogs.

At the beginning of this month I actually got my first flight to the UK. Before I received December’s rosta I thought to myself, knowing my luck I’ll get a UK flight the week both my parents were on holiday in India and my older sister was travelling around Asia, and yes, that’s exactly what happened. Nevertheless a flight to Glasgow was a God send and I was heading straight down that motorway home.

I’m so fortunate to have such good friends and a little sister who picked me up from the hotel, took me home and had a spread of absolute treats, including gin and sausage rolls waiting fro me. We had the best night catching up, it was so nice to see everyone. After a while it felt like I’d never been away.

Because most of my family were away on holiday, all of the dogs were in the kennels. So there were no sofa snuggles from my babies, it really has been a long time since I’ve seen them all, making it all the more difficult saying goodbye to Carlos.

After a dreamy sleep in my own bed I woke up early with so much to cram in. I wanted to get a much needed hair cut from my friend, take my grandma for lunch and spend my whole allowance on a Tesco food shop. I splurged out buying prosecco for Christmas day and some of my favourite sweets. I also stocked up on my favourite hair products, there’s some things you just can’t live without.

A flight to the UK was exactly what I needed so although I want to see the world I’ll be welcoming many more flights to my home country.

IMG_3487.JPG

After my Glasgow flight I was supposed to be going to Casablanca, Morocco but suddenly, last minute, I got a rosta change to Hong Kong. I was over the moon because a friend of mine from home has moved there to study abroad for a year. I messaged him straight away to make plans for the 26 hour lay over.

After a quick nap he came to my hotel to meet me and had an itinerary planned to a T. First we went for something to eat only round the corner from the crew hotel called Mihn & Kok at Fashion Walk in Causeway Bay. It was nice to try some different food but the dinning out experience as a whole was unusual. I felt as though the service and hospitality was lacking in manners and politeness. It wasn’t something I’m used to but it was interesting to experience how that type of industry differs to what I know as I have a wide background in hospitality.

I’ve never been to New York but walking through the streets of Hong Kong is what I imagine New York is like. Busy streets, tall buildings, flashing billboards and non-stop traffic. I loved the city, it had a great vibe about it.

After dinner we headed to the supermarket to buy some drinks to take to Red Bar at IFC. Alcohol is quite expensive in Hong Kong so apparently the thing to do is buy your own from the supermarket and take it to this bar. I thought that wouldn’t be allowed but no one batted an eye lid. The views were amazing and the entire atmosphere was just chilled out whilst we listened to music in the back ground.

Later into the night we headed to SEVVA which I can honestly say was lovely and I’d highly recommend it.. if you’re willing to pay £18 for a medium sized glass of wine. Don’t get me wrong, the wine was lovely but that glass was about a third of my allowance. Again the views of the city were incredible, especially because it was night time and the whole place was lit up.

IMG_3511.JPG

Finally we ended the night playing pool in a really cool bar called Tazmania, which was at the top of a hill at what could’ve been mistaken for the Magaluf strip. The place was bouncing with music and people walking through the streets. It was fascinating how many different vibes the city gave off.

IMG_3512.JPG

That evening I was cautious as to what time I needed to stop drinking. Any alcohol needed to be out of my system before flying back to Dubai. So I headed home feeling fine just extremely tired after only having a short nap. However, after only a short while I found myself in my pyjamas on another floor to where my room was located. I woke up feeling panicked as I realised I’d slept walked through the hotel and locked myself out. Thankfully the hotel staff were really helpful and understanding and gave me a new key.

When I got back to the room I googled why people sleep walk because I’d never done it before and I was confused as to why I’d started now. After a little bit of research I learnt that sleep walking is most common among young children, and adults who are sleep deprived. This made perfect sense to me. It did’t stop me from being afraid of the possibilities which could’ve occurred during this though.

The next day my friend Sam took me up Victoria Peak to see even more views of the city whilst enjoying a morning coffee, trying to recover from the night before. Again going up to the peak gave me another insight as to what Hong Kong is like. There are so many different aspects to it which was really interesting to see.

IMG_3562.JPG

Finally we took a boat across the water to The Ritz Lounge & Bar which was on the hundred and second floor, not great from someone who isn’t that good with heights. Luckily though you couldn’t really see straight down, only across at the magnificent views of Hong Kong. We only paid about £25 for an all inclusive buffet overlooking Hong Kong. It was a perfect end to a really good layover. The food was amazing, as well as the company and views.

