Another Year Over.

Dec 30, 2009

Another year has gone by!! Seriously, where has the time gone? The past 12 months have flown by. 2010?! Really? I just got used to 2009.
What a year it was. Initially I was upset to see the end of 2008. I'd spent the majority of the year living as a backpacker, travelling through beautiful places like Australia and Fiji. I recall saying "This was the best year of my life, so next year will be a letdown in comparison". Not very optimistic thinking, but fortunately I was incorrect in my assumption. This year was amazing, and I think it's safe to say it surpassed 2008 as the best year of my life, so far.
I was no longer a backpacked, but I still traveled. I went to Mexico, Las Vegas, Ontario twice, and Vancouver 3 times, not to mention countless trips to the Rocky Mountains and a weekend in Radium, B.C. Oh, and then there was Dubai, but we'll get to that part in a minute.
I started dating the greatest guy in the entire world, and found myself falling in love. That in itself makes everything in life a little bit better.
I discovered that I actually have hobbies. I never missed a karaoke night, and I started a photo project called Project 365. I took a photo every single day of the year, and invested in my very own DSLR camera, which I love nearly as much as I love chocolate. Oh, right... I gave up chocolate for 46 days in total during Lent. I suffered the entire time, but once I was able to eat it again it had never tasted better.
After a few years of chasing my dreams, I actually achieved them this year. I've always dreamt of being a flight attendant... I didn't even care what airline, I just wanted to fly. By some stretch of incredible luck, I landed a job with Emirates Airline... one of the best airlines in the world (and that's not even a biased opinion, Google agrees). Not only am I training to be a flight attendant, but I'm working for a major international airline. Every time I go to work, I'll be flying to another country. One of the mottos that I've seen on Emirates Vacation buses is "Dreaming big, achieving bigger". That's exactly how I feel about this entire situation.
I moved to Dubai, where much to my satisfaction... there is no winter. I'm surrounded by palm trees and the sun radiates down every single day. There are beautiful beaches with clear blue water. The biggest shopping mall and tallest building in the world are a nice added bonus.
Like I said earlier... what a year.
I realized this year how important every single one of my friends and family members are to me. Without them, this year would not have been nearly as amazing. Even though my dream led me to the other side of the world, my mom and Ryan still came with me to Vancouver to support me during the interview process. Each and every one of my friends was happy for me and they threw a great surprise going away party. I couldn't ask for better people in my life. I'm the luckiest girl in the whole entire world!
So, as 2009 draws to an end, I'm looking forward to 2010 and all that it will bring... Paris? Tokyo? New York? Maybe, probably. In 2010 I'll be able to see Ryan, somewhere in this great big world, and come home to visit my friends and family. It's going to be another great year, I can sense it. Life is truly amazing, seize every single moment of every single day.

Emergency Training

Dec 28, 2009

It is now my second week here in the lovely city of Dubai. I've made great friends, become more comfortable with my surroundings, and learnt a wealth of information in training. Week 2 marks the beginning of the most critical phase of training - Safety and Emergency Procedures. In 2 weeks time I will know how to respond to any inflight emergency that I may encounter in my career. For those of you who may be reading this (Ahem - GRANDMA!) and worrying about my safety... calm down, take a deep breath, for your fear is unnecessary. Statistics show that a person is more likely to be killed in a car or train accident, or even by the United States Health Care System than they are to be killed in an incident involving an aircraft. We train for these emergencies in the HIGHLY unlikely event that they should occur. We won't likely ever have to apply our knowledge in a real life situation, but if required, we'll know what to do to save our passengers and ourselves. And no - they don't tell me to say that, it's not scripted. I honestly feel far more safe at 40,000 ft in the air than I do driving on the icy roads back home every single winter day.
Training is intense. We have homework every night, and exams most days. We sit in a class and learn theory... taking notes, watching videos... regular school stuff. The fun starts when we get to practically apply our knowledge. In front of our classmates and instructors, we demonstrate our capabilities in fast paced, high pressure situations. Sound intimidating? Heck yes. However, once you've successfully completed the exercise, you are left with a sense of satisfaction. Yay, I just saved lives!
Yesterday was our first day of safety training. We arrived in our class and immediately recognized that our every move was being watched. There were instructors glancing at us and scribbling notes. They pay attention to everything, so you must act professional at all times.
We spent the morning going through theory and then headed downstairs to the simulator... Excuse my unprofessionalism, but... SO COOL!! We watched our instructors simulate an evacuation, and we were the frantic passengers trying to escape. Later on, we learnt how to open the aircraft doors. Sounds simple, but there are quite a few steps to remember and the doors aren't light. We all made several mistakes and giggled the entire time, but our trainer was a bit lenient given the fact that it was our first attempt.
We were assigned homework for the first time, and spent last night cooped up in my room filling out my workbook. It's strange, having homework after a few years out of school.
Today it was our turn to evacuate the aircraft. We each had several tries and by lunch time my throat was sore from shouting commands as loud as I could all morning. The trainers are very serious and every mistake is made clear in front of the entire class, but it's quite the adrenaline rush. The highlight of the day was sliding down the emergency slide rafts. You've all seen them on the safety cards or videos and thought "Oh, that would be so fun!". I thought the same, until I found myself standing on the edge staring down the steep slide. With encouragement from our classmates, we each jumped bottoms-first onto the slides and slid down.
It was a very eventful, stressful, action-packed and exciting day. Now, on to complete my homework!

A Very Merry Dubai Christmas

Dec 25, 2009

Another Christmas has come and gone. All of that excitement, chaos, crowded shopping malls and build-up for that one day, and now it's gone for another year. I always feel a bit sad when it's all said and done. People return to their daily lives and the festive spirit diminishes. Farewell Christmas, until we meet again next year.
Christmas in Dubai was far from ordinary. Here is an average Christmas at home with the family:
I wake up, my brothers drag me to the tree where the family opens presents. The living room is a mess of wrapping paper as we sit in our pajamas eating chocolate. We eat breakfast together, call the Grandparents on the other side of Canada, and then go to shower and get ready. At night we eat dinner, preferably turkey and spend the rest of the evening singing karaoke and having cocktails. Ahh, Christmas.
This year, on the other hand, was far different. I woke up in my apartment, taking a few moments before realizing that it was in fact Christmas morning. My phone rang, and I was thrilled to be able to talk to Ryan for a few minutes. I headed to the living room to turn up the air conditioning and was happy to find a chocolate Santa on my door that my flatmate had left for me before her early morning flight home. I opened it up and bit Santa's head off, keeping up with my chocolate for breakfast tradition. I wandered the apartment, slightly bored. Eventually I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich and headed back to my room. My family called and I talked to my mom and brothers before they headed to bed. Ryan, however, stayed up the entire night. We spent hours talking on both the internet and phone, chatting about anything and everything that we could think of. Finally at 3:00 pm (4:00 am at home), Ryan fell asleep and I proceeded to get ready to meet Fran, Daniel, Naf and Darya (Australia, New Zealand, CALGARY and Russia). We hailed a taxi and headed to Dubai Mall, which is officially the biggest in the world. It seems no bigger than West Ed, until you take into account that it is spread over 4 floors. I was in awe, taking photos of everything. There is a huge aquarium that stretches the height of 2 floors, an Olympic sized skating rink, a Sega theme park, waterfalls, movie theaters, and a fountain show equivalent to Bellagio... however the tallest building in the world as a backdrop to the amazing display made it a bit more exciting than Las Vegas. We went to a very American inspired grill for Christmas dinner, where I dined on a deep dish pizza. I would have preferred turkey, but the pizza was quite delicious. After dinner we went to Baskin Robins for ice cream before rushing to see the fountain show. We were so amazed that we watched it 3 times. We were having a lot of fun, but unfortunately the past 2 weeks of early mornings have taken their toll and around 8:00 pm we were so tired that we could barely walk. We headed to a fancy hotel next to the mall to catch a taxi, rather than wait in the long line at the mall. Everything is so over the top in Dubai. The hotel was beautiful, and we wandered around the lobby trying to act as though we were guests, but we didn't do a great job of concealing our obvious amazement at the beauty of everything from the couches to the lights to the walls. We caught a taxi home, said goodnight, and I headed back to my room to talk to Ryan for a short while before falling asleep. I was of course a bit homesick at various points throughout the day, but keeping busy and being with people who were in the same boat made it a lot more bearable. It was a great day and a great night... despite being thousands of miles away from home.
I was also informed that Boxing Day DOES exist in Dubai, and today I plan to head back to the mall to participate in the shopping madness.

Merry Christmas!!

