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.