IMG_3555.JPG

Only a few days before my flight to Adelaide I was lucky enough to get a layover in Colombo, Sri Lanka. We have numerous flights a day there and although it’s a 4 hour flight most of them are turnarounds. Turnarounds like that are bound to be exhausting but luckily I haven’t had to experience one yet.

Sri Lanka was another place to tick off my list as I’ve never been there before. But soon after returning I thought, does it really count when you barely left the hotel? I lay by the pool for most of the day drifting in and out of sleep, continuously applying suncream to my face so I didn’t fly back looking burnt.

Later in the evening me and three other crew members too a taxi to Beach Road where there are various restaurants located on the sea front. We were recommended a restaurant called King Coconut by other crew members who had done this layover before. The taxi driver told us the chef had changed and Tastee’s Banana was much better. I couldn’t help but think he was on commission, but we took his word for it anyway.

Before I knew it, it was time for bed and to get some rest before tomorrows short flight back to Dubai where I was looking forward to spending some time off with my friend.

Sri Lanka is definitely somewhere I would like to see more of. The people were nice, the weather was glorious and Colombo definitely had something to offer. Hopefully if I get the layover again and I’ll explore some more of the city, rather than sleeping in the sun trying to catch a tan. Which by the way, is also a brilliant way to spend a lay over,

Nicola x

The Newest November

It has been the craziest, most surreal month of my life. It’s so difficult to explain what head space I’m in right now. I’ve just woken up from a 16 hour sleep and to tell you what day of the week it is would be a huge achievement.

I haven’t blogged in a while because I’ve been so busy travelling the world, literally. For those of you who have been following my blog I finally moved into permanent accommodation, so no more hotel perks for me. However, it is nice to finally be able to call somewhere home. I’ve also flown to some incredible cities including Sydney, Bangkok and Beijing. I’ve also been spending my days off out and about in Dubai so I‘ve got some restaurant recommendations, as eating out is one of my all time favourite things to do. I also got to see my parents for the first time in 3 months which is the longest time ever for us, it was truly incredible. And now I’m planning my first Christmas in Dubai, so I’m excited to see what December brings.

I’m going to start with my 30 hour lay over in Sydney. This Christmas it will be exactly 10 years since I last visited Australia with my family, for a three week trip around some of it’s most beautiful cities including Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns. Sydney is very clean, something I noticed straight away. The day I was there it was so hot and the mood in the city was just fabulous. Everyone seemed so happy to be walking along the harbour, taking pictures by the Opera House and drinking beers in the open roof top bars.

IMG_3242.JPG

We arrived in the evening which was perfect because it gave the crew an opportunity to adjust their body clocks and get some rest. The following day I met two crew members in the lobby and we headed out to explore the city. We didn’t have much of a plan in mind so we just walked and walked, chatting about our lives in Dubai and our lives back home. Once we walked far enough we sat down in a thai restaurant located down by the harbour, and I enjoyed a huge glass of wine. It was nice to be in different surroundings, watching all the people walk by just ‘doing’ life.

Sydney made me understand why so many people from the UK move to Australia. I almost felt quite at home there. Everyone just seemed so chilled out and content with life. It’s definitely something I would consider in the future (no plans just yet). The day seemed to pass so quick and I had to think about resting for the long flight home early the next day. Long haul flights are really tough, especially when it’s your first operational and you have barely any idea what you’re doing. Luckily I had the pleasure of working with some fantastic crew who really helped me through the flight.

After some trashy TV and room service it was time to sleep before heading back to Dubai. The layovers go so fast and before you know it you’re on your way home. Australia is definitely somewhere I would like to see more of so hopefully there will be more flights in the near future. 

IMG_3221.JPG

So I finally got the e-mail.. dreading it I certainly was because you have no idea what to expect. Crew accommodation is situated all over Dubai and where you get located is a huge deal. I made so many friends living in the hotel and now we are all separated into different apartments all over the city. Luckily I received the e-mail and got extremely lucky. I live only one metro stop away from Mall of the Emirates which is definitely a bad thing for a self confessed shoppaholic. I also live only a short taxi ride away from the Marina so for dining out and nights out it’s a great location to live in. It’s far from work but the journey is bearable. I’ve lived here for around 3 weeks now and I’ve still not met one of my flat mates. I know she’s from Mexico but that’s all I really know. I find it kind of weird that I’m sharing a kitchen and air conditioning with a girl I’ve never met. I also live with a Romanian girl who is quite a bit older than me and has worked in the company for four years. I feel as though we aren’t going to become best friends any time soon but I’m okay with that.

