Last night, checking into the hotel in El Paso, there was no sense of relief, the thankfulness that I used to feel when I was on trips in Hawaii, where overnights were my escape from Crash Pad Life.  Landing in a city away from base meant a comfy bed, quiet room, and time to myself.  Last night, maybe because El Paso lies just across the border from one of the most dangerous cities in the world (it’s getting better), or because working in Ft Lauderdale just makes me miss my Honolulu flight attendant friends, I simply did not want to be in Texas.  I wanted to go home, home this time meaning, my very new Florida life.

El Paso Airport

Planes in El Paso

It’s not ‘home’ yet per se, but I have quickly settled in at my new address.  It’s a monolith of a building, with multiple towers, a pool, fitness center, and security guards that argue with me about guest parking passes.  The location is great- close to the airport, beach, and the cute shopping/restaurant district which reminds me of Abbott Kinney in Venice, California.

Las Olas By The River

My new neighborhood

The building is one of those fancy places where I have always wanted to live.  How I would love to trade Greta Rose (sorry babe) for one of the newer, prettier, and better working Beamers or Benzies that are parked in the garage.  It is Yuppie, but I have to admit I do like that, even if I don’t exactly fit that category.  To move in, a background check was required that I’m sure found out my favorite colors are turquoise and peachy pink, my first kiss was in high school, and that I really don’t like brussel sprouts (It’s probably a good thing that I don’t conduct background checks, because I would find out much too much irrelevant information).

It’s only been a week since I moved out to Florida, and although a whirlwind of unpacking, buying a car in a day, and going to work the next, I feel a sense of calm.  On Wednesday last week, Greta Rose and I were out driving, and I thought, “I think I could like it here.  Actually, I do like it.  I’m happy.  I could stay here longer than nine months.”

Pool days


And then the next day, I went to work…

So, I do love my job, but it’s not Hawaii flying.  It’s not my Hawaii friends.  I know I shouldn’t compare, but I can’t help it.  My work life in Hawaii, was my WHOLE life, and it was fun.  And exhausting.  And all consuming.  It was my best friends, every day, all of the time.  It was time in Maui.  It was being stuck in Honolulu.  It was long delays, turned into red eyes.  Flying was my entire life.  In Florida, I feel a normal that Hawaii never had.  I’ve stayed in the same bed for five nights in a row.  I’ve opened a dresser drawer and decided what to wear.  I’ve made my coffee at home, while chatting with one, or both, of my only two roommates.  I’ve cooked meals, and sat quietly alone in my room and read a book.  I’ve gone to the gym every day.  I have routine in my life, and weirdly, I have to admit, I’m loving it.

Vegan Flight Attendant Food

Just a little healthy, homemade lunch, at home:)

I’ve been accomplishing goals that have been neglected the last few months because of my lifestyle.  My life feels polar opposite to what Hawaii was, and I wonder how I ever survived so many months with so little sleep, and moving around so much.  I don’t like working out in Ft. Lauderdale yet.  Maybe I will, or maybe I never will, but for as many moments that I wish I wasn’t living on the East Coast, there is the intuition from my wiser self telling me that I’m gonna be just fine.

My friend Nate told me the other day about something he read, and I’m going to end with the thought, as I think it is appropriate.  He said that, when we make a choice about where we go in life, and what we do, it’s not so much about whether that choice was right or wrong, but it’s how we handle the decision, and our attitude after the choice has been made that makes the difference.

I have felt that moving from Hawaii to Florida was a mistake.  I know that there are good things about Florida, it’s just that it’s still new, unknown, and different.  It’s going to be an adventure discovering what the good things are, and for now, I’m enjoying routine as the new adventure.

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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