It's Christmas morning in Dubai, as I sit in my apartment all alone. My flatmate had a flight this morning and won't be back for a few days... lucky for her, she is headed home to be with her family. She was kind enough to leave a chocolate Santa by my door, which I quickly consumed for breakfast. This isn't my first Christmas away from home. In fact, that occured several years ago when I was only 15 and flew to Texas. In 2007 I spent Christmas on a beach in Sydney, Australia. So today I sit here in Dubai, spending Christmas out of the country and away from my family for the 3rd time. It never really gets easy, but I'm coping quite well today. Last night I was thrilled to recieve a delivery of beautiful roses from Ryan. It really helped to lift my spirits and bring back a bit of the Christmas spirit that I normally possess. It's a bit hard spending our first Christmas together, apart... but we've spent hours talking on the phone and online, so it makes it a lot easier. I've also spoke on the phone with my family, and I have to thank Mom, Dayton, Kaynyn, Carley, Titan, and most especially Ryan for getting together to take a photo for me... it means so much to me!
This afternoon I'm meeting up with a few friends to go to Dubai Mall (The biggest in the world!!) to distract ourselves from homesickness, find a nice restaurant, and have Christmas dinner as a "family".
Merry Christmas to all of my friends, family, and loyal blog followers. I love you all and hope that yo have a safe and happy holiday spent with the people that you love. Eat some turkey for me!!

A'salam Alikum (Hello)

Dec 21, 2009

It doesn't feel like it, but I've already been living in Dubai for an entire week! However, when you put homesickness into the picture, it feels more like a few months have gone by. I'm coping quite well, but as can be expected, I miss everyone. Most particularily Ryan, as I'm sure you can all understand. I made a trip to Ikea last night to stock up on cushions to fill the empty space in my bed, normally occupied by him. Some days are better than others... induction days are keeping me busy and I've made some good friends, but the distance takes it toll on me, emotionally. On the bright side, the day that we do see eachother again will be so amazing, even better than Christmas... which, by the way, is so soon! It's easy to forget, given the fact that I'm living here in the desert surrounded by people from so many nationalities, many of which don't even celebrate Christmas. I don't have plans as of yet, but hopefully I can find something fun to do that doesn't involve spending the day getting extremely intoxicated at a club. That rules out the British and Irish members of my group, as I overheard them planning a massive party Christmas Eve. I just want to go for a nice dinner, spend the day with fun people, and keep myself distracted. As this will be my third Christmas spent in another country, I'm well aware of the fact that homesickness strikes the hardest on Christmas Day, and while there is no escape, distractions through the duration of the day make it a whole lot easier to deal with.
As for Emirates, this week has been chaotic and hectic, but the real madness has yet to begin. Training officially starts next Sunday, and everything that I've done up to this point is all part of the induction period. Yesterday was another day of HR talks and being overloaded with information. As soon as we were done for the day, I headed to Festival City Shopping Mall with Kam, Frances, and Susan (from Thailand, Australia, and Ireland, respectively) to stock up on Ikea essentials. I bought some pillows, candles and fake flowers to make it feel a bit less like an empty room and a bit more like home. I also picked up a hair dryer after a week of air drying that was driving me absolutely insane. Unfortunately, I forgot to pick up some red lipstick... not that it suits me, nor that I enjoy wearing it... but it's a mandatory part of the Emirates uniform. Speaking of uniform, today was my uniform fitting! As I stood in the change room staring into the mirror, it once again dawned on me that my dream has come true. There I was, wearing a real flight attendant uniform, and not just a regular flight attendant... but Emirates! One of the best in the entire world, and I'm one of the priveledged people who gets a chance to say "I'm an Emirates cabin crew member". Oh geez, I'm giddy thinking about it. The uniform isn't exactly flattering, but I'm not trying to make a fashion statement. I'm here to work, on big beautiful airplanes, and essentially get paid to travel the world. Ahh, life is good.
Today was also our first day of learning information directly related to aviation. Everything until this point has been general information about Dubai and the company. We completed our first course in basic aeronautics... which covers everything from the forces that enable an aircraft to fly, to the fuel systems, electrical systems, communications and everything in between. We even learnt about the different types of clouds and all types of turbulence. It was all quite easy, as I completed a flight attendant training course a couple of years ago in hopes of getting a job with WestJet. Oh, WestJet, thank you for rejecting me... you've opened up much more exciting doors for me.
Later on was a course in Basic Arabic. I'm hopeless. I've studied French, Spanish, and Italian, but this is so much different and far more difficult. I don't know that I'll ever be able to tell a passenger to "Min fadlak orbot al hezam" (Please fasten your seatbelt), without reading it from a sheet of paper and pronouncing it horribly wrong. I can't even remember how to say hello half of the time. One thing I've mastered is "Shukran", which means thank you... I'll be super thankful, but I can't carry the conversation any further. I'm not too concerned, as the majority of the people living here speak English.
I'm always tired since I've been here. The mornings are so early and the days are so long, but it's good preparation for long haul flights that I'll be dealing with. That said, it's time to relax and get ready for bed, as my bus pickup time tomorrow is 6 am!

Touring Dubai and Goverment Medicals

Dec 19, 2009

I woke up at 5 am today, yet again. I need to start getting used to these early mornings given my career choice. Today was an easy day, requiring little to no thought. We started with a tour of Dubai, which was a nice introduction to our new city. First off, we were brought to Jumeriah Mosque, where we learnt a bit about the Islamic religion. It was actually pretty interesting, and useful information considering 80% of the population here is Muslim. Before entering the mosque we had to take off our shoes and all of us ladies had to don head scarves, sending us into a frenzy of photo taking and giggling. Not my typical look. After the mosque we did a tour from the bus, much to my frusturation as I always seemed to be on the wrong side for taking photos. It was still a good time though, as we ventured past Jumeriah Beach, the Burj Al Arab (the only 7 star hotel in the world), palaces of the royals, Palm Island, and of course... the Burj Dubai in its giant glory. We headed back to the Emirates Training College for a quick lunch break before the event that I'd been dreading... Goverment medicals. Every single person who moves to Dubai is required to take a blood test and an X-ray, despite having done both back in Canada. As you may have read in a previous blog... I do not cope with needles. I was stressing about the situation as we hopped onto the bus and drove out into what seemed the middle of nowhere to the medical clinic. Beyond the tall, fancy buildings that seem to define Dubai are the dingy outskirts that you don't hear about when you are in other countries. In the middle of a rundown labour camp is the Dubai Goverment Medical Clinic. Fortunately, it wasn't as dirty as the building surounding it, but it still didn't do much to calm my nerves. We sat for what felt like forever before our numbers were called, and 10 at a time we filed into a small, hot room. We were arranged into two single file line ups, divided male and female. At the front of the room was a nurse and a chair. At this point I was extremely dizzy, with the realization that not only was I unable to lie down, but that I'd have to get my blood taken in front of everyone in the room. I was not impressed with the situation. Before I knew it, it was my turn. "I'm really afraid of needles", I informed the nurse before I sat down. I closed my eyes and tried to think of happy thoughts... like chocolate bars and cuddling Ryan. I felt a tiny prick, and that was it. 5 seconds, at the most, which was far less than the last time I had to have blood taken. I got up to walk to the X-ray area, but halfway there everything went dark. Realizing that I was going to fall to the ground within seconds, I reached for the chair beside me and sat for a few minutes. All of the girls in training are so sweet. Cam from Thailand rushed to get me a bottle of mango juice which I downed in a matter of seconds. I managed to stand up and walk to the other side of the room, but while waiting in line I was overcome with dizziness and had to sit down, once again. I'm told that the color in my face didn't start to return for at least 20 minutes. I felt so embarrased, especially considering it was really not a big deal at all. It was chaotic and disorganized at the clinic, and took well over an hour before we were called into the X-ray room for a chest X-ray. That part was easy, and we were done for the day! Phew, I had survived! I've had about enough of needles and medicals, but unfortunately I've still got one more medical day to go next week. For any other job, I'd refuse even one blood test, but this is Emirates, this is a dream come true. But geez, why must they be such vampires?