Nevertheless, I love my new apartment, my room is like my little cave where I catch up on sleep and watch endless episodes of The Walking Dead. I feel as though it’s important to continue to make a conscious effort to meet up with people I’ve become friends with, otherwise life in Dubai can become very lonely. But making plans with friends often means eating lots of food or going out drinking, and so far the gym and me haven’t been reunited. Tasting everything that comes into sight on the aircraft is becoming far too much of an often occurrence. I either need to slow down on what’s going into my mouth or crack the whip and get back on that treadmill. Either way, something has got to change.

IMG_3133.JPG

Spending days off with friends at Andreea’s Beach and Horizon Lounge Rooftop Pool, where crew receive free entry and 40% off food and beverages. If you’re feeling like chilling out and catching up on a poolside nap this is definitely my favourite place to do it.

Next stop was Bangkok, this was a destination I was super excited for, as I’ve never been to Thailand and had no idea what to expect. I made a huge mistake on the way over and didn’t get enough sleep before the night flight. I became very drowsy and started to get a sore throat. I tried drinking plenty of water but it’s easy to forget and coffee seems like your best friend when your eye lids are closing down on you.

It was mid morning when we arrived in Bangkok and I felt terrible. I got to the hotel, pulled my hair out of it’s tight up-do and wiped the make-up from my face. I literally sunk into the double bed and fell straight to sleep. I woke up a few hours later and I felt horrendous. I opened my mouth and took a look in the mirror, the back of my throat was so swollen. I knew this was the beginning of a long road to tonsillitis. I’ve had tonsillitis many times before and I can definitely tell the difference between a lousy sore throat and this absolute killer which I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I quickly got dressed and headed to the streets of Bangkok in search of some antibiotics.

I left the hotel and kind of just planned in my head that if I walked in a straight line down the road I can’t possibly get lost. So I did and eventually I came across a pharmacy which was situated amongst rows and rows of stalls selling street food. I was hungry but I wasn’t sure that was going to be the best thing for me. I bought some antibiotics and carried on walking in search of a clean looking local restaurant where I could enjoy a Thai curry. As I was walking along the streets of Bangkok I kept experiencing this eye watering whiff of what I can only describe as sewage. It was literally so unbearable I was having to hold my breath until I thought it might be safe to let go.

I saw a restaurant across the road from a mall and thought “let’s give it a go”. There was a few tables occupied so I thought it can’t be that bad. I walked in and asked if I could sit on the rooftop thinking it would be filled with people drinking Thai beer, enjoying the breeze, listening to a DJ or something, I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was dead, not a sole to be seen. Not to mention I had a sweat on from quickly walking up the four flights of stairs eager to see what was going on. I got to the top and thought to myself, I’ve make a huge mistake. But you know when it feels too late? Like there’s not much you can do because it’s shameful to walk out now. Anyway I ordered myself a curry and a beer (even though antibiotics and alcohol don’t mix well, I felt like I deserved it) and headed back downstairs to the main restaurant passing some weird looking rooms in-between. I waited for about 15 minutes then I’m not even joking I had the most incredible curry, literally faultless. It was so good, I couldn’t believe my luck. For the life of me I can’t remember the name but I know exactly where it is and next time I go to Bangkok I’m going to head straight back there. It was so cheap as well, I treat myself to a foot massage afterwards and for the beer, curry and foot massage I paid less than £20 I almost felt like a criminal. I thought surely that can’t be right, I can’t leave without paying the full amount.

That night I went back to my hotel and I was up all night, I was hot then I was cold. My throat felt like it was closing up and swallowing was such a challenge. It sounds very dramatic but I was in a lot of pain. I had a turn around flight to Hong Kong the following day and then another 24 hours in Bangkok before returning back to Dubai. It was still my first month of flying and I didn’t want to start calling in sick. I rarely did it at home when I worked part time or miss a day of uni, it just wasn’t really like me. After maybe two or three hours at most of sleep I got up and started getting ready for work. I felt so weak and frail but I didn’t even know how to call in sick so I just went anyway. It was a long and tough day but I managed to get through it seeing only the airport at Hong Kong which really disappointed me as I have a friend who is studying there for a year and it would’ve been so nice to see him.

