A few months ago I jetted out of London Heathrow fighting back tears as I headed home to Australia leaving behind my life in London and Dublin. I was leaving behind someone I loved greatly and a future together that at the time I wanted more than anything else in the world. As my aircraft entered the runway preparing for take off I silently yet firmly promised myself that I would be back. Little did I know at the time what life had in store for me.
Almost 6 months later the promise I made to myself was fulfilled… but the circumstances more different than I ever possibly could have imagined. I arrived back in London as Emirates cabin crew, a resident of the United Arab Emirates, a university graduate and a single woman. Life is beautifully weird sometimes and if 2016 has taught me anything thus far it’s that life can change at the drop of a hat.
When I first saw London on my roster I was overcome with excitement. Having spent large portions of my adult life here, this incredible city is and always will be a second home to me. However, I was overcome with emotion too and slight trepidation as to how my heart would cope being back when I was so incredibly heart broken when I left in March of this year.
The journey to healing has been long and I’ve come to accept that London will perhaps always be a bitter sweet experience going forth. If there is anything I am certain of though I am so happy to have had those experiences in spite of the subsequent pain. Though I have moved on I will cherish those memories and my former life in London forever. Those experiences enriched my life and pushed me in the right direction. For the person who helped create them I wish you nothing but all the good things from this world.
As I awoke in my cosy bed at the Marriott I felt truly happy and that is a feeling that escaped me for many years but thankfully a feeling that has not stopped blossoming since moving to Dubai. I honestly cannot believe I get to live this incredible life with Emirates. In many ways this career saved me and I will never forget what this opportunity has provided a small town girl like me to do and become.
One of my regrets when living in London was not venturing south to Brighton so despite being jet-lagged I awoke at 5.00am to make it to the seaside town and back. It was time to create new memories. If like me your starting point is Heathrow Airport the journey south via public transport takes roughly two hours by bus. If you are traveling from inner London expect a travel time of 60 minutes and 30 minutes if coming from Gatwick. The most efficient form of transport is via National Express which runs direct coach services to Brighton from Heathrow’s central bus terminal (which is surprisingly easy to navigate) stopping at Gatwick along the way. A return bus ticket will set you back £37.00 and further costs will apply should you wish to amend or cancel your ticket.
Having used National Express several times throughout my years of travel, they are a brand I know and trust. They offer a clean, safe and timely service but be sure to pack your own entertainment as WiFi is not readily available on board. Furthermore, keep in mind that traffic along the motorway can be unpredictable so allow plenty of time if returning to Gatwick or Heathrow. Unlike if you elect to arrive by rail, the 727 will literally bring you to the colourful seaside with the world famous Brighton Pier mere metres from your drop off point.
As I only had a few hours to spend in this little town I elected to stay close to the beach and soak in the ambience. Typically I have always been someone who rushes around trying to see anything and everything but I have discovered with my new line of work I need to take things at a slower pace. Yes, with these new erratic hours I find myself easily exhausted but most importantly my career choice means I will be back. For this particular trip Brighton was more than just another destination to cross off the list, but a necessary visit to close a poignant chapter in my life.
Coming back to London was emotionally difficult and perhaps it’s the Australian in me but being by the water is always my sanctuary…and even when that sneaky pang of homesickness rears its ugly head the sea provides the perfect medicine. I don’t know why the seaside provides such peace, the dazzling yet uncomfortable pebbles that decorate this part of the British coast line couldn’t be further from the Aussie sand I am accustomed too. However, the scent is the same and the sound of the waves crashing leave me with the same feeling that life moves on. No matter what you endure, life moves on.
At 31, I have had my fair share of heartache and disappointments but this last relationship left me truly broken. The greater the love the greater the loss. I was petrified to mourn the relationship not wanting to accept it let alone face many truths about myself, him and the ultimate question as to what happens next. A few months ago I was broken and directionless. My life was on a trajectory one moment and everything I was working towards gone in the next. I really did not know what to do with myself.
As I sat in my bedroom shedding tears for him and what was gone whether it was my guardian angel, my subconscious or a higher being I swear a voice came into my head on a Thursday morning and it whispered Emirates. I googled their open days in Sydney only to discover they were conducting interviews that coming Sunday. I didn’t think I was good enough but all of a sudden I knew I had to muster the courage and try. I went along and almost turned around as the hotel sat literally opposite of where I was attacked two years before. It is a big reason why I left Sydney and a part of the city which I try to avoid due to the negative experience. But I buried it and went inside. A week and half later I received a call on Good Friday that I would work for the worlds best airline and would call Dubai home in six weeks time. As for Hunter Street in Sydney. On one side my life changed for the worst but I found the strength to survive. On the other side my life changed again for the best… and here I am sitting on Brighton Beach on a British layover, working for this incredible airline in a job that takes me all around this amazing world of ours where I get to meet people everyday that inspire my faith in humanity.
Travel is the greatest love of my life and this world never ceases to humble me with lessons nature provides. Listen to the waves, you’re alive.
The buzz that envelops Brighton Beach was exactly what I needed. It helped me let go fully of the last remnants of my life in London and as I headed back to my hotel to prepare for my journey home to Dubai I knew exactly where I was meant to be and that everything in my life lead to this moment. I’m okay. Life changes at the drop of hat, but no matter what you’re enduring we truly never know what awaits around the corner. Pick up the hat. Dust it off and keep walking.
*Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views. They do not represent the views of Emirates*