Induction Day

Dec 17, 2009

Today was my first official day as an employee of Emirates Airline... "Induction Day". I was so worried that I'd sleep in and miss the bus at 6:30 am, but I ended up waking up every hour the entire night. I had such a hard time falling back asleep that I finally got up at 4 am and decided to start getting ready rather than lying restless in bed. I hopped into the shower where I quickly washed my hair, shivering the entire time. In order to have a hot shower here, you need to flick the switch outside of the washroom that says "Water Heater On". I hope that I will remember that for next time. Ryan called at 5 am as he'd promised... my very own wake up call. Fortunately, I was already awake so I was able to talk to him a few minutes longer. His phone bill is about to increase significantly, but I guess he's saving money by not going on weekly dates... not to mention, he is likely eating far more healthy without my negative dietary influences. After a few minutes of conversation, he was off to the gym as I applied layers of makeup... or so it seemed. The "less is more" when it comes to makeup thing really doesn't apply to flight attendants. Foundation, blush, and mascara are mandatory, and soon I'll have to accept the fact that red lipstick is also a part of the uniform. Bright red. I haven't reached that stage yet, so I put on the basics, pulled my hair back into the almightly flight attendant bun, and headed downstairs to wait for the bus. I was surprised and excited to find about 10 other people sitting in the lobby also waiting for the bus. I didn't realize that so many of us were all in the same apartment building, so it was a bit of a relief. We chatted away excitedly, and I met a girl from Argentina, Ireland, and Australia. Our bus finally arrived and we soon realized that we wouldn't all fit on just one. We tried cramming into it, but the driver made half of the people get out, and we drove away with 1/4 of the seats empty. We were quite confused, but glad that we weren't the ones left behind. We pulled up to another crew accomodation building and more people got on the bus before we proceeded to drive in circles for 30 minutes. At least it felt like it. We finally arrived at Emirates Training College, hopped off the bus, and stood for about 5 minutes before the driver told us to get back onboard and we continued to drive in circles. It felt like an hour, but we eventually reached Emirates Headquarters and were met inside and directed upstairs. It was a day of paperwork, as we filled out various medical and HR documents, signed our official contracts, met our Ab Initio training groups (I'm batch 1459... and I'm told that I'll get to know my group members so well in the next 6 weeks that they may as well be family) and listened to hours of talks covering everything from fire safety to acceptable image standards. We also recieved a pay advance, which is greatly needed at this point. I have been living off of snacks for a few days and I'm looking forward to buying groceries. I'm still struggling with converting the currency from Dirhams to Canadian Dollars, but I'm sure I'll understand eventually. If not, I get paid in Dirhams so I might as well get used to shopping in them as well!
It was a long day and the effects of jet lag were felt among the entire group. During our fire safety presentation, we caught several people struggling to stay awake, and even took a picture of our new friend, Dan, from New Zealand as he slept with his mouth wide open. It's going to be a long, tough 6 1/2 weeks.
At 4 pm we were finally done, and free to go home. I was happy to discover that my flatmate Marsha was home, and we introduced ourselves and talked for awhile. She has been here for nearly 3 years, and she is super nice. She gave me the run down on training, the pros and cons of the job, and became my best friend when she gave me the password for wireless internet.... Finally!! I proceeded to spend the next hour sending emails, catching up on Facebook, and being my usual nerdy self. Ryan called me at 6 pm, just as he was waking up to get ready for work. This time difference is so confusing sometimes. We talked for awhile before he realized that he was going to be late for work, yet again, so I let him go and ventured out of my room, where Marsha and her friend were eating pasta and were kind enough to share. Although I've been invited to several parties, I'm settling in for what is sure to be an early night... I'm exhausted! Friday here is the same as Sunday in Canada, thus no training. It feels like a great day for the beach!

Home Sweet Dubai!

Dec 16, 2009

Early Saturday morning, I headed to the airport with my mom, brother, and Ryan. The highway was covered in ice, so it was a long, slow drive but we made it eventually. We hauled my luggage inside and I checked in for my flight to Hamilton. So far, so good. I'd managed to avoid having an emotional breakdown much longer than I'd expected I would. My stepdad came to pick up my brother, and as I hugged them both goodbye, I laughed as I realized that he was crying. Big, tough Martin, crying? I held it together, convinced that I could make it without shedding a tear. When I reached security, it hit me that it was time to leave. As I hugged my mom and Ryan, I couldn't hold it in any longer.. I started crying, and I couldn't stop. I hesistated as I walked into security, waving goodbye for at least a few months. As I walked to my gate, the tears were streaming down my face and I didn't care that everybody was staring. I was sad, and considered running back out into the airport and begging my mom and Ryan to take me home. I knew that I had to go, so I boarded the plane and headed to Hamilton, where I spent 2 days with my family before my flight from Toronto on Monday.
Once I'd arrived at the Toronto airport, I was nervous and sad, but I finally felt a bit of excitement as I checked in and caught a glimpse of the giant A380 plane that I'd soon be boarding. Ahhh! Despite the sadness and homesickness, I couldn't forget that this had been my dream for years and that it was finally coming true. The flight was great. Despite being 12 hours, the time seemed to go quite fast and I managed to catch up on my chick flicks, watching 4 of them between sleeping. At 7:31 pm, I landed safely in Dubai, where the temperature was a perfect 23 degrees celsius. Everything seemed so surreal and I was overwhelmed. The Dubai airport is incredible... so beautiful. I found a lady holding a sign with my name on it and met Ayu from San Francisco, and Naf, from Calgary! We had to get an eye scan, and then we got our passports stamped and it was official. This was our new home. We met a lady from the HR department and she gave us a quick run down of what the next few days held in store for us, and then we were off to our new apartments. I live about 10 minutes from the airport, which I'm sure I'll appreciate when I start getting early morning flights. There was a note on my door from my roommate welcoming me home. She is from South Africa, and won't be home until Thursday morning, so I settled into my new place all alone. It's a nice apartment, and my room is huge! It lacks personality though, so I feel a trip to Ikea is neccessary as soon as possible.
Today was a day off. I met up with Naf, as he lives in the same apartment block, and we tried to catch a taxi to where Ayu lives, but apparently none of the drivers here know where that building is. After a long detour, we got the taxi driver to drop us off at our own apartments, called Ayu and told her to take the crew bus to meet us. Once she'd found us, we caught a taxi and headed to Emirates Mall. It was formerly the largest in the world, before they opened up a bigger one last year. I caught a glimpse of the Burj Al Arab and the Burj Dubai, which is insanely tall. I can't imagine standing at the top! Exhausted and jet lagged, we came home to relax before our induction day tomorrow. Let the insanity begin!!
I'm still homesick, and hoping that it will pass as I meet more people in the same situation. On the plus side... I live in Dubai!!

The Final Hours

Dec 10, 2009

37 hours from now I'll be boarding a plane, likely wiping my face that is sure to be soaked with tears. I'm still coming to terms with the fact that I have to say goodbye to my family, friends and the boy that I love. Right now it seems impossible. I know that once I arrive in Dubai, I'll be happy.This is after all, my dream job. Not a lot of people have the opportunity to actually live their dreams, and I've been blessed with the chance of a lifetime.
It's time to start living my dream, and start planning new dreams... like meeting up with Ryan in places like Tokyo and Paris. Life is amazing, but goodbye hurts my heart.

Emotional Rollercoaster

Nov 24, 2009

I'm not ready to go yet. I don't know if I ever will be. I don't know how I'm going to say goodbye.
This is my dream job. Everything that I've ever wanted.
But what about the dream boyfriend that I'm leaving here?
Life, why do you have to be so complicated sometimes?
Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to Dubai, and I'm still grateful for this amazing, amazing opportunity. I'm just a little bit of an emotional wreck right now, as could be expected.
P.S.... Friends and family, please don't feel neglected, I'm going to go crazy missing you as well.
Love you all. Thanks for supporting my dreams.

Vanilla Twilight

Nov 16, 2009

26 days from now I'll be boarding a plane, embarking on a huge journey that is guaranteed to change my life. It's been a couple of weeks and as the days until departure grow nearer, the entire situation has yet to sink in. I finally had an emotional breakdown this weekend. This has been a goal of mine for years, and I'm so thrilled and excited that I'll finally have achieved what most can only dream of. As I'm sure you can all imagine, leaving is bittersweet. For once in my life, I have a boyfriend that I care so much about, and I feel almost selfish leaving him here. I've heard so many negative comments about long distance relationships, but I try not to listen. There isn't a question in my mind as to whether we can make it work. I just worry about how I'll sleep each night with him on the other side of the world... how will I cope without goodnight kisses and cuddling during movies and spending every day with him? It's going to hurt, and it won't be easy. All I know is that it will be worth it.

I'm obsessed with Owl City, and recently this song has taken the top spot on my playlist.

Vanilla Twilight - Owl City

The stars lean down to kiss you and I lie awake and miss you.
Pour me a heavy dose of atmosphere.
'Cause I'll doze off safe and soundly, but I'll miss your arms around me,
I'd send a post card to you dear...
'Cause I wish you were here.