I plunged myself back into my freshly cleaned hotel room bed and slept like a baby, after taking another dosage of pain relief. When I woke up the following day it was such a relief to finally start to feel myself again.

This flight was unusual for me because I didn’t really feel as though I connected with any of the crew members, partially because I wasn’t feeling great so probably wasn’t acting myself but also because I kind of just wanted to be left alone. Don’t get me wrong if I wanted to hang out with anyone I most certainly could of, but I just wanted to be within my own company.

I left the hotel that afternoon in search of a taxi, I wanted to go to The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. So I got talking to a guy who owned a tuk-tuk and he offered to take me. Although I was a bit wary because I’d been warned not to use tuk-tuks as they can over charge you, I negotiated a price and hopped in. The guy was so friendly and even came back for me an hour later to take me home. I asked him if he could take me to a restaurant where I could eat some local food. His English wasn’t great so he rang his friend and asked me to explain what I wanted to him, as his English was much more developed. Through the awkward communication I arrived at a little outdoor restaurant where the staff were very friendly and the food was very nice. A group of British boys sat at a table near me and I could tell by the way they kept staring at me they were wondering what I was doing there by myself. I don’t think I particularity looked like a back packer so I suppose it could be quite confusing.

As we pulled up at the hotel the driver quickly scribbled down on a piece of scrap paper his telephone number. He told me, in the best English he could, that if I was to ever come back to Bangkok please will I call him and he’ll take me where I need to go. I took the piece of paper, and I was so happy, I almost felt like I’d made a new friend and it would be so nice to go back and see him again. It’s nice when you meet someone in a strange city who you feel like you could trust to drive you around, because as tourists it’s so easy to get over charged or conned into paying too much. 

IMG_3286.JPG

After spending a few days in Bangkok I returned to Dubai early hours in the morning. I was so excited to be back as my Mum and Dad had landed earlier that day and I was meeting them for dinner. First I needed sleep so I would be on top form to see them for the first time in three months. After I regained some much needed energy I jumped on the metro and headed to the other side of Dubai. The journey felt like a lifetime, I was so eager to get there and see them. Finally when I saw my mum it was exactly like when I left her the day I moved. She hugged me so hard and didn’t let me go for ages, we both cried and kind of laughed at the fact we were crying. The three of us just talked for hours, we had so much to tell each other. They were only staying for one night before heading onto a cricket tour around India, so I knew it was going to be short and sweet.

That night we took a taxi to Zuma which is a Japanese restaurant in Dubai. Everything about it is incredible. The food, drinks, atmosphere, the staff, all of it was so good. Not to mention the company I was in. We had the best time catching up and I would highly recommend the black cod, it was heavenly. Leaving was so tough, almost as difficult as when I first left but this time I was leaving them for a place I can kind of call home now. We each got in separate taxis to part ways and I cried most of the way home until, and this is no word of a lie, the taxi driver smacked me over the head, asked why I was crying, told me he hadn’t seen his mother in almost three years and that I shouldn’t show my feeling so much. I honestly couldn’t believe it and I couldn’t wait to get out of the taxi. I went straight to bed when I got back, feeling worse than ever. Although I felt much better when I woke up, as if it was all a dream.

IMG_3290.JPG

The next and final stop of my first month of flying was Beijing. Similar to Bangkok I’d never been before so I was excited to see what it would be like. I had already done my research and knew I wanted to go and see the great wall of China. Luckily as soon as I entered the briefing room before the flight a girl who was also from the UK was trying to recruit crew to go with her. In the end only three of us took the 1 and a half hour trip from our hotel and enjoyed a fun day out. We took a cable cart up to the wall where the views were incredible. Luckily we had a dry, wind-free, clear day to enjoy walking parts of the wall (not all of it, time as cabin crew is limited) and taking some pictures. We also got to take a slide down back to the bottom which was fun.

IMG_3354.JPG

I like stepping out of Dubai into cold countries, especially at this time of year when Christmas is approaching. It’s nice just to feel something different and even being able to dress slightly differently.

Since going to Beijing I spoke to a friend of mine who wrote an assignment on the city. She told me some interesting things about Beijing which has made me want to continue researching it’s past. I felt like the city gave off a very sad and distant vibe. Although the weather was cold, which may have contributed to the fact people seemed unfriendly that’s the sort of vibe I gathered.

Some of the crew went to the Forbidden City, so if I ever got the chance to go back to Beijing I would definitely go there, they seemed to enjoy themselves too. 

