Wednesday, December 10, 2014

In The Middle

I learned in many of my University writing classes, the best place for any writer to start a story was in the middle. Before leaving Toronto, I was in the middle of growing up, in the middle of realizing how much I loved home, and in the middle of figuring out how good I had it.

I stepped into my backyard really quickly, to wipe away a couple tears that escaped after talking to my uncle. I inhaled the cold Canadian air and looked back inside to all my aunts and uncles sitting around the kitchen. I often miss these family parties and the chance to see all my titas, titos and cousins due to work and school. Being an only child, I looked forward to these gatherings since these cousins were the closest I’d have to siblings. But as much as I always wanted a brother, a sister or a bigger family, I know my parents were more than enough of the immediate family I needed. I spent many moments taking for granted home cooked meals, family mall strolls, my mom’s fruit shakes and the roof above my head.

And under that roof, amongst the many rooms are all my things, scattered and waiting to be selected, folded and packed into a suitcase. The suitcases remained empty until the last few days, because the rest of my time was spent hanging out wherever and whenever I could. I knew I had amazing friends, but I didn’t realize how amazing until I walked into a restaurant expecting a quiet dinner, to a table filled with all my girlfriends. Imagine still being close with someone you’ve known since kindergarten, your first, ever, best friend whom you played Barbies with all the time. Some I’ve known since the second and fifth grade and a few since the beginning of high school. Growing up is tough with gossip and fights and different schools with different schedules, but we always managed to remain friends and act as if the last time we saw each other was just yesterday. These were my girls. We grew up together. And there they were, with a cake saying bon voyage and this heartwarming surprise.

After a few glasses of wine, they made me think a spontaneous night was in order. They pretended to brainstorm places and came to a not-so-random conclusion of a nearby bar. I was excited for what reminded me of our high school days where we hopped into a car, going nowhere in particular and somehow still had fun. We arrived at Bier Markt, walked through the crowd and kept bumping into familiar face after familiar face. My favourite girls brought together all my favourite guys and there I was standing amongst all my favourite people.

The last few weeks made me realize how much I didn’t want to leave, in the middle of preparing to leave. This wasn't just your ordinary vacation/adventure, this was a new job in a new world, all on my own. It was becoming harder and harder to pack my suitcase and zip it up. Up until now, I think about how I want to stay close to my family and friends, but I need to break out of my comfort zone; how I want to continue being my parent’s little girl, but I need to grow up; how I would not feel this emotional if I had just stayed home, but I need to be stronger.

And in all that happened my last day at home, I was torn in the middle of what I want and what I need.

As much as I get home sick quite often, I need to put a bookmark in the middle of my favourite book titled home. A book filled with all these significant places and characters that hold so much importance. For now, I’ll experience this world a bit, return back soon and pick up right where we left off.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Here, There and Everywhere

It all started approaching my last days in University. Luckily for me, I only had 1 final exam to study for. Now as easy as that sounds, I knew once I handed that in, I had a whole life ahead of me to start worrying about.

I contemplated my years and years working in retail and knew I had so much more to offer than just bagging clothes, selling a TV or arguing with a customer about discounts. I dolled up my resume and applied for countless positions surrounding travel, social media, marketing, and some positions that brought all three together. Nothing was taking the bait. I wanted to finally work for something I was passionate about, and not some mindless, robot-like job, scanning barcodes one after the other. It just wasn’t me.

Then, there it was, an Emirates Cabin Crew posting appeared in my search and the open day was less than 2 weeks away. I thought, why not? It wouldn’t hurt to try. Becoming a flight attendant was always a thought but many of the Canadian airlines required a second language such as French, which I lacked and the idea was soon dismissed. However, getting paid to travel was pretty much the ultimate goal. So, I went for it.

I didn’t know what to expect as I walked into one of Sheraton’s conference rooms filled with over 300 people. I received plenty of helpful tips from current cabin crew members, all of which can be found all over the Internet. It was basically a ‘be on your best behaviour, look interested and dress sharp’ kind of day, as you were being analyzed and watched by the recruitment team. The red lipstick is also a nice touch as it could probably give the recruitment team a sneak peak at what you’d look with the Emirates face on. And like I said in my previous post, you had seconds to make a first impression. I literally walked to the table, handed over my resume and smiled somewhere in between. I tried to squeeze in a, “How are you?” but my nerves took over. That evening, I received a call (first of many forms of communication from them) to return for the second day.

The rest of that process is pretty much history and the same type of process you’ll read on many blogs who's goal is to help you become an Emirates Cabin Crew. I’m not here for that. I’m here to share my experience, my story, how I felt along the way and what new adventures I’ll come to face. Because so far, being here for less than 2 weeks, I have plenty to share. It's not just about Emirates and the pleasure of working for such an amazing company while travelling all over the world, it's about me, myself and I… Travelling here, there and everywhere.

So here begins the story of my life in Dubai.