Countries Visited (not including Turnarounds): Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, North Korea, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vatican City
London | Perth | Sydney | Melbourne
Seatguru - Most Comfy Seats On Any Airline
pprune.org - Pilot's rumour network
Kangaroo with a Sweet Tooth
Kronicles of Kris
The Adventures of Alle Malice
Joel's trek across Asia/Europe in a Hilux
Phil's Wine Site
I Can Has Cheezburger
The Flying Pinto
Girl on Raw
Things Bogans Like
Bobby at Up, Up and a Gay
Straight Guy in the Queer Skies
Skin by Falter
Friday, December 30, 2011It’s been quite a 2011 for me I must say. I feel as though this year I’ve seen change between becoming someone who has been here for ‘just a few years’ to ‘an experienced Dubai resident’. And I know it's somewhat of a cliche here in the blogging world, but I thought I'd do a summary post all the same.
Celebrating 5 Years
In February the blog hit the big 5 year mark. I didn’t think I’d even last 5 months. Many other blogs from others in this industry (some even from the same airline) pop up and disappear, and I never thought in the beginning that this was something I’d stick to. But the support from readers just blew me away and ultimately kept me going.
The Formspring Account
This blew up in size more than I could have ever dreamt of. The idea behind it was that people would ask me questions, then it would give me a few ideas as to what to write for my next post. Some of them did (The airline catering post is a great example) but mostly it’s a quick way for me to interact with you guys, as I really procrastinate with the email account nowadays.
Well they found out about the blog. Which as you can imagine led to a "Oh S**t” moment. But it also led to...
The Geneva Inaugural
Which was certainly an experience! A tough flight, both sectors full of management (including the President of the Airline) and non-stop posing and smiling. I must have done the Arabic Coffee service 5 times out of Dubai just so this one lady with a video camcorder could get the shot correct. The atmosphere amongst the crew was simply amazing, from the Captain to the Purser to the most junior Grade II. We were also invited to the gala dinner held on the same night we landed, the first ever inaugural crew to be invited, and we felt like celebs dressed in our cocktail gear, walking down a red carpet, wine and dined on the airline’s expense, which I have never experienced before. Mostly, especially in my old job at PCEC, I was the one serving the people who were wined and dined on their employee’s expense. We were lucky if we even had more than one choice at the buffet in the staff kitchen, let alone a 3 course meal. An amazing meal at that.
My inner 15 year old self almost squealed when I found out that Westlife were going to perform at the gala, and I even got to share the stage with them at some point! Talk about a good layover!
Geneva aside, I also operated flights to Amsterdam, Guangzhou and Copenhagen for the first time. Amsterdam was spent catching up with my mate Amy from my uni days, and Guangzhou was spent sleeping. Guangzhou was one of those unique Flight Attendant moments where you wake up in a strange bed and look around the room, think "Why am I not in my room?" then check the hotel stationary to find out where you REALLY are. And you all know what happened in Copenhagen...
Run Run Run...
The ultimate goal that I set myself for 2011 was to turn running from an occasional treadmill thing to a proper habit, and I’ve more than exceeded that this year. I never ran outdoors until I bought some sneakers during the Black Friday sales in New York, and I also bought a very basic pace monitor as well. It was probably the most motivating thing I could have done to kick my fitness into gear, and slowly but surely I started running more and more until it grew into an almost obsessive thing. First it was buying a new pair of Capri pants as my old ones were chaffing along the side seams. Then some good sports bras. Then more exercise pants and tank tops. Then a Garmin Forerunner for my birthday. Then it was trying out different recovery drink formulas and gels and energy bars that I would bring over from the US. Throughout all this I was pouring over my training log, seeing what was happening during my ‘off’ days, whether there was a correlation between poor running performance and lack of sleep, lack of good diet, too many flight hours. I love looking at the statistics and seeing how far I’ve come from a year ago, and I also feel that I’ve had less colds as well since taking it up and I have more energy during the morning and during flights as well, even night flights! Right now I’m booked to run my first ever 10km race at the Dubai Marathon, and whilst I don’t imagine myself having a cracking time, if I can just complete it it’ll mean the world to me because I know that I’ve come a very long way from what I was a year ago (running the 3km and getting beat by some very fit primary school kids), let alone from when I first moved here never having done any gym time before.
New Places Discovered
I don’t know why I didn’t do this more often – whenever I saw 4 or 5 days off in the roster, to book a mini holiday to Europe, somewhere I hadn’t been before. Riga, Reykjavik, Bergen and Vilnius. I had a ball, and took some great photos; I just hope I can do the same in 2012.
Eurovision - Dusseldorf 2011
By far the highlight of my year. I got to catch up with the friends that I made in Oslo and saw the rehearsals, went to the parties, hung out in the Press Centre, met some of the performers and had a great time. I’d love to repeat the experience in Baku, especially since I haven’t been to Azerbaijan before, but it’s looking somewhat unlikely at this stage so I guess I’ll just have to reminisce about my great week in Dusseldorf.
Looking forward to 2012
So what of 2012? Well I'm not going anywhere, this job is just too good to leave! But I have decided to bite the bullet and finally try to get my driver's license. I know I have lived quite well without it for the past 6 years here in Dubai, and could get around very easily with public transport when I was in Perth, but its been 10 years now since I first took my driving test in Perth and caught air over a roundabout, which scared me a bit. I think I am ready to take it on now. There will be frustration, there may even be tears, but I know this is something I have to do sooner or later and I may as well try it now.
On that note, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas (or other applicable holiday) and that you all have a wonderful New Year! :-D
Geneva photo credit to S. Perez 4 comments