Time was ticking and it was time to make a decision. Should I go home or push through and visit more countries as a flight attendant?
I believe that certain things in life happen for a reason and for me being in Qatar was simply living a dream. I was a flight attendant, something I’d always wanted to do for a short period of time. I still remember the day I said to myself that after my bachelor, I would fly and experience the job myself. God listened to me and put this opportunity on my path right when I needed something else. I was indeed living a dream...
You know..In life, you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. A very high price sometimes. The moment I landed in Qatar and saw all these time restrictions and rules for the first time I immediately knew I wouldn’t manage to stay long. Not because I am (too) spoiled but simply because of the lack of freedom. I believe in taking your own responsibilities and knowing when to go home and take rest before a flight. I believe in performance and giving your best whenever you are in an aircraft. I don’t believe in setting boundaries for people and putting restrictions on when to be in their room. I also don’t believe in a fear-based company culture, which Qatar Airways definitely maintains. With all these restrictions I’ve spent a lot of time alone in my apartment because I never had enough time to go out and be home in time again. Indeed, it made me do a lot of thinking as well, which I really needed at that time. I have discovered that ME-TIME is important in life as it makes u think about certain things. I believe that with this ME-time you get steps closer to the answer to the important question: WHO AM I?
Despite all the restrictions, I have seen a lot of places all over the globe. Pakistan, Canada, Casablanca, Marrakesh, Johannesburg, Bali, Baku, Manchester, Hong Kong, Australia, Amsterdam, South-Korea, Windhoek, Phuket, Cape Town, Zagreb, Manilla, Beijing and Kuala Lumpur. What a beautiful and magical experience it was for me. All these different countries, with their beautiful landscape, people and cultures. An experience, which cost me a lot of energy and sleepless hours. But one that no one can ever take away from me!
I have come to the conclusion that being a flight attendant is a lifestyle, that either suits you for a short period of time or forever. I have experienced moments of joy during my job, met nice passengers but more often felt tired and experienced loneliness. A lot of nice people from different backgrounds crossed my path. People who came to follow their dreams, people who needed something completely different in their life and people who left their family in the hope to provide them a brighter future. All these people crossing my path made me realize and truly appreciate what I have and what I strive to be in the future. I believe that things in life happen for a reason and that it is important to follow your dreams but more than OK to realize that ‘THE dream’ is not really the one for you.
The most important thing about living in Qatar was realizing and defining what freedom actually is. Freedom to me isn’t the ability to do whatever you want, but TO BE whoever you want to be, to love whoever you want and to speak your mind whenever you want. One thing that bothered me a lot is the gender inequality in the middle east (well Qatar). A constant situation where the man thinks he is superior to a woman and this is something I will never tolerate. But in the end, the meaning of freedom depends on the person themself.
With all these thoughts running through my mind, it was time to make the decision. For me, it was time to go home! In life you don’t make the wrong decision, it is either the right one or the one which teaches you something. But always learn from it! After some days, it was time to leave the country. My flight departed on time, as Qatar Airways always does, and I was seated at 11A. The moment I was seated, I stared out the window and felt this positive energy running through my body. I think a feeling of relieve but also this proud feeling that I worked for the best airline worldwide. I then looked at the flight attendants and imagined myself one more time doing the job. A big smile on my face, greeting the customer and ensuring them of our award-winning service. I made peace with it and it was time to go. I looked outside again and saw moments of my life in Qatar flashing by as we took off. I smiled, waved to the land of Qatar, slowly closed my window and eyes as we were climbing into the sky. Was the price I paid to see the world worth it? You tell me!