It’s almost dawn in Las Vegas. I’m staring out the window at the bright lights of the casinos, unable to sleep. Yesterday at this time I was at the airport in San Francisco, running between gates to catch a ride back up to Seattle. The day before that, I was riding the subway in Seoul, South Korea.
My body doesn’t know where in the world it is, but my heart is tuned to something more important: all the wonderful people in my life who life halfway around the globe and who I long to see.
It’s hard. It really is. Sometimes, at work, you remember some old inside joke between yourself and an old friend and you crack a smile. But no one understands the joke, and you long to pick up the phone and call someone who truly understands you.
But there are timezones. International date lines. Barriers.
One of my best friends from college lives in South Korea. Another lives in Japan. Other friends live in Brooklyn, Denver and Portland. My flight attendant friends live in California, New York and Salt Lake City. My family lives in the Midwest and my boyfriend lives on an island north of Seattle.
And as for me, I don’t feel as though I really live anywhere at all.
So what do I do?
I decide that home is where the heart is, and my heart is with my loved ones. So, I chase the pieces of my heart all over the world, hoping to somehow balance life and work and my jetlagged existence.
It sometimes seems like an impossible balancing act. Hopping from Salt Lake City to Seattle to Honolulu to Seoul to Jeju Island back to San Francisco and Seattle — all in just over a week. And all for the chance to hug people that I love … before jetting off again.
Relationships of all varieties are hard for flight attendants, and this job will make or break the bonds in your life.
But don’t give up. Make time for the people in your life, no matter where they live.
If that means jumpseating to Seoul to sing karaoke with your brother, jetting off to Florence for a lunch date or just staying at home to have dinner with your adopted grandparents — follow your heart and embrace your loved ones. I guarantee you won’t regret it.
It’s okay if everyone you love is scattered around the country — and the world. You’ll make a way to make time for them.
Follow @theeverydayjumpseater on Instagram, Facebook or the TheEverydayJumpseater.com for more advice on travel, life and how to jumpseat around the world!
writer // dreamer // adventurer // flight attendant