“Cheers to The Pretty Drifter…”

The bartender said this as he raised his can of RedBull and nodded ever so slightly in my direction.  I smiled, tilting my head as if his title for me was a surprise.  A ‘Pretty Drifter?‘  Was this who I was when people met me or what was assumed when I stuttered over the answer to the question of, “Where do you live?” I know that the people asking are expecting a simple one-word location. An address, possibly. An ability to put space in a place, but with me, I cannot communicate what also confuses. “Well…I don’t actually live anywhere,” is a typical beginning. Devon, a bubbly blonde girl throws her head back in amusement to this statement, laughing and sputtering. “That is quite possibly the best answer I have ever heard!” She obviously hasn’t spent much time around airline crew. I feel like not living anywhere or maybe living everywhere is typical of those living in airline land.

Or maybe it’s just my typical.

I’m in the middle of a five day trip, which is a very short pattern.  Some of my Thai Colleagues for this pairing are pushing 26 days away plus.  That’s a long time to be lugging suitcases all over the world; battling timezones, delays, and crew customs lines. To me though, I would rather battle that than figure out where to pay rent. Or settle.

What does that even mean— ‘settle’?  The advice is to “never settle” when in regards to love and relationships and then society expects me to want to do just that with every other part of my life? Settle into a job, a career, a place? I keep trying and making valiant attempts to make myself settle. I find myself failing miserably. I wonder if it’s that I haven’t met that person to make me want to stay or that place that will make me never want to leave. But really, there are places that I want to stay, places that my heart loves, and people that I would love to have a chance with; I just don’t know how to mix ‘The Pretty Drifter’ and ‘The Happy Homebody.’  Water and oil don’t mix.

I don’t want to be The Pretty Drifter because catching a drifter is next to impossible and two drifters together are trouble. That thing that I am told that happens to women when they get closer to 30 could actually be true. I’m kinda terrified this crazy, beautiful, odd flight attendant lifestyle will never stop. I love it, really, but at some point…I’m too old for this. And I would rather figure out I’m too old for this before my ovaries decide they are too old for that.  

I constantly think of my life in terms of what makes sense.  It doesn’t make sense to be based in Ft. Lauderdale and live in California. It doesn’t make sense to enter a contest to go to space or make a TV show or pay a lot of money for a web designer. But, what if most of what I want, and where I want to be does not make sense?!  Maybe I need to stop thinking about what makes sense because what my heart really, truly wants, does not make sense. If I had things my way, I would live back home in Hermosa full-time with Mom #2, finish writing my book, take a screenwriting class, and maybe date just one. And travel..because this girl will always need travel.

So Cheers To The Pretty Drifters out there.  Don’t ever settle.  Let’s do that which doesn’t make sense…  

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. As someone who has had a PO Box as their permanent address for a year, I can relate! Living everywhere and nowhere is a perfect way to phrase it. At times it feels like the constant uprootment of my life; other times it’s a convenient, free spirited and easy lifestyle. Certainly, it is always good for my flight attendant paycheck.
    However, all good (and not so good) things must come to an end, and I am searching for my next step, most likely in the direction of paying rent.

  2. I was wondering if you could give me some advice…I want to be a flight attendant when I get out of school. Now I know you don’t need college, but I wonder, would getting a degree still be worth it? Another question…is being a flight attendant worth it? I know I might not get paid much or have a lot of time off in the beginning, and possibly be on reserve, but I wouldn’t mind that. I don’t have any needs to tend to, to keep my on the ground, so I would be pretty flexible. Only thing is, when I get near 30 or so, I’d like to settle down…possibly a different job? Unless I could control my schedule after a few years, which I don’t think is that possible to be honest. Any help would be appreciated, thank you! 🙂

  3. I am so happy I found your blog, thank you for writing exactly what’s been on my mind. Cheers from a fellow “Pretty Drifter” in Dubai!

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