My job is just about exploring exotic places around the world.
Although I love my job and wouldn’t trade it for anything, I know that the flight attendant lifestyle isn’t all glitter and glamour.
Instagram photos of cabin crew may show that we’re always braving the great outdoors, but our lives are a little less adventurous and a lot lonelier.
If you have those low days as a flight attendant, you’re not alone.
Read the story below of a scenario every single flight attendant goes through – no exceptions.
Doesn’t That Come With The Flight Attendant Lifestyle?
“Tonight I got to my hotel. I went upstairs to an empty hotel room, changed, unpacked the things I needed out of my bag and got my uniform ready for my 4:15 am pickup tomorrow morning.
I grabbed my portable phone charger, my book, my hotel room card, and went downstairs.
I went to the hotel restaurant and the hostess looked at me and asked,
“How many this evening?”
“Just one, please.”
I sat down at the table as the hostess cleared away the remaining 3 sets of silverware and set the menu in front of me.
After she left, I sat for a second and stared at the mostly empty restaurant surrounding me in a random airport hotel in Columbus, Ohio. I looked at the single menu and set of silverware.
And for a split second I’ve never felt more lonely in my life.
I write this not to ask for your pity. I don’t want you to say, “I’m sorry”, or, “Well, doesn’t that come with the territory of your job?”.
I’m writing this because in that exact moment I saw the face of every single person that I wished could be sitting at that table with me.
As I picked up my book and tried to ignore the silence around me, I was also trying to ignore the longing in me for not just any human companionship, but the companionship of those who mean the world to me.
I’ve heard so many people tell me that I live an envious lifestyle. That in their eyes it’s “glamorous”.
My job requires a passport and in my short 25 years of life, I’ve been blessed to see and experience more than most. I’m not blind to this fact. I’ve never for one second doubted that I’m blessed. I thank God everyday for what I have.
But tonight, as I sat and ate my dinner alone in a city filled with nothing but strangers, I’ve never wanted the simple luxuries of home more. I wanted my family. My mom, my dad, and my fiancé. I wanted my crazy cats. I wanted familiarity. I wanted an old conversation and not just cordial pleasantries.
I live a crazy, adventurous life. Filled with hilarious stories, amazing sights, and numerous passport stamps. But no matter how many people I see on a daily basis, it can be a very lonely life.
So tonight – when you sit around the table with your loved ones and you laugh at each other’s stories and share your frustrations and delights about your day – remember that you’re blessed too.
Don’t take that for granted.
This story was written by Aninka van Staden and first appeared on her Facebook page.
[Featured crew: Bryan, posted with permission]