I'll watch the night turn light blue but it's not the same without you,
Because it takes two to whisper quietly.
The silence isn't so bad 'til I look at my hands and feel sad,
'Cause the spaces between my fingers are right where yours fit perfectly.
I'll find repose in new ways, though I haven't slept in two days
'Cause cold nostalgia chills me to the bone...
But drenched in vanilla twilight, I'll sit on the front porch all night,
Waist-deep in thought because when I think of you,
I don't feel so alone. I don't feel so alone.
I don't feel so alone.

As many times as I blink I'll think of you, tonight.
I'll think of you tonight.

When violet eyes get brighter and heavy wings grow lighter,
I'll taste the sky and feel alive again.
And I'll forget the world that I knew, but I swear I won't forget you.
Oh, if my voice could reach back through the past....
I'd whisper in your ear,
"Oh, darling I wish you were here"

Conquering My Biggest Fear.

Nov 13, 2009

Trembling with fear, I finally took the brave, grown up girl step and visited the dentist. To be honest, had it not been a requirement for the airline job, I probably would have procrastinated for at least another year. Sitting in the waiting room, I contemplated walking out, sacrificing my dream career, and never returning to the dentist ever again. When the hygenist called my name, I knew it was too late. I followed her down the hall, sat in the chair, and said a little prayer in my head. I don't know what it is, but I've hated visiting the dentist since I was a little girl. I fidgeted my fingers as I bit down for an X-ray. "Oh, you still have your wisdom teeth?!" The hygienist asked, seeming surprised. This was my worst fear. I'll take cavities, heck, give me a root canal, but leave my wisdom teeth where they are. I've grown quite fond of them since they grew in when I was 16. Since then, I've watched my friends and family suffer through wisdom tooth extractions, and heard horror stories of dry sockets and torn stitches. Please Mr. Dentist, don't take my beloved teeth. The X-rays were done and my teeth were on display on a monitor beside the chair. The dentist walked in, looked at my chart and said "Wow, I'm exactly 10 years and 3 days older than you!" Oh, lovely. Dear Mr. Dentist, I'm far too nervous for your stupid small talk. He peered into my mouth, poking at my teeth while he chattered away. "What have you been told about your wisdom teeth in the past?" He asked, "Have they ever bothered you?" I shook my head furiously. "Nope, never had a problem with them!" I was terrified at this point, wondering why they kept bringing up the subject. "Well they seem to have came in quite nicely." The dentist replied. HUGE sigh of relief. No painful mouth surgery for me. When all was said and done, I had one cavity. One itsy bitsy little hole that requires filling, but I'll be high on nitrous oxide for the procedure and it won't phase me one bit. Not bad, considering that my last dentist visit was in 2002 (I know... my bad). The dentist even commended me for taking great care of my teeth, as I'm a pro brusher and flosser. Walking into that office was the hardest part, but I'm glad that I got it over with. I can do anything now!!

Krysta Goes to the Doctor

Nov 9, 2009

As a prerequisite for employment at Emirates, I'm required to undergo an extensive list of medical tests. Doctors make me nervous, but if it's for my dream job I'll suck it up and just go through with it. Last week I anxiously headed to the doctor for a basic exam. Okay, easy enough. My heart is still beating, nothing abnormal as far as I was informed. The next day I called to make a dentist appointment. I can do this... besides, I brush my teeth religiously, at worst I'll have a few cavities, but I can deal with that as long as I've got laughing gas. I headed to the X-ray clinic, got a chest X-ray, and I was happily checking off items from my list. There was one thing that I was purposely avoiding. I needed to go get blood work, and I do not cope well with needles of any sort. I had every intention of going to the clinic on Friday afternoon, after work. I even left work a bit early to get a spot. However, I drove right past and headed home. Saturday morning was my next goal, but once again I couldn't find the courage. This morning I set my alarm for 6:30 am. The clinic opened at 7 and I was going to make an honest effort to go in and get it over with. I woke up, showered, and sat around my house procrastinating, contemplating ways that I could devise fake test results. Ryan finally talked me into going, so I grabbed an orange juice, took a deep breath, and met him in the waiting room. The worst part of walk in clinics is the wait. I sat for an hour, fidgeting nervously as Ryan reassured me that it would be just fine. I was so grateful for him being there, despite the fact that needles and blood make him a bit queasy as well. Finally the nurse called my name and I clutched Ryan's hand and I walked towards my impending doom. I informed the nurse right away that I don't do well with needles, and she agreed not to tell me when she was going to start. I had a death grip on Ryan's hand as I felt a prick in my arm. Almost immediately I was overcome with dizziness as I tried not to think about what was going on. It seemed to take forever, and I made the nurse aware of how dizzy I was, feeling as though I was seconds from blacking out. She finished up but still had to draw another vile of blood. Gross. I wanted to throw up. I'm such a wimp, and I didn't care what anybody thought. Sensing my obvious concern, she agreed to take me to a room where I'd be able to lie down. I walked across the clinic, through the waiting room, focusing on each step as I tried not to fall down. We reached the other room and I stood there swaying as she quickly worked to change the paper on the table. I crawled on the table, unable to stand any longer. She proceeded to steal all of my blood as I clutched Ryan's hand once again. He was so sweet, telling me that I was doing great. Again.. HOW am I going to go to Dubai without him?? Finally, it was over. I'd survived and maintained consciousness the entire time... go me! Still dizzy and definitely not all there, Ryan took my keys and drove me to work, where I managed to go on with my day. The worst is over, at least until I arrive in Dubai and have to undergo another blood test.

And Suddenly, My Life Has Changed!

Nov 6, 2009

On Monday evening, Ryan and I had a great night celebrating 5 months of dating. It's gone by so fast, and I couldn't be happier. We went for a delicious dinner, feasting on all sorts of deep fried goodness followed by DQ ice cream. I love date nights!
The next evening, I did something very untypical of Krysta... I cooked a meal! I've had some salmon in my freezer for quite some time, so I googled recipes and cautiously prepared a dinner of salmon, garlic butter rice, and spinach salad. I was terrified of the fate of my poor salmon, and even more nervous about what Ryan would think of my cooking, but when all was said and done, everything turned out just lovely. He even liked it... that, or he's an exceptionally good liar.
Ryan has been battling a nasty cold for awhile now, so we headed to bed early that evening. I was awoken at 9:30 pm by my phone ringing. Who the heck would be calling me?! My phone never rings. I answered with a groggy "hello?", and then sat straight up in my bed as I head the voice on the other line. To be honest, I was so much in shock that I can't remember the conversation, but it went something like this... "I'm from Emirates Airline, calling from Dubai. I'd like to congratulate you on being successful in the final interview stage". Summed up, if all goes well on my medical exams, I'm going to leave for Dubai on December 14. My dream has finally come true. I hung up the phone and looked at Ryan, who'd been sitting on my bed with a huge grin on his face the entire time that I was on the phone. I was speechless. I walked over, hugged him, and burst into tears. I called my mom, sent text messages to a few friends, and cried in my boyfriend's arms for what was probably 2 hours. It was the most bittersweet moment of my life. I was thrilled to have achieved my ultimate goal, but at the same time... how am I going to live without seeing Ryan every day??
I've had a few days for it to sink in now, and I'm excited yet extremely nervous. Ryan is happy for me, my mom is so proud, and everybody else is full of congratulations. It's a great feeling. The only bad thing is the medical exams. Seriously, after seeing the list of required vaccinations I was close to reconsidering my career choice. Injections make me nauseous and occasionally lead to fainting. Yesterday was a general medical exam, today is a chest x-ray and blood test.... yuck. I envision 30 seconds of unconsciousness on the doctor's table. Ryan graciously offered to come hold my hand, but after he passed out himself yesterday following a blood test, I'm not sure how supportive he'll be. I've even booked a dentist appointment, which is going to make me lose sleep for the next week. I've neglected visiting the dentist for quite some time now. Oh dear, what if I have cavities or something terrible?! Just breathe Krysta, you can do this.
Sooo... I'm moving. To Dubai!

Vancouver, Jobs, Etc.

Oct 29, 2009

I'm back from Vancouver and things went great. I won't know for a few weeks whether I've got the job or not, but at this point, I'm thrilled either way. If nothing else, I got a few great weekends in Vancouver, and I can say that I was one of only 13 to make it to the final interview stage out of 230 people.

I suppose you are wondering what ever became of my current job. I told my boss that I had a personal commitment and was unable to attend the training session in Toronto. Unsatisfied with this excuse, she probed until I finally gave in and told her that I had another interview. Initially she was quite upset and explained that the company required more dependable, permanent employees. I was told that I'd have to resign. The next day, she called me back, saying that until they'd found a replacement for me, I could continue working. It's been 2 weeks now and I haven't heard anything else. I'm going to continue going to the office until told to do otherwise.