I must admit, I think Beijing was the most challenging flight I’ve experienced so far, solely due to the language barrier. Very few people could speak English and as it’s my only language, it’s difficult for me to communicate with non-english speakers. I think it was just as frustrating for the customers as they tried to explain things to me which I didn’t understand. Luckily on every flight we have at least one member of cabin crew who can speak the local language, not to mention all the other languages that are combined amongst crew. This enables a strong line of communication between both crew and customers.

..And that brings my first month of flying to a close. It’s been a crazy first month but I’ve loved it.

Nicola x

Paris sil’vous plait

This week has just been the most surreal week of my life. I’ve flown to Jeddah and Paris and it’s a relief to say I loved it. This job is so unpredictable, of course in a good way, but even after training you just don’t know wether or not you’re going to really love it.

I just remember feeling this excitement as I greeted passengers onto the plane. My cheeks were hurting because I was grinning that much. Customers had a level of respect towards me which was very pleasant because it immediately set a positive tone to the flight.

My flight to Jeddah was very short so I found it difficult to bond with other members of crew and really be able to excel my learning capabilities. Nevertheless I got stuck in and tried my best. I much preferred the longer flight to Paris because there was more time for mistakes and questions so I felt as though I learnt far more.

When we arrived in Paris it was 8am local time and I had been up all night working. I didn’t feel particularly tired when I arrived at the hotel I was just excited to be doing my first lay over. We stayed in a beautiful 4 star hotel near the Charles de Gaulle airport and when we arrived I was given an allowance in an envelope, it was so exciting. I just kept thinking that the perks keep on coming.

After a few hours nap a few of us took a taxi into the city. Unfortunately crew who have been doing this job for years sometimes prefer to hang out in their room, maybe order some room service. Which is fine, but it was my first lay over and I was dying to get out and explore Paris. Luckily there was a few crew members up for joining me, but if they weren’t I was determined to go and see the city alone. I’ve heard it’s quite common that some crew don’t want to do a lot on their layovers so I guess I better get used to it. 

We had a fantastic day walking around the city, drinking wine and eating crepes. The day went by like a flash but I had so much fun. On our way back to the hotel we stopped off at a shopping mall near the airport called Aéroville. I wish I could’ve spent longer in shopping, but I just had enough time to buy some cheese and wine, ready for my sister visiting me in Dubai the following day. I would highly recommend checking out this mall if you haven’t got a lot of time, or you’d rather not go into the city as it’s quite far.

It was time to head back to Dubai, and I was beyond excited because my sister was arriving later that evening. She planned to spend a few days visiting me before heading to Asia to travel for 6 weeks. I haven’t seen her since I moved to Dubai and Skype just isn’t the same.

Nicola x

IMG_3161.JPG

The Beginning Of A Bright Future

So the day is finally here! I’ve completed 8 weeks of intense training at the aviation college and now I’m ready to fly. I’ve enjoyed a couple of days to myself, preparing for my upcoming flights. Luckily we get two supy flights, one on each aircraft, where we have an opportunity to observe the crew and ask as many questions as we need to. We also get to sit in the cockpit for take-off and landing which makes me super excited.

My first months rosta is very impressive so I’m very excited. I’m lucky enough to fly to Jeddah, Paris, Sydney, Karachi, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Beijing all in one month. I’m particularly excited to fly to Bangkok because I’ve never been to Thailand before. The flight isn’t until the end of the month, so I have a few destinations to travel to before then.

I literally have no idea what to expect. You hear so many rumours on a daily basis, but I guess every flight is going to be a completely different experience. The crew, customers and the actual flight will make all the difference every time.

It’s still hard to believe training is finally over. It seems like only days ago I was writing my first blog post with such excitement because I’d arrived in the big city. Dubai definitely feels more like home now, and I’ve really started to settle in and make some life long friends. I’m not going to pretend training was easy because it was defiantly a challenge. But I kept telling myself anything worth having is going to be tough. There was days where I missed my family and friends, but once I got past the feeling there was always something to keep my occupied and interested in.

This is just the beginning of a new chapter in my life and its safe to say I’m beyond excited, privileged and extremely proud of myself. Bring on the future!

Nicola x

Now You Know Where I Belong

Finally I’m wearing one of the most globally recognised uniforms in the world. I feel so proud of myself. The 2nd September, where this all started, seems like a lifetime ago. I could barely recognise my batch mates, everybody looked so smart.

