Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Next Stop, YVR

My Travel Guru once told me, medium - term travel is the key to my sanity and I am not one to doubt my Guru but he didn’t define how long in between my adventures it would be. It was almost three months since I spontaneously jumped on a private jet to New York City and really I was only there for five days. That is not an adventure but a weekend getaway. I had also just started a new position at the Radio station….


I know how could I subject myself to desk work?! Monday to Friday none the less!! The clock was ticking on the wall above my desk where I was shackled to as was my biological travel clock. Thankfully the son of my parent’s best friends and my surrogate Aunt and Uncle decided to get married in his current city of Vancouver, British Columbia, yours truly and her plus one received an invite.

 It wasn’t Britain and it wasn’t Colombia but I was getting on a plane and that was all that mattered.  Although with the $649 cost to my plane ticket you would have thought I was going to one of the above mentioned locales but no I was staying in the Great White North.

Many people have told me I would love Vancouver; it is full of transient people, lots of hippies, it's laid back; people hang out on the beach instead of going to work. It doesn’t get cold there and hardly ever snows. This was sounding like absolute paradise! I was really considering fecking it all and just staying out there. I would love to live in a big artsy city. Although for once I thought practically and figured it would be best to check out the city first before I pack up my balls and as the Pet Shop Boys/Village People say “Go West!!

(Yes slightly weird but adds a little flare to my blog and you get the message! Go West!! Together We will love the beach Together We will learn and teach Together Change our pace of life Together We will work and strive)

 I had absolutely nothing planned for this excursion to the Canadian province that seems to attract 99% of the backpackers that come to my country. I had my first night booked in a hostel and my hotel for the night of the wedding and the essential bright vintage summery dress for the occasion…

…..Someone forgot to mention to me that not only does Vancouver miss out on the cold of Ontario it also lacks in heat…   

Gringa and cold do not mix

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I love New York????

I really didn’t expect to like New York. I am not a fan of large North American cities to me they all seem the same with ugly sky scrapers. There is just nothing aesthetically pleasing about the average North American City to me; you do not have the old rich architecture of Europe from Gothic to Victorian to Baroque to Roman. Here in North America you have Cement and concrete, tall and square. You will not find the vibrant colours and colonial beauty as you would in South America instead tacky neon lights.

However New York surprised and pleased this savvy sometimes jaded traveller in more ways than just the look of the city.

First I just have to tell you that since this was a working trip I got put up in a poshy hotel. It had been a while since I enjoyed the luxury of a hotel room, so the first thing I did in New York City was jump on my King Size bed!

New York has a reputation of being an unfriendly city full of rude New Yorkers. This is completely not the case. I found people willing to help me out at every turn with direction or just a smile. As I got off my bus from Jersey at the Port Authority Bus terminal everyone thanked the bus driver as they got off.

I did what I normally do in any city; walk, walk, walk and walk some more. I pretty much walked all through Manhattan except the Upper West and East sides. I even ventured over to Brooklyn and took a ride on the Carousel.

The fantastic thing about New York is that when there is no use for a building anymore instead of tearing it down they turn it into something else. There is a boutique clothing shop in a church, apartments in old factories, an old building turned into an Italian Market place (http://eatalyny.com/). You have old churches and monuments beside new sky scrapers and 5 million dollar condos. The city is full of contrast, I enjoyed a Mexican meal on a patio in West village while people strolled by on the cobble stone street then I headed down to the Financial district to see the 5:00pm rush of suits on Wall Street.

I did not however fall in love with all of New York, Time Square scares me, to me it actually represents all that is wrong with North American society and Capitalism. To be that bombarded with flashing ads did my head in. I found everything there was over the top and supersized. It wasn’t just a toy store; it was a toy store with carnival rides! I felt like every ad was saying, “Why be you when you could be me.” The theatre district does have Broadway which was very tempting but instead I escaped to the tranquil beauty of Central Park, and breathed a sign of relief. How many cities the size of New York have a beautiful green space right smack in the centre?  

I have seen people wearing the typical I Love New York shirts and I thought that would never be me. New York is not my type of city, phew! I love Rio; I love Paris but New York? That would never happen!

However New York is everyone’s type of city and I can honestly say;

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Private Jetting: Dressing the Part

I left the Toronto airport after my training which wasn’t really training at all just making a to do list for the pilot. He seemed a bit spacey…would it be too punny if I were to say the Pilot was a bit flighty?

I had a million questions running through my head and I was a nervous wreck, then my pilot friend who got me this gig reminded me of one very important thing…

I am awesome!

Also I am smart and I have wanted to do this practically my whole life. For some reason I lack confidence at key moments. Not this time! I am a classy private jet flight attendant!

At least I was going to look the part. One of my key rules in life, you need to look and dress the part. When traveling dress like the locals, in the workplace dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

I had about four hours to pack, sleep and get ready to drive back to Toronto to leave on my private jet plane. I spent half of that time researching the colours of the company I would be working for and googling how to tie a scarf like a flight attendant. I brought my outfit with me to the private jet hanger and changed in the bathroom. I went from gypsy traveler girl juggling random jobs to a grey pencil skirt, white blouse, black blazer, red scarf wearing, slicked back low pony tail private jet flight attendant looking broad.

My pilot friend was impressed. All I had to do was act the part and push the nerves of messing up and looking like a fraud down deep inside.

The family we took to Teterboro Airport just outside of New York City was a wealthy Jewish family going to a wedding. In the aviation world you do not need a flight attendant for such a short flight but these passengers requested one, possibly because they had a lot of small children on board. I really didn't have to do anything but bring them water and hand out their customs\immigration forms. They had baskets of kosher snacks and were busy occupying their children.

When the plane look off I strapped myself in the jump seat and looked over the shoulders of the pilots down to the ground and the clouds and we ascended into the sky. I felt pure bliss; this is where I was meant to be. I didn’t have to just look the part anymore, I also felt it.

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
Leonardo Da Vinci
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