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early (5 am to be exact... yuck!) to head to the airport. Ryan was sweet enough to drag himself out of bed and drive me to Calgary. He walked me to the security entrance, we kissed goodbye, and I told him how much I'd miss him as I headed for the metal detectors and he headed for his car. I boarded my plane, giddy as usual. I love flying! When I'd safely landed, I sent him a text message to let him know I'd arrived. As I was waiting for my luggage beside the baggage carousels, Ryan sent me a text message saying "Welcome Home, Tim Horton's". The fact that I was standing in front of a sign that said just that struck me as odd, but I shrugged it off as coincidence. I had told him about that sign the last time that I was in Vancouver. Even more strange was his next text message... "Here come the bags!". The carousel had just started. I started to get suspicious when I saw my bag and checked my phone to see "There it is!". Okay, did he have somebody spying on me?! I subtly looked around the airport, grabbed my bag, and headed for the taxi lineup. Just as I was about the head out the door, I was approached by a ridiculously dressed man that I soon recognized as my boyfriend, in cognito. I was stunned, and extremely confused. How did he get here?! Turns out that after he dropped me off, he rushed to his car, moved it to Park and Jet, shaved his face, and put on a disguise outfit. He then ran back inside, hurried through security, and nearly missed the plane. He'd been on the same flight all along, sitting in row 1 while I was in row 22, completely oblivious. He has the entire thing on video. It was a great surprise, I couldn't have been more happy. We spent the weekend together, and it was great to have him for support as I prepared for the big interview.

2 more (sappy) life goals checked off:

1. Kiss somebody in an airport.
2. Watch the sunset over the ocean with my boyfriend.
How romantic.
Ryan took this photo of us, because he rocks. <3

Today in the Life of Krysta...

Oct 20, 2009

1. Job interview T-6 days.
2. Unemployed as of today. Stressful situation.
3. Still happy.
4. I must admit, we are a cute couple.

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

Oct 13, 2009

I'm 10 days away from flying to Vancouver, and 12 days away from my Emirates reassessment. I'm really crossing my fingers and even my toes at this point, because the journey hasn't come without sacrifice. Attending these interviews have meant flying to Vancouver and back 3 times at my own expense. Along with the costs of flights come accommodations, meals, transportation to and from the airport, professional photos and purchasing appropriate interview attire. Chasing dreams isn't always cheap. I've sacrificed a well paying, professional job because the training schedule conflicted with the interview date. I'm currently job hunting with the knowledge that I won't likely be able to match my salary.

If everything goes well and my determination pays off, I'll likely move to Dubai before the end of the year. Originally I wondered how I could leave Ryan, but as I get closer to the interview he has began researching international employment himself. He has the experience and education to find a great job anywhere in the world. I think that leaving would be easier if he was working abroad as well. I'm glad that my chance at a dream has inspired him to look at his career options and I hope that he'll pursue something that he loves doing. We've discussed long distance relationships and agreed that it's worth a try. I know that it would kill me some days, but I envision airport reunions and I know that if we can survive the long distance battle, it will be more than worth it. If I don't get the job, I'll admit that I'll be a bit upset. Not to say that I can't try again, but it's been nearly 10 months of high hopes. At the same time, not getting the job means staying here, with my boyfriend. I swore that I'd never be the girl to let a guy interfere with my dreams. Nothing could stand between me and the goals that I set for myself. I suppose that is still the case, seeing as how I plan to move to Dubai if given the opportunity. However, I would do so with slight hesitation. I didn't plan on falling this hard for somebody when I first decided that I would like to work for an international airline.
Life is good. All in all, I'm happy and content with everything. I'm nervous yet excited for the interview, and hopeful despite the heartbreak that will come with moving away. Not only do I have an incredible boyfriend here, but I've got amazing friends and family that I've already had to say goodbye to once. We have grown up together and it seems like more of them are getting married or having babies with each passing month. I'm well aware of the fact that life will be very different when and if I return to my home town. I'd miss out on many important events, and maybe grow apart from people who I care a lot about. Sadly, that's life. This is the path that I've chosen and I'm so lucky to have such amazing people in my life who support my dreams even if those dreams involve leaving them behind.

Nothing Like Coming Home.

Sep 30, 2009

A few months ago I found this while flipping through my travel journel. It was written in messy handwriting after what felt like an eternity of flights and layovers, just trying to get back home. A year ago today, I landed in Calgary. I felt that today was a very suitable day to repost it.
It's approximately 3:26 am as I sit wide awake in the San Francisco airport. 30 hours on 2 planes from Australia, to Singapore, to Hong Kong, and I'm finally back in North America. Why can't I sleep? Well, for starters, it's only 8:26 am in Australia. Then there's the fact that after a year away, I'm finally going home tomorrow. Only a select group of people know that I'm coming home early, and they only know because I need their help surprising everybody else. My mom doesn't even know... how awesome will that be??
Despite my initial sadness over the "Leaving my freedom and backpacker life in the tropics" thing, I'm quite excited to go home now and finally see everybody. And have Tim Hortons. And perogies. And dill pickles.
Perhaps you are wondering why I am still at the airport despite having an 18 hour layover in San Fran? Well, as you may be aware, I'm flat out broke. No money. Okay, so I have enough for a hostel, but after transport I wouldn't have enough money for food, so really there was no debating. Besides, clearly I'd just be lying there in a bunkbed wide awake. Oh, and my camera is broken so I can't even go take pretty pictures like I'd initially planned on doing.
Wow, there are so many people sleeping here, sprawled out on the chairs waiting for morning. I wish I was tired.
So, anyways... here is my attempt at summing up my trip, although I couldn't possibly come close to mentioning everything amazing that I've experienced. It's been one incredible year.
It all began in Thailand. I slept in jungle huts, fed monkeys, and became a huge fan of pad thai. Then on to Singapore... I baked in the glorious heat of a country located 1 degree from the equator. I window shopped in stores that the celebrities shop in and ate the most amazing meal of my life. After months of saving and planning, I finally arrived in Australia.
I spent my trip navigating the beautiful east coast. I encountered giant spiders, watched the incredible New Years celebrations in Sydney, and met family I hadn't even known existed. I spent 3 months in Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reer, where i found Nemo and giant sea turtles. To fund my trip, I worked as a bartender at a really cool place called Apres. They serve 125 beers from around the world, and I hate beer. I sailed the Whitsunday Islands, camped on Fraser Island, and then moved back to work at a resort as a restaurant supervisor for 2 months. I went crazy on that island, secluded from civilization, surrounded by dingoes. I lived with my cousin in Brisbane, working at a cafe for a very short time to save for a trip to Fiji, where I lived the dream for awhile... island hopping, drinking cocktails, and watching many brilliant sunsets.
As cliche as it is to say this, this trip taught me so much about myself... The things that matter most to me, and who I know will always be there for me. I stopped taking so much for granted, stopped worrying about what others think, and learn to appreciate the little things like taking the time to sit and drink a great cup of coffee. I missed my family and friends like I'd never thought possible. I learnt to sleep through even the loudest snorers, phone calls, and drunken Irish men coming home from the pub. I went through 3 phones, 8 pairs of flip flops, 2 cameras, and thousands of dollars. I disposed of all of my warm clothing, which I can imagine I'll regret come tomorrow. I made many, many friends from around the world, doubling my Facebook friends list... I seem extra cool now. I learnt that you CAN survive on 2 minutes noodles and that you can't survive without sunscreen. When I set out on this journey, I was determined to prove not only to myself, but to everybody else that I was independent and capable of lasting a year on my own. I'll admit, there was a time or 2 when I under-budgeted, or my credit card was stolen and my mom or grandma came to my rescue, freeing me from starvation and homelessness. Other than that, I think I did quite well at accomplishing my goal. 4 countries (7 if you count stopovers, which of course, I do) later, and I'm finally ready to go home.

Here We Go...

Sep 24, 2009

I still have no idea what to do in terms of my current training vs. interview situation. What I do know, is that I just booked flights to Vancouver.
I'm crossing my fingers and praying that the pieces will fall into place.

Sad, Sad Day

Life is so unfair sometimes. I think of all of the things I'm currently stressed about and they seem so insignificant, almost selfish. Here I am complaining about choosing between a steady, well paying job and my dream career. Meanwhile, my friend went into labour this morning, 4 months early. She lost the baby. I can't imagine ever dealing with such a huge loss. She's devastated, as can be expected. She had names picked out. She was already completely in love with this baby. The only positive in this story is the fact that she already has 2 beautiful, healthy children. Other than that, it's a complete tragedy. I'm so sorry for your loss. Bad things shouldn't happen to such good people.

