When the subject of travel and destination visits arise, I surprise most when I mention that I have never been to London.  That was until a few weeks ago when I went to visit Hilary, a summer camp and college friend, and also the creative genius behind The Flight Attendant Life logo.  Hilary and her husband have lived in England for over six years, and I had yet to take a trip to see them.  When she told me that I needed to stop by before she resumed her grad program in the fall, this time, I just couldn’t say no.

Flight Attendant in England

And so I took the trip.  It was wonderful.  I loved seeing a dear friend of mine, that I’ve known since I was ten, now in her married life, living an adventure, in a different corner of the world.  I loved that she could share her favorite places with me, and that we could see new ones together, picking up somewhere between where we left off, while also starting again at some place new.  She introduced me to Bournemouth, a seaside town in The UK where her and Daniel rent a dollhouse size flat, which is exactly as cute and cramped as it sounds.  What the place lacks in space, it makes up for by character and charm.

English flat

A Warm Welcome


Very English of Hilary

Married couple

Hilary & Daniel

We enjoyed the gardens at Kingston Lacy, ice cream at a country farm, visited castles, watched kite boarders, and saw the London sights.  I was thankful that I didn’t have to be my own tour guide, and that I wasn’t alone.  I didn’t have the energy to plan, and the purpose of the trip was to see Hilary more than catch a glimpse of The London Eye, Big Ben, or Westminster Abbey.  It was also fun to be in The UK a few days after the arrival of Baby Cambridge.

Ducks in the park

Barfard Ice Cream

Summer Dayz

Welcome royal baby

Welcome Baby

The London Eye

Sunny London

The Seaside

The English Seaside

Recently, very recently, I’ve hit a point of maturity, where I realize that although new places can cause awe and speechless amazement, there’s a specialness of friendship and settledness that no brick building will ever be able to match.  My friends and family make the stories worth telling, and the art of going away not so lonely.  But with the continual movement, my compass becomes skewed and my immune system compromised.  I feel constantly worn down and worn out.  The tempo at which my life has been playing out is not sustainable, and now, I’m not certain that I want it to be.  Travel has been my one true love and my constant, and wanting to place some separation between me and my favorite, causes a slight grimace.  It’s a bittersweet acknowledgment, as I would like to continue as the girl that has non-stop energy to go, always meeting new people, and repeating that cycle every month.  The unattached and the untouchable.  Free and alone.  Have I begun to step away from what I have so dutifully and thoughtfully created- my alter ego, The Flight Attendant Life?  Please tell me this isn’t true…

London Heathrow

So many take-offs and landings 

Kara Mulder

Thinking this through

Over the course of this year, a crush has stood out to me, because he has been the perfect example of someone liking the idea of me, but not actually liking me.  To encourage the no chance that I already have, I played up the girl that adventures.  I did this to an extreme, knowing full well that I’m of no interest to this person, but just the girl that he never has to worry about.  The girl that will be gone somewhere tomorrow.  I can’t be angry with him or others that think this way of me.  Such is life, and besides, how seriously can I be taken when I embody the epitome of free spirit?  True.  But, strangely, somewhere between Hawaii, Washington, Florida, California, Arizona, and London, I was faced with a new truth;  I would rather stay sometimes.  Maybe just go somewhere the day after tomorrow.  Maybe find home on the days in between.

And I want to stay who I was, but life is fluid, and people are as changing as the currents of my favorite California beach.  Experiential learning is how I learn best, and maybe that’s why travel is my favorite classroom.  The British Holiday was another time of reflection.  Granted, I didn’t learn what I expected, but that’s how it usually happens.  I’ll pay attention though, and you better believe that I have been taking notes.

Royal Guard

About the Author

Hello, I’m K. J. Watts, but my friends call me Kara. I fell into the sky and have worked as International cabin crew, on private jets as a corporate flight attendant, and earned an FAA Private Pilot Certificate. Over a decade ago, I started this blog, which developed into a love for writing and a debut memoir based on Flight Attendant Life. A California native, I now live in Sydney, Australia, where I enjoy spending time with my husband, writing, and surfing.

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