Ho Ho Ho! Someone is feeling the Christmas spirit and that someone is me! I can’t believe it’s almost that time of year again. This will be my second Christmas away from home and despite it being difficult being so far away from all my loved ones this time of year, I am still so happy and grateful to be doing what I’m doing and wouldn’t change it for the world.
I won’t lie, last month I celebrated my 28th birthday in Doha and I really felt homesick for the first time in forever. I wasn’t expecting to feel so many feels but on the 10th of November, they all seemed to creep up on me. It’s amazing travelling the world each week and no two days are the same (beats working 9 to 5 in my opinion), but the hard part about the job is being away from my family and friends for all the important stuff like birthdays and Christmas.
Celebrating my birthday in Doha with the most amazing unicorn cake ❤️
So Christmas is coming and rostering were so kind to give me the day off on Christmas day. Unfortunately, home in Australia is too far to visit so if I can’t spend Christmas there, I will bring Christmas to me! I’m gathering up the troops who aren’t flying on the 25th of December and planning to whip up a storm in the kitchen so we can enjoy a Christmas feast in our home away from home. After all, food is the ultimate comforter.
Now let’s talk about November – I had a very nice birthday month (thank you rostering). I travelled to 3 new countries including Singapore, Morocco and Macedonia and also travelled to Romania, Malaysia and Croatia.
My first flight of the month was to Singapore and my last flight of the month was to Singapore. I was very happy about this as it was one of my requested flights this month. This was my first time to travel to Singapore and I have fallen in love with the country. I spent both of my layovers out and about exploring the city. I did not want to come back to the hotel room as there was just so much to see and do! The city is so clean and safe and it’s easy to get around, not to mention they have decorated the entire city this month with Disney themed Christmas decorations! Dani is in loveeeeee!
On my first layover, I was keen to see the famous Gardens by the Bay, a stunning garden spanning 101 hectares of the city centre.
The cloud forest was my favourite. It was well worth paying the admission fee to go inside as you have these amazing views of the marina waterfront from inside the glass enclosure.
The city is also famous for it’s chilli crab so it would have been rude of me not to try it out. Seriously it was so delicious, I might even go as far to say that it was better than the one I tried in Sri Lanka at the Ministry of Crab.
Being my first time in Singapore, I had to be a typical tourist and take a photo with the signature Merlion. See below my failed attempt at taking a photo of myself catching the water from the lion’s mouth.
Marina Bay waterfront ❤
On my second layover it was my mission to visit the very touristic Marina Bay Sands hotel and head to a bar on the top floor to check out the view of Marina Bay and the gardens.
The next day I visited Central Perk, a F.R.I.E.N.D.S themed cafe. It was honestly a dream come true as F.R.I.E.N.D.S is my favourite TV show of all time. I have repeatedly watched every episode and always quote the show throughout my daily life (as any other fan will know that you can relate a F.R.I.E.N.D.S quote to almost every situation in life). Everything in the cafe referenced the show and its characters. It was all very clever, for example all the food in the menu related to a F.R.I.E.N.D.S episode or quote and they even had 6 blends of coffee – one for each character! I ordered a cup of the Tribbiani -“full Italian roasted”.
After spending a long time at the cafe taking photos and drinking coffee from my large mug (true F.R.I.E.N.D.S style), I made my way to an area called “Little India”. As the name suggests, this area is heavily influenced by Indian people and culture. There are a lot of shops and stalls selling Indian food and products. I also fell in love with the buildings in this area, they are brightly coloured and very instagrammable as you can see below.
There is also a large market in this area called Tekka Centre, where you can eat the cheapest and tastiest hawker style food in true Singaporean style as the city is well known for it’s hawker style food. The Indian food in particular is very delicious!
Other than this I spent both layovers shopping my heart out. The city is seriously so great for shopping and as much as I want to go back, at the same time I don’t want to because I can’t control my spending habits in this wonderful city.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
It was my second time to visit Malaysia and this time I planned to spend my layover visiting the brightly coloured Batu Caves Temple. Can you tell I like bright colours? It was a bit of a journey to get there from the hotel but it was very well worth it. I loved climbing up the colourful staircase and exploring the cave temple at the top.