IMG_2716.JPG

Now that I’m into my 6th week, a day learning about the brands image and uniform takes place. The things you learn regarding the actual brand are very precise. Since I studied International Fashion Promotion at university, I feel as though I have some background knowledge in the importance of a brands image. I strongly agree that it’s important to reinforce particular rules indicating what’s acceptable and what’s not. For example, if airlines allowed cabin crew to wear nail varnish, without specifying exactly what colours are acceptable, there would always be one individual who would step over the line. Someone would appear sporting a set of luminous, traffic cone, orange stiletto acrylic nails.. and lets face it thats not an image a global company want to portray. So I completely understand.

When you see cabin crew walking through the airport dressed in unison it creates such a strong, jaw dropping effect. The trainers say people from all over the world approach you asking if they can take a picture with you, I think that’s incredible.

During image and uniform we also learnt a little bit about food and nutrition. Since I arrived in Dubai I’ve been hitting the gym 3-5 times a week and eating the best that I can (minus the weekends where I go a little crazy). The months leading up to my departure to Dubai I wasn’t working out, I became quite lazy and spent a lot of time eating and drinking out with friends. This was partially to celebrate my new career, but no one needs 25 leaving meals that begin three months before leaving do they? So it’s fair to say I gained a few pounds and I’m trying to loose them and maybe some more. But during image and uniform the trainers were trying to recommend that exercise and a heathy diet makes all the difference to your health, appearance and mood, which is extremely important in this job. I intend to try my best to watch what I eat and continue to exercise regularly. Watch me over the coming months eating my words.. literally!

Nicola x

IMG_3004.JPG

IMG_2701.JPG

Sailing Through My Saturday

At the moment the weekends are my saviour. Something to distract myself from work and to  gain some sanity in between. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying myself, but there’s days which test my strength and ability which gets me feeling homesick.

Going out with friends here is so different to what I’m used to back home. A group of people can come from all over the world rather than just one tiny city in the North of England. I miss my friends so much but the conversations are completely unique once you take away the element of common ground. It’s fascinating what you can learn from what can be considered a throw away conversation.

IMG_2698.JPG

IMG_2526.JPG

I come from a really small city in England where there’s very few people who undertake opportunities like this so before moving to Dubai I didn’t know anyone. This didn’t scare me because I figured everyone would be in the same position, but recently I’ve been feeling as though it would be nice to hang out with familiar faces. Luckily for me a friend of my Dad’s introduced me to a friend of his  while he was over here on holiday. I was delighted to hear she owns her own salon called Essential Beauty in the Jumeirah area because my nails were in desperate need of some TLC. The lady also happened to have a 26 year old daughter who has lived in Dubai for the majority of her life and suggested we should go out some time.

This weekend I took her up on her offer and I was able to spend some time talking about regular stuff other than aircrafts and cabin crew. I’m not going to lie, it was nice to have a break. After some lunch and a laze on the beach we went to her apartment to get ready for some drinks. I was completely taken back when I walked in the door to see a sphinx cat. It was like she had applied hair removal cream to the little creature and I was kind of stunned. But to my surprise this cat behaved like a dog, he was insanely friendly and constantly looked at me in understanding with what I was doing, it was bizarre. It was lovely to be around animals though, I really miss my dogs. There’s something homely about being in the presence of pets and although I thought I didn’t really like cats, this little guy has proven me wrong. I even googled ‘places in Dubai you can play with puppies’ afterwards. No luck yet but when I find somewhere I’ll let you know.

IMG_2467.JPG

IMG_2472.JPG

This weekend only got better. I’ve grown up regularly hearing the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” and it’s so true. A Brazilian friend of mine who has spent the last 8 years living and working in Vegas introduced me to a friend of his. To put it bluntly this guy had money to burn… Anyway he invited a group of us to hang out on a boat on Saturday afternoon, swim in the ocean and watch the sun go down, so obviously I accepted and had the best day.

IMG_2552.JPG

Later that evening he took us to diner and we ate like royalty. Money isn’t coming in thick and fast at the moment and life before Dubai was spent waiting for student loans and working a part-time job. So as you can imagine I was more than grateful to accept some 5 star hospitality.

IMG_2559.JPG

TOP TIP if you’re thinking of following in my footsteps, I’d highly recommend bringing out some savings, the first few months aren’t easy on the cash front, especially if you’re like me and like to shop and go out at the weekends.

Nicola x