Nothing Ever Just Works Out, Does It?

Sep 23, 2009

By the time I finally go to this Emirates interview, you'll be so tired of reading about it in my blog. My dear, lovely, dedicated blog readers....I need your help. I'm so stuck right now, trying to figure out which way to turn.
Today my boss was in the office, discussing my schedule for training. I'll be sent to Toronto for 2 weeks of intensive, mandatory classes. As my luck would have it, it happens to fall during the same week as I'm supposed to be in Vancouver for my reassessment. It's not as easy as rescheduling. Originally, I was supposed to complete training this month. Scheduling conflicts forced me to delay it until October, but I can't push it back any further. They need a qualified employee right away, not 2 months from now. Essentially, going to Vancouver could mean compromising my current job.
So what do I do?
Do I tell my boss about the opportunity I've been given? No, because if they know that I'm actively seeking other employment chances are they will hire somebody in my place, somebody more serious about a permanent position.
Do I not go to Vancouver? No, because I'd regret it forever. Even if I don't get the job. I've made it this far and will probably never have another opportunity quite like it. I'll always be left to wonder "what if".
Do I sacrifice my job, fly to Vancouver and pray that Emirates hires me? Sounds a bit irresponsible, doesn't it?
I'm truly at a loss for ideas, so if anybody has advice... please, please help me out.

Leaves are Falling!

Sep 22, 2009

Autumn has arrived. Usually the end of summer is a time of deep sadness for me, as I envision the blizzards and harsh temperatures that lie ahead. This year I'm slightly more optimistic. Things are different. It could be the fact that the weather we are currently experiencing is warmer than the majority of our summer was this year. Maybe it's the fact that I'm still in the blissful, giddy stages of a new relationship. Perhaps it's because my dream job called me the other day? I'm guessing it's a combination of the 3, but regardless of the reasoning, I'm in high spirits and looking forward to fall.

More in Depth...

Sep 21, 2009

Today in my inbox:
Further to our recent conversation this is to advise you that the Emirates representatives will be in Vancouver on October 26th to review your application.
I thought I'd go further into detail on this, since it's such an exciting thing for me. If you were wondering about the initial interviews, let me know and I'll send you the blogs from back then. (OH... before I go any further, I'd like to let you all know that I wrote, and passed my exam today, meaning that I'm now a licensed insurance agent.) Anyways, here is the story of "the call". It sounds super dramatic, but those of you who know me will understand that I'm not exaggerating about my level of excitement.
It was a lazy Sunday morning and Ryan was driving me to a friend's house where I'd left my car overnight after having a few drinks. My phone rang and I debated answering it, since it was from a strange number likely to be a telemarketer. I decided to pick it up, unable to ignore a ringing phone.
"I'm looking to speak with Krysta Larson", said the voice on the other end of the line. Uh oh, this didn't sound promising. Did I owe money that I was unaware of? "This is her..." I replied, cautiously. As she continued, my eyes grew wide and I stared at Ryan in disbelief. I could tell that he was extremely curious as to who could possibly be calling on a Sunday morning that caused such a reaction. "You came to Vancouver in January for interviews with the Emirates Group Airline. Emirates has commenced recruitment and is looking to reassess the applicants who have already completed the interview process. We would like to know if you are still interested in a cabin crew career." Taking a second before responding, to gather my thoughts and avoid sounding overly excited rather than shouting out "Do you really need to ask?", I calmly replied "Yes, I am definitely still interested." as I clutched tightly onto my boyfriend's hand. I hung up the phone, turned to Ryan and said "That was Emirates..." I'd waited 9 months to say those exact words.
Now, I know what you are thinking and believe me, I've been driving myself crazy thinking about it as well... what happens if I get the job? This is my dream job. If I could choose any airline in the world, it would without a doubt be Emirates. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, my ultimate goal... comparable in my eyes to a singer winning American Idol. When I interviewed in January, the timing was perfect. I'd recently been laid off from my job and wanted nothing more than to leave. Since then... I've started dating Ryan. I don't want him to feel as if he's holding me back, because if anything, he is doing the opposite. He knows how much this means to me and was so excited and proud when I got the phone call. When I was invited to the very first interview, he gave me an Emirates luggage tag that he'd somehow acquired, and written inside was "Krysta... do it!". He's part of the reason that I made it as far as I did in the first place, despite that having been 5 months prior to us dating. This is only a reassessment, so I'm getting way ahead of myself... leaving him would break my heart... but so would turning down my dream. We'll take things as they go, but for now, I'm so excited... wish me luck!

Breaking News

Sep 20, 2009

I'm currently rushing to head out the door and drive to Calgary, where I write my insurance exam bright and early tomorrow morning. I don't have a lot of time for a long blog, but I just needed to say this because some of you have been amazing and followed my wannabe flight attendant story since January. (Short story - I interviewed for Emirates, was one of the 13 out of the original 230 people who made it through to the final round, and then applications were placed on hold due to the recession.) Today, Emirates called. I've dreamt of that for the past 9 months, and it's finally happened. Next month I'm headed to Vancouver for a reassessment, since it's been so long that they can't possibly recall all of the applicants. Wish me luck. Both in the interview, and the aftermath of what will happen should I do well. Saying goodbye isn't going to be as easy as it would have been in January.

I Can't Take It Anymore!

Sep 15, 2009

I am completely in over my head.
A day away from my big insurance exam, and my mind keeps drawing blank when I quiz myself on potential questions.
I'm generally an optimistic person, but... I can't do this. I'm not prepared.
What if I fail? My job is at stake, and granted, I don't like my job... but that's not the point.
It pays the bills, I have good coworkers, and I can't afford unemployment.
Sure, it should be easy. Study. I've been trying, believe me. I have every intention of staying awake until early in the morning cramming as much information into my head as I possibly can. The question is, will it be enough? I could easily reschedule... book for next Monday, buy myself a few more days. Unfortunately, I feel the pressure and I know that the company just wants me to hurry up and pass the exam, get my license, and be done with all of this. No more putting it off. In a way, that's what I want as well. I'm so tired of studying and stressing about studying and procrastinating when I should be studying. I want to get it over with. But if I'm going to fail, then it won't be over, right? I know, I sound crazy, I'm typing extremely fast and I feel as if maybe I am actually going crazy. My thoughts are rambling and my stress levels are at their peak. Oh goodness, what am I going to do? Help me!

This Blog Dedicated to All Women

Sep 14, 2009

I'm moody, tired, bloated, in pain from cramps... and if I don't get chocolate soon, I'm going to scream at somebody. I'm sure you'll all agree, being a girl is just unfair sometimes. I occasionally burst into tears for reasons that I can't justify or even figure out. My poor boyfriend has been forced to accept the fact that once a month, females are a like a light switch. He's so good to me, even when I yell at him for doing absolutely nothing. I hope that this week goes by fast.
Girls, we are all superheros.

Life, As I See It...

I've created a separate blog to display some of my favorite photos:
Let me know what you think!


Sep 9, 2009

Life is such a rollercoaster. Sometimes all you can do is hold on tight, face your fears, and wait for the giant drops and upside-down loops to be over. The past week has been a blur of excitement, anxiety, frustration, and sadness. So much is going on and I tend to feel a bit overwhelmed in times like these.
Work has played a huge factor in my increased stress levels. I'm preparing for an exam that I've dreaded writing for weeks. There is so much information that I'm trying to absorb, but I lack the attention span and interest to study. While procrastinating, my mind tends to wander and I'm again reminded that I'm not doing what I want to be doing with my life. It's a decent job, but when I think of where I'll be 2 years down the road, I shudder at the thought of still being here, working in this office. Even staying in this town is hard for me to accept. My true passion has always and will always lie in the tourism and aviation industry, and I'm not sure what else I can do to better fit the hiring criteria for the airlines. On that note, I read the other day that Emirates has resumed hiring. Back in January, I made it through 4 intensive rounds of interviews before the company was forced to stop hiring due to the economic recession. Emirates is my dream airline, my main career goal... everything I've wished for the past 3 years. I'm still holding on to a faint glimmer of hope, that maybe one day my dream will come true.
That, as my luck would have it, would lead to another issue. I have a boyfriend, and I've never cared about somebody so much. On the off chance that I am ever offered a job with Emirates, leaving him would be the hardest thing I'd ever do. I couldn't just pass up on my dream though, right? Could I? Who is to say we'll even still be dating 2 months from now. I like to stay optimistic, but it was just a few days ago that we had a tearful discussion about our relationship, and the flaws are evident. What relationship is perfect though? We made up our mind that we both need to compromise, but that it's worth pushing on through the hard times. The good times outweigh the bad.
When I think about it, those are really the only things frustrating me right now. Dealing with them at the same time has left me a bit moody and lost. Fortunately, I have a great life and many exciting things have happened as well.
As I've already mentioned... Emirates is hiring again. It scares me, but leaves me hopeful and gives me something to strive for.
In more happy news, I recently had a friend visit me from Germany. We met in Australia when we were both employees at an island resort. Ryan and I took her camping and exploring the mountains, and she was in awe of the beauty that Canada has to offer. It was great to catch up and spend time with somebody who thinks like me in terms of having a traveling lifestyle. She left yesterday, and as usual, saying goodbye was not easy. I hope that some day I can visit her and that she will show me around her home.
That's my random rant of the day. I'm an emotional mess, most of the time.