The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the scary monkeys that kept jumping out of no where on my hike to the top. This one looks kind of cute though….
I was so happy to see Zagreb on my roster. It was just over a year ago before I joined the airline, that I spent some time travelling around Croatia and it was then that I fell in love with the country. Last year when I travelled I didn’t visit the capital Zagreb, so it was so nice to spend time here exploring the city.
As always when I travel to Europe, I do all of my grocery shopping. I was in heaven when I discovered the Dolac Market in the city centre selling delicious local produce. My suitcase was filled to the brim with fruit and vegetables on the way home.
I really loved visiting the Museum of Broken Relationships – a simple yet quirky museum containing a collection of personal objects donated to the museum from people’s failed relationships. There are stories to go along with each object which make entertaining reads.
The best thing about visiting Europe in the colder months, is definitely the mulled wine. I enjoyed a glass while looking out at this beautiful view of the city. Moments like this, I really love my job and feel so thankful to be here!
I had a few roster changes this month and one that I was super happy about was a very short layover in Bucharest, Romania. I’m always happy to see Romania on my roster as it means I can catch up with my old housemate Elly. Even though my layover was short, we still made the time to catch up over breakfast before my flight back to Doha. It’s amazing how this job gives you the opportunity to make friends from all over the world. I know that one day I will sadly no longer be flying the skies, but I’m happy that the real friendships I have made here will remain with me forever.
Another roster change for me this month was Morocco – an unexpected new country to add to my list. Unfortunately, the layover is very short here but I did manage to visit the largest and visually appealing mosque in Morocco, the Hassan II Mosque. Its blue and white exterior is simply beautiful.
This was the flight I was super excited to do this month. Firstly, it was one of my requested flights along with Singapore and secondly I had an extremely long layover here (almost two whole days). Basically, I had a paid vacation.
The weather was a little miserable being this time of year, but that didn’t stop me from going out and exploring this beautiful city. On my first day there, myself and a few of the crew visited Canyon Matka. This was the highlight of my trip, the canyon was so beautiful with all of its autumn colours. We took a little boat through the canyon to some underground caves and afterwards enjoyed a delicious dinner overlooking the water.
On my second day I didn’t have so much luck with the weather as it continuously rained throughout the day, however I used every dry moment to walk and see as much as I could! My first stop of the day was visiting the the Skopje Fortress which is located on a hill overlooking the city.
This is the famous Macedonian square where our hotel is located. There were many shops and restaurants surrounding this area.
I visited the old bazaar in the Skopje Old Town. The old bazaar not only contained many restaurants, cafes and shops but is also home to many art galleries, churches and mosques.
I really loved my time in Macedonia, but I would love to come back in the warmer months so I can visit the famous Lake Ohrid and spend more time outdoors. Macedonia is such an underrated country in regards to tourism but it really has so much to offer with its beautiful city and countryside, food and wine, shopping and most importantly, everything is super cheap!
My layover destinations for this month include:
- Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Hanoi, Vietnam
- Cardiff Wales (my NYE will be here)
- andddd 4 days of standby so I could be rostered for anything during this period!
I’m not flying so much this month as I have been rostered for a few on ground duties including a few days of refresher training, which I need to complete every one year of flying and also my US visa interview. I got my US visa yesterday so now I will be rostered for US flights. I’m not looking forward to the ultra long haul flights but at least that means I will have some new destinations to visit. I am excited to travel to New York City and Los Angeles again and I also want to travel to some new destinations including Miami, Houston, and Chicago.
Rostering have given me a few days off in the next coming days before my training begins so I decided to travel to Vienna to visit the Christmas Markets. It will be my first time to experience the European Christmas markets and have somewhat of a white Christmas. I’ve literally been dreaming of a white Christmas since I was a little girl! I can’t wait to experience something different from the usual hot Australian Christmas over summer. I’ll tell you all about it in my next blogpost, until then have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year everybody. Spend this Christmas with a grateful heart and a super full stomach – I know I will be! XXX