This blogpost is a little different from my usual stuff. I felt I needed to say goodbye to Qatar Airways in the only way I know how, which is through words…
It’s a bittersweet feeling saying farewell to my home away from home for the past two years. In one way I’m excited to close the door on this chapter of my life because what’s waiting for me on the other side is an exciting new adventure. On the other hand, Doha will always have a piece of my heart after having spent the past two years there. I’m going to miss so many things about it, particularly the life long friends I made there.
I moved to Qatar on the 17th of November 2017. I didn’t know anything about living abroad or living in the Middle East OR living miles away from my loved ones for that matter. I had never worked in aviation let alone hospitality. I had no idea who my housemate would be, what kind of people I would meet or the people I would work with. It was extremely nerve-racking but at the same time exciting.
Two years down the track, I can safely say that as scary as it was taking the risk to move to Qatar, it was honestly the best decision of my life. I have changed or perhaps the better word is grown into a completely different person. I can drastically see the changes in myself today compared to the timid girl that stepped off the plane two years ago at Hamad International Airport. I’ve not only learnt practical skills like how to operate an emergency exit on a Boeing 777 aircraft, give CPR and correctly place a napkin on a tray table with the oryx logo facing the customer, but I have learnt valuable personal skills that have and will continue to shape me for the rest of my life.
One thing I really appreciate from this job and living abroad, is that it’s taught me to be humble. This is a real issue for many Australians because it wasn’t until leaving Australia that I realised just how spoilt we are particularly when it comes to the opportunities we’re granted for just being born there. It’s not called “the lucky country” for no reason! I see that now, after travelling most of the world and meeting people from all different countries, I really see a huge difference in the ways we have been raised and the opportunities we have been granted. This appreciation is something I hope will stay with me forever even after I return to living in Australia one day. I hope to remember just how small most of our problems are compared to those living in countries not as fortunate as ours. We are all so lucky (well myself and everyone I know) that we have the privilege to do, study and become anything we want if we set our mind to it!
Another valuable thing I will take away from this experience is resilience. This job teaches you strength in more ways that you can imagine (and no I’m not talking about lifting passengers 20kg luggage into the overhead bins), I’m talking about the strength you gain from working an extremely emotionally isolating job. Yes, as cabin crew we are constantly surrounded by people (colleagues and passengers) but did you know that for each flight you are working with a completely different set of crew and obviously a different set of passengers. It’s extremely hard to see your friends and family, let alone your own housemate as most of the time you are working completely different shifts. When you are dealing with hard situations, you often don’t physically have anyone to confide in, to reassure you and support you, therefore you need to learn how to be mentally tough and most of all you learn to be there for yourself when no one else is. You really have to become your number one support system otherwise it’s impossible to survive this job. These past two years have taught me that I can handle anything life throws my way, I truly believe that. So readers, remember to always be nice to your crew despite their big smile and calm composure, you never know what’s going on behind closed doors.
I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity I was given by being employed with Qatar Airways. I am extremely thankful for the destinations I travelled to with the airline, I ticked a lot of things off my bucket list because of this job. I met some wonderful people and learnt some valuable skills which I’ll take with me throughout my career whether or not I’m flying. As much as I have enjoyed every minute of my time here, I feel the time has come for me to move forward to something new. I’m scared for this next chapter but I know that nothing great comes from comfort zones. I believe it’s important to always push yourself and evolve into the best person you can be in every way possible. I hope this new chapter will allow me to do this and continue to travel the world without the same boundaries I had in Qatar.
Just before I go I want to give a few shoutouts to some really REALLY important people that helped make my journey in Qatar Airways bearable. I wouldn’t have survived the past 2 years without them.
My beautiful momma/big sister Elly
I was so blessed to be paired with Elly as my housemate when I first moved to Doha. Elly had previously lived in Doha for 7 years and immediately took me under her wing the moment we became housemates. She made my transition into the country so much easier with her constant support and positive attitude. The two of us instantly shared a special bond and she’s someone I know will always be in my life no matter where we are situated. I’ll always be your little chicken 🙂 I can’t wait to see you again, I know that we will pick up right where we left off!
There is just so much to say about this wonderful person but where to start? Firstly, training would have been an absolute bore if it wasn’t for you. Thank the almighty Qatar admin gods that they placed you and I in the same training batch as I would have seriously struggled without that infectious laugh of yours. Thank you for the support you have given me throughout the years, the delicious brunches you have put on at your apartment and of course just being a true friend that I can laugh with, cry with, gym with, look ugly with and just be 100% myself with without any judgement. You’re an amazing girl and I feel so lucky to have even met someone as amazing as you and now have the privilege of calling you a friend. I know that we will forever be in one another’s life no matter where life takes us. You deserve the world.
India’s next top model Dan
What’s not to like about you? Firstly, you have a great name. Secondly, you are the most beautiful person on the inside and the outside. I remember when I met you, I said “I want to meet that girl’s parents so that I can tell them what a wonderful job they did at raising such a wonderful daughter” and I can safely say after properly getting to know you over the past few years I still want to say the exact same thing to your parents! You inspire me to be a more humble, gracious, and softer person. These qualities that you possess are so rare to find in people these days and it’s so nice to see them in someone as young as you. I hope that no matter what hardships this world throws at you that you remain that soft and gentle butterfly which you are because it’s beautiful!
My Melbourne gal Jina
A Melbourne girl lost in Qatar until our paths finally crossed and I felt I could breathe again… it was like I had finally found someone who speaks my language (literally! :P) The two of us immediately connected, perhaps it was because of our roots or perhaps it was because of your easy going nature. Either way, I’m so blessed that I had you throughout my time in Qatar. I’ve loved spending time with you, going to nice restaurants and bars, travelling together and venting over how nothing compares to our beloved home town Melbourne. I wish I could pack you in my suit case and take you with me but I know you have big things coming your way in QR and a man patiently waiting for you back home. Can’t wait to see you again somewhere around the world or perhaps back in Melbs one day!
That’s all folks!
If you’re considering joining a Middle Eastern airline or Qatar Airways in particular, my advice is DO IT! I’ve honestly had the best two years of my life and have zero regrets on joining. For those of you flying (my beloved colleagues) my final words to you is LOVE what you do. I believe being cabin crew is one of the greatest jobs you can do depending on what you make of it. Enjoy your flights but better yet enjoy your layovers, enjoy the opportunity to travel the world and make the most of every minute. I know there are a lot of pressures that come along with the job and there are a lot of people within the company that are here for the wrong reasons but never let them kill your spirit! I truly believe in the power of a positive mind (and this goes to everyone reading) each day we CHOOSE what kind of day we’re going to have and furthermore we choose what kind of life we want to live…
So make the correct choice each day and you will live nothing but a FAB life!