Not Perfect

Sep 8, 2009

I'm no different than anybody else.
I have flaws, and I struggle to admit them.
I take things for granted.
I don't always treat my friends as well as I should. I complain about my family.
I fight with my boyfriend, I worry that I don't make him happy.
I let people down. I don't succeed at everything that I try.
I can't cook, I can't parallel park, I can't even wink.
I'm not that smart. I'm irresponsible. I'm lazy.
I'm Krysta. I'm not perfect.
Neither are you.
I try my best in everything that I do, so I'm okay with the inperfections.
At least I can say I've tried.
Sorry for the lack of optimism typically found in this blog. Sometimes a reality check is neccessary.


Sep 2, 2009

"And when you figure out that love is all that matters after all, it sure makes everything else feel so small." - Carrie Underwood
He's the reason for the smile that never leaves my face.
I know, it's silly to count ever month of dating as an anniversary, but I love to remind myself of how lucky I am.
Happy 3 Months, Ryan.

September has Arrived

Sep 1, 2009

Farewell, Summer 2009.

"Look Into Your Heart and You'll Find Love, Love, Love" - Jason Mraz

Aug 31, 2009

It's funny how when you are single you can't stand hearing about happy couples and fairytale romance. I know... trust me. For years I was the poster child for single, independent females. I put myself first and viewed relationships as an inconvenience to my travel and life plans. While my friends dated and spilled their giddy tales of falling in love, I was perfectly content with my self proclaimed Miss Independent status. I traveled the world, I partied my nights away, and I took pride in the fact that I didn't rely on anybody but myself.
The past year has been very pivotal in terms of my stance on relationships. Now, while the majority of my friends are rediscovering their single lives, I'm the one in a relationship. The tides have turned and it's now me with the stories and the never disappearing smile. I try so hard to refrain from talking about my boyfriend every minute of every day, but it's hard to contain myself sometimes... every little thing that he does convinces me that there is no girl in the world quite as lucky as me. Listen to me... I even blog about it. I hear the words coming from my mouth and I barely recognize myself. I used to roll my eyes every time that somebody mentioned how amazing their boyfriend/girlfriend was, but I finally get it. When love comes around even the most independent of people can't resist. There is nothing quite like it.

Thank You, Summer.

Summer is drawing to an end, and I must say it's been one heck of a season. I've said it before, and I'll say it again... NOTHING compares to summer in Canada. Sure, the weather didn't always cooperate, but there is something about the general atmosphere and attitude of people here in the summer... everybody makes the most of the few short months of warmth. Those countries that are warm year round, well, that's awesome... but after the misery of a long winter and the anticipation through spring, you just can't beat Canada when it comes to summer. We live each moment to the fullest, not a weekend wasted. It's been great being home this summer, but my oh so patriotic status may change in a month or 2 when the temperatures plummet.

This weekend I went camping with some of my best friends in beautiful Radium, British Columbia. Despite being only an hour across the BC/Alberta border, there is something so exciting about leaving the province. Sure, we could have stayed in Banff and things wouldn't have been much different, but just saying "I'm going to BC" makes it seem like a bigger, much more exciting trip. It was a perfect weekend, with beautiful weather.
What a way to end an amazing summer.

Fixed It!

Aug 28, 2009

A few of you have informed me that you were unable to comment on my posts since I changed the theme.
Sorry all, it's fixed now! (At least I think so... care to test it for me?)

Project 365

Aug 25, 2009

Project 365 is a photo project that I started on January 1st. Each day, I take one photo and write a caption, or in my case, a story about the photo and the day. Today is day 237, and many days I've struggled to find creativity when nothing was inspiring me. My photos are extremely random, It's been quite the challenge, but I've had a lot of fun doing this project, and I'm not stopping until December 31st!
View my photos here!


Aug 23, 2009

No matter how many times you say goodbye, it never gets easier.
My friend Jess has left for Vancouver. He has been accepted into an amazing art school, and I'm so proud of him for chasing his dreams. This move is going to be the best thing he'll ever do for himself... but I'm really going to miss him.
Good luck Jess, you'll do amazing.

Adventures in Ikea

Aug 17, 2009

I love Ikea. The odd shaped, brightly colored items have taken quite a toll on my bank account balance in the 5 years since I first moved out on my own. In typical moving to a new house fashion, I once again made the hour and a half journey headed to the giant blue and yellow store to stock up on all sorts of amazing things to decorate my pretty new residence. After dining on $1.99 pasta, Kimmy and I set out on a mission to find the perfect bookshelves. One very important thing that we hadn't considered: I drive a tiny Neon. We headed out of the store thrilled with our purchases. After jamming one shelf into my car, we stared at the other, much larger shelf on the cart. We both knew that it wouldn't fit. The box was nearly the entire length of the vehicle. However, not willing to trust our instincts, we attempted to make it fit. Picture this: 2 petite girls trying to lift a heavy box into a tiny car. People in the parking lot laughed as we struggled. Finally, I convinced a heartbroken Kimmy that we'd have to leave the shelf behind. We headed to the returns counter, embarrassed when they asked the reason for our return. I was exhausted and ready to head home. Kimmy, however, wasn't willing to give up the fight. She insisted on purchasing another, slightly smaller bookcase, despite my concern that it too would be far too large for my car. Once again, we headed to my car and once again, made a fool of ourselves. There was absolutely no way it was going to fit. By this point, it had started to rain, and we were standing in the Ikea parking lot, soaking wet with a box that weighed nearly as much as one of us. I tried to comfort Kimmy, who was clearly upset about the situation. I mean, not that we have a television, but where will we put our DVD's?? We returned to the returns line, and as luck would have it, we ended up being helped by the very same employee. Disappointed, we left the store and headed home.
Fortunately, we'd still managed to fit my much smaller shelf into the trunk of my car. Once we'd got home, we struggled to carry it into the house, where I proceeded to build my beautiful new shelf. A few days earlier, I'd struggled to put together an Ikea desk, vowing never to buy furniture from there again.... but after setting my eyes on the shelf, I couldn't resist. So there I was on the floor assembling, once again following the wordless directions provided. It seemed to be going very smoothly for an Ikea item. I was almost finished with my project, only piece left to add. Of course, that piece refused to cooperate. Annoyed, I left it the way it was. It looks like it's finished, just a bit unstable, perhaps.
I think I'm going to take a break from Ikea, for awhile.

Life is What You Make It

Aug 13, 2009

Call me crazy. I won't disagree.
As I cram my brain with all things insurance, it has once again dawned on me that I'm a hypocrite. I'm that girl that constantly encourages people to do what makes them happy. Chase your dreams, don't settle for less than you are capable of. Perhaps I should practice what I preach.
Don't get me wrong, my job is a great opportunity. The potential for advancement is great, the salary is the best I've ever made, and all in all, it's a great company. This is an amazing opportunity, for somebody else. Signing the employment agreement felt like entering a marriage with somebody I wasn't in love with. While I'm sure the beginning of my career will be alright, I know that eventually the resentment and desire to be truly happy will end in a devastating divorce.
The problem is, I know what I'm truly passionate about in life, and it's not insurance. In my opinion, a career in the travel and aviation industry is my "calling". It doesn't even matter if I'm the one going on vacation. Last night, as Ryan sat awaiting departure on a plane bound for Victoria, I texted him the inflight announcements that I know off by heart. I felt the same excitement I feel when it's me boarding that beautiful Boeing, despite being at home with no travel plans in the near future. I've answered countless emails in response to my travel blogs, and written pages of travel tips. With that said, today I've submitted job applications to numerous travel agencies and I'm keeping a steady watch on airlines for signs of hiring resuming. All between studying for my insurance exam.

