Although I haven’t been that happy in months, I struggle to “just quit.” Because it’s not like I’m completely unhappy. And, “If just a couple of things changed at work, I could be really happy.”

But, things are not changing, at least not in ways that will improve my overall sense of well-being. Scheduling refuses to fly me out of Los Angeles. I’m still commuting to Ft Lauderdale, with no hopes of a west coast base anytime soon. I can’t bid, trade, or drop my trips, and my pay rate will not see a significant increase any time soon. I don’t want to be a Senior (definition: the lead flight attendant on flights). I don’t want to fly with that crew member or work on this day.

So, what DO I want?

The simple, one-word answer is; freedom

The route to get there has been slightly more muddled.

My international airline lifestyle has been my identity for over two-and-a-half years. It’s gifted me more adventure than I could have ever anticipated, allowed me to meet some of the most interesting and kind people imaginable, made me grow up a bit more, and offered me a new understanding of cultures and a broader picture of flight attendant life in general. I’m so glad I did this, but this airline is not fitting into my future in the way that it once did. My goals and hopes have shifted. I want to pursue new opportunities and new adventures; one of those being private aviation. And to pursue those, I need to PURSUE those.

Griffin Bruehl Private Aviation

Griffin, showing us the private #falife.

I’ve quickly realized that staying as a commercial flight attendant while launching a career as a private cabin attendant is going to be quite impossible for me to do. If I’m attempting to maintain both, I don’t believe I will be as successful as I hope to be in private aviation (or as successful at either, for that matter). My airline life, instead of being a vehicle moving me forward, feels like a seatbelt holding me in a place of stagnancy and indifference. This isn’t who I envision myself as being. This isn’t who I envision myself as wanting to be.

But I’m scared.

I’m scared because the adventures I have now— I know them. I know I like them (for the most part), and I know where they take me. I don’t know what will come in private aviation (part of the appeal), and what exactly will replace the good that I have right now; the good that my airline brings into my life. I’m also scared I will miss my airline SO much— too much. Everyone always tells me you miss it when you leave.

I’m praying for courage.

Kara Mulder Flight Attendant

To move forward, I need to let go. I don’t know when the right time will be, but I’m beginning to understand— that for myself— I don’t think I will ever hit ‘the right time.’ At some point, I need to just do what I want to do. This is where I am. This is shedding an identity; leaving all that I know for all that I don’t know.

There is an incredible excitement in that. There is an incredible freedom.

Here is a video where I talk about what it’s like to go through the process of transition from commercial to private aviation, and how things are going for me. Check it out and subscribe to the YouTube Channel.

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.

  1. hi, Kara

    All your problem can be summarized by the Foreigners song “I Wanna Know What Love Is”. As an older single male (and decided to stay that way), I am the opposite. However, I’d really like to be a jet-setting FA like you. I am also close to Los Angeles. Maybe someday we’ll meet in…Oslo. (Yup, there is a reason why I put that city…(due to a pic of yours…)

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