Travel questions answered

Heather PooleStephanie Elizondo Griest, author of  of Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana, and Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines, interviewed me on her fun and insightful blog.  Just thought I’d share…

This week’s Best Women’s Travel Writing 2010 contributor spends her days pushing 300-pound carts at 30,000 feet and then blogging all about it: Heather Poole. A flight attendant with 15 years of experience, she’ll be making her memoir debut next summer.

What is “home” for you? Is it a particular place or person or thing?

Home is where my fifteen-pound cat, Gatsby, lives. I’m a flight attendant. I spend part of each month living out of a suitcase. My husband, whom I met on a flight, travels over 100,000 miles a year for business, while my son, a three-and a half-year-old, has been on an airplane at least once a month since he was three months old. All roads lead back to the cat, the only family member with a permanent address.

When did you first hit the road? How did it go?

After I didn’t get a raise working a regular 9-to-5 job for a well-known watch company, I quit. Soon after, I ran across an ad in the newspaper for an airline looking to hire flight attendants. I had never wanted to be a flight attendant, but the pay wasn’t bad and there were lots of days off, so I figured I’d do it for a little while, and as I traveled the world, meeting all kinds of exciting new people, I’d apply to other jobs, ya know, the kind that pay well and people have respect for – something in marketing maybe. Fifteen years later I’m still flying. Life is good.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Travel questions answered

  1. Just curious about what your plans are.

    I’ve studied in France, worked on a kibbutz in Israel and then got a job as an international Flight Attendant after college. I’ve been to 50 countries and lived in 5.

    Finally, at the age of 35, after 10 years of flying, I got married and had my first child. We didn’t slow down, too much! I was about to get out and about quite well. He was a good little traveller.

    I think it really started turning when I had my second child and my first started school. Then I
    indirectly lost my job, thanks to 9/11. I found that our “vacation” time was scraped away. Preschool was okay. I could pull him out basically when I wanted but after kindergarten, they were more strict.

    Fast forward to today. Vacations are now relegated to school vacations, more expensive, harder to book, when everything is crowded… What’s really dire is that I have to figure it out months in advance. No spontaneity! My brain has trouble picturing summer in January.

    How I miss my off-season travel! The discounts, having room and space… I’m paying more and getting less. Even if I still had my travel benefits, no way could I use them! Everything is packed.

    I do have F/A friends who just say stuff it, pull their kids out of school early (say, a week before they get out anyway) and/or make arrangements with the teacher. They just can’t do that too often.

    How are you going to avoid this dilemma? If you have more children? When your son’s school becomes more “serious”? When he starts sports, music or whatever?

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t regret letting go of my old life but the travel-aspect is a definite compromise. I’m glad I took advantage of my many, many years being single. I’m wondering if you’ve figured out the Magic Solution.

    P.S. How is Capri with kids? We love Italy too!

  2. Great blog! I found your packing trips just in time to get ready for a trip to India… I’ll make sure to roll, not fold!

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