(I took this photo in Port Denarau, Fiji. Combined with my newly discovered love for photography, I think a travel career could be amazingly amazing.)

UPDATE: Within an hour of submitting my application, I've been contacted and have a telephone interview with a travel agency in town.

I Don't Miss School.

After months of working in an insurance office doing absolutely nothing aside from answering and directing phone calls, I'm finally set to take the exam required to obtain my license next week. The only issue? I'm going to fail. Okay, I know what you are thinking.... "with an attitude like that, yes!". But I'm just being realistic. I haven't studied. I can't study. I don't know what it is. I'm convinced that I've got undiagnosed attention deficit disorder. I open the book, read a page, and get distracted by far more interesting things to do. I'm going to make an honest effort to learn everything I need to know by next Wednesday, but at the same time, this weekend I move into a new house and the distraction of unpacking will be hard to fight. Perhaps if it was more like school... a classroom setting, or even an online course. But no, I have a huge book that I'm expected to memorize and hope for the best. A book about insurance. I can't read that stuff, I need interesting stories, real literature. Oh goodness, I'm going to fail.

Those Were the Days...

Aug 11, 2009

I'm missing my nomadic travel lifestyle. It seems that I get emails on a daily basis from people reading my travel blog, begging for travel tips and any useful information to make their journey that much more efficient and enjoyable. That was me, 2 years ago. I feel honored that not only do they read my blog, but that they seek advice from me on the subject I'm most passionate about.
Traveling is amazing. In my life, it's second only to my friends and family. If I died tomorrow, I'd die happy with the knowledge that I've experienced more in my 23 years than many people will in an entire lifetime. I work hard to travel, I dream of travel... I live to travel.
My life consists of two phases:
  1. Saving for future travel.
  2. Traveling.

I'm currently in phase 1, working to save my dollars to plan my next escape. It's going to take awhile, but I'll get those passport stamps!

Things That Make Me Smile

Aug 8, 2009

Sitting at home alone on a Saturday night, I often get a little lonely. Sure, it was my choice to opt out of the party and bar scene. I could be out having a drunken good time, but that's really not my choice of activities now that I've matured from the 18 year old party girl that I once was. It was another one of those lame Saturday nights, wondering why nobody was returning my text messages, ready to convince myself that nobody loves me, when Ryan sent me a text message reading "I wish you were in my arms". Aww! It's funny how a few simple words can turn your mood around so fast. Suddenly I was all smiles.
Sorry to disgust you with my giddy girly happiness. I understand your irritation, I used to hate people like me too.
I've never been like this before, and I think that I'm more than entitled to my share of happy relationship chatter.

Always on the Move

In the course of my life, I've lived in more houses than I can count. I'm not exaggerating by much... it's been well over 30. Born to a teenage mom, we moved at least twice a year... as many young adults do. By the time I was 11, I'd already attended 5 different schools. When my brothers were born, we were forced to upsize, packing our boxes a few more times. We tried out the country lifestyle, which led to moving closer to the city. Still in the country, we moved to a small town, only to relocate to the city later that year. Finally, my parents decided to build a home that we'd stay in for years to come. While waiting for it's completion, we moved to a temporary home. When the house was completed, we moved in, happy to be finished with our nomadic lifestyle. Later that year, my parents got a divorce, forcing us to move, yet again. 3 houses later, we settled in a place that I called home for an entire 2 years before heading off to college. In the year that I lived in my dorm, my mother obtained her real estate license. Selling homes opened her eyes to all of the houses available, and she moved, again. I came home from college and lived with my her before finding my own place. I stayed there, quite content for nearly 2 years. Then there was Australia. I can't even count how many places I must have called home while I was a backpacker. I lived in hostels, share houses, staff accomodations, and with family members. When I finally returned to Canada, I moved back in with my family, where I've been since. Next weekend, I get the keys to my new house!

Lost count yet? I sure did, about 15 years ago!

This blog is serving to distract me from packing up my room.

When I Was Your Age...

Aug 6, 2009

What is it with old people jumping to the assumption that people they've just met are interested in their entire medical history? I'm sympathetic to the fact that many seniors endure a lot of pain in simple daily tasks, but honestly, HONESTLY... and I mean this in the nicest way possible... I do not need or want to know about your hernia operation, poor eyesight, chronic back pain, or high blood pressure. Working in this office we have a fair amount of aging clients come in on a daily basis, usually complaining about their insurance rates. I've heard vivid, often disturbing stories from old men and women about strokes, diabetes, heart problems, numerous hospital visits and how they are going to die soon. Now how am I supposed to respond to that? "Oh, man that sucks!" Call me incompassionate, but I just don't think it's necessary to enlighten me on your life on constant suffering. Tell me I'm young, tell me that I'll live a great life and die happy. I wish for all seniors that old age didn't involve pain and suffering, but I can't change that, and it makes for awkward, uncomfortable conversation. Stop making me depressed already!


Sometimes you just can't help but to smile.
I've got everything a girl could wish for.
Photo credit - My super talented boyfriend, Ryan!

Camping Trip # 3!

Aug 4, 2009

Another long weekend has come and gone. August has arrived and the end of summer is approaching much faster than I'm willing to accept. That said, I'd rank 2009 pretty high in my list of "Best Summers Ever" and we still have a month left.

This weekend was another epic 3 days. On Saturday morning Ryan and I packed up the Neon and set out on a camping adventure. We took a slight detour, stopping at a camera store in Calgary. Having just purchased a new camera body, Ryan was in search of a perfect lens. He tested out several of them, convincing me to pose for photos despite my obvious disinterest. Oh, the life of a photographer's girlfriend. We spent 2 hours in that store before I finally persuaded him to spend only $1000 as opposed to the $3000 that he was ready to charge to his credit card. I do love cameras, and I having a growing interest in photography, but 2 hours was a bit excessive. I was hungry. He reluctantly left the store and it was onwards to Peter's Drive In, where we dined on amazing burgers and a chocolate-strawberry milkshake. Finally, we started heading west towards the Rocky Mountains.
I was born and raised here in Alberta, only a short drive from the mountains. Despite this fact, it never fails to amaze me when I first catch a glimpse of the giant rocky peaks. We drove down the beautiful winding roads, stopping around what seemed to be every corner to get out of the car and take photos. We were so preoccupied with our cameras that we forgot to stop for gas in Canmore, and were faced with a nearly empty tank and 70 km to our destination. Luckily we were able to find a small gas station in the middle of nowhere, with an old fashioned gas pump and ridiculously overpriced fuel. It was expensive, but it beats being stuck on the side of the Trans Canada highway on a long weekend. It was 10 pm when we finally made it to the campsite. We set up our tent, ate some dinner, and snuggled up inside warm sleeping bags.
The next morning we woke up bright and early and cooked bacon and eggs over the fire.... a change from my regular marhmallows and hot dogs. Perhaps I should go camping with Ryan more often! Sunday also marked the day that we'd been dating for 2 months. 2 entire months, and we still like eachother?! This for me is a huge accomplishment. We were kissy and cuddly and all sorts of romantic couple on a romantic mountain getaway sort of stuff. I'm so used to being single that displays of affection normally make me roll my eyes or mutter sarcastic comments... but I'm finding that even commitment-o-phobics such as myself can have trouble resisting romance once in awhile. This boy sure has a strange effect on me. We ventured to the Columbia Icefields where I was mesmorized at the sight of a huge glacier on a hot summer day. The one issue that I have with camping is the lack of showering. I'm okay with not wearing makeup, but being in the dirty, dusty mountains and not being to rinse off is a bit hard for me to deal with. My hair was greasy, my clothes were dirty, and I was wearing no makeup... but that didn't stop Ryan from taking far too many close up photos of me. Oh well, it just goes to show that he still likes me even when I'm at my worst.

That evening we stood under the moonlight as he taught me a bit about long exposure and night time photography. I was fascinated and want to try more. For one particular shot, he had me hold down his shutter button as he walked far away, lantern in hand. There I was, all alone in the pitch black as he walked away with the only source of light. I started convincing myself that I could hear a bear in the trees behind me, and stood in fear until he finally returned. The photo turned out great, but that was the last of that. I headed back to the tent, out of sight from the bears that I was sure were out to get me.

When we woke up, Monday had arrived and it was time to pack up and head back home. More photos, more food, and we finally hit the road. It was such a perfect weekend, and I'm such a happy camper (get it, camper? Okay... not funny) these days.


Jul 24, 2009

2 years ago, the world lost an incredible woman.
We love you and miss you every day Jacquie!
Rest in peace.