I am the only one smiling through the darkness of dawn. There is a bounce to my step as I walk briskly through the cold and past locals who are most definitely NOT as happy about “being at work.” I am working right now. Currently, that means looking for latte art in Dublin at 7:30am local time. My body doesn’t care about local time or any time for that matter. It’s just totally confused. Japan last week with one jet and company, and Europe this week with another has body and me dizzy. I want to be home. I really do…

The beautiful Lauren — Contract Corporate Flight Attendant

I can’t help but love this Flight Attendant Life. It’s a crazy, wonderful, terrible and amazing addiction; one that feeds a curious soul and fuels my sense of wonder.

As a contract corporate flight attendant, I am paid the same on a flight day as I am paid on a layover day. The very important stipulation attached to my paychecks is that I must be away from home. If I am away from home, than I am earning money. Working can mean drinking a coffee in Dublin, going to dinner with my pilots in Japan, or having a drink and playing scrabble with a date in the UK. Strangely, I only date abroad nowadays. I have more time on my layovers than I do when I am home. Because, I’m literally never home. On a positive note, I always wanted to live abroad.

All I’m living is layover life. Can’t help but love it.

Recently, I’ve been away. Like AWAAAAY. Like an insane amount of away. A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I have successfully achieved an entirely new level of job stress. It’s a level of stress that has me no longer feeling much of anything. I feel numb. Too tired to worry so much. Not caring if they love me or hate me anymore. I get anxiety over the phone calls for more work instead of fearing my career has ended each month.

Everyone has problems. I have the best problems.

I am blessed to be working like I am and having the chances that I do. I am not the girl you should look at and say, I want her life. Don’t want to be me. Be you, work hard, and know that there is always room for everyone to succeed. There is room for your dream and my dream and her dream and his dream. 

The trips I have been getting and the level I have been operating at is both NOT sustainable and highly unlikely. I basically risked all, played my luck, and won the flight attendant lottery. For now. I love this space and place and worked so hard to live a life that I am so excited about, but I have more dreams and goals— aspirations that are getting squashed out by my workaholic nature.

I never knew I would be this way as a corporate flight attendant. After the airlines, I wanted to work less and not more. The thing is, I don’t pay for travel and I get to interact with some of the smartest, most successful people on the planet. It’s difficult to say no to opportunities so enticing and as beneficial as what I have now. I work less for the money and more for the experience.

I wander foreign cities and live my life abroad, and you know what? It’s pretty fantastic. Wonderful, but I want my home. I want more simplicity. More stability. I want to stop working so much. I just want rest and peace and a quiet day by the ocean.

Instead of going to the most touristy Dublin thing, I take a Barre fitness class (and get my ass handed to me) and eat a Buddha Bowl and drink a pretty cappuccino— because those are my at home favorites. I would love to go to a fitness class at home, but since it’s not possible, I decide to do it here. Here can be good, too. And if it doesn’t always feel good, I’ll just try to see the good in it.

I have control over how much I travel and work. I know many flight attendants who don’t have that luxury. I can tell you that 100 percent sucks. I’m homesick AF while simultaneously making the most of every moment. And it’s mostly what I choose. I’m sorry if much of your life feels out of your control right now. If your schedule seems overwhelming— you’re exhausted, overworked, and homesick, just know it won’t last forever. And remember, there is a reason you are where you are doing what you do.

So be you and do your life well. 

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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