I feel like I have been defined by flight. By Qantas. That Platinum card (actually it’s down to Gold now).

I’ve been traveling for work since 2005. I left my job in the lab on a Wednesday morning and flew to Singapore that afternoon for sales training. And I haven’t really stopped flying since.

To me, booking a flight has become second nature. Cabs are just a way to get to the plane. Planes are my office, my bed, my living room, my school. I read on planes, I sleep, I listen to music. I watch TV, I write emails, I plan campaigns, I strategise. Before the plane takes off, I speak to coworkers, to family and to friends.

I write stories on planes (I’m writing this on a plane). I edit photos on my phone. I talk to the people next to me. I stare out at the clouds or at the dark night sky.

I can’t imagine how many hours of my life have been whittled away in airplanes and airports, in taxis and ubers. Last week alone, it was more than 16 hours in just 4 days.

It’s such an alien concept to a lot of people. And most people who don’t do it on the day-to-day have zero idea what it’s really like. They think it’s fun and glamorous. That you’re always living it up. But it’s incredibly tiring. It’s a lot of your time just used up. It’s missed events at home. It’s amazing to be up hurtling through the air at hundreds of kilometers per hour. It’s very lonely. It’s boring. It’s peaceful. It’s serene. There have been days when it’s exhilarating. And days when it’s a nightmare.

Being away from home is a whole other story for another time.

I was once asked in some survey “where do you feel most at home” and my answer, without thought or hesitation was “the Qantas Lounge”. Can you believe it? Crazy.

Of course it’s not all bad. I’ve met amazing people and made lifelong friends (a couple of kindred spirits along the way – I am SO lucky), I’ve seen wonderful cities and I’ve learnt all sorts of new science.  I’ve photographed some very cool places and things.

But I’m tired. It’s exhausting. And apart from seeing my clients overjoyed when they see their robot dance, it can sometimes be thankless and uninspiring.

So now, I have to tell you : I am no longer the frequent flying scientist. I have to take a deep breath when I say that.

No longer the frequent flying scientist.

It’s weird.

And a little bit scary.

I’m still a scientist. I think I’ll always be a scientist at heart. (I hate when people call sugar a poison and talk about the “chemicals” in their food). But I’m no longer a sales person. And no longer traveling for work. I am moving to a desk job! I can make mid-week plans! I haven’t done that in more than 12 years.

I’m really happy. But feeling quite nostalgic. I believe that your life is made up of the people who you meet and the people who you connect with. And that’s always the very hardest thing about leaving somewhere. You aren’t really leaving the place, or leaving the job. You are leaving the people. And with the people you’re closest to, it can be rough. Really rough. There are a very select few people that I’m very sad to be leaving behind, but they are my people. And it breaks my heart a little.

But we will be ok.

For the most part, this transition is exciting. Oh and it’s terrifying. But it’s definitely a welcome thing to no longer be defined by flight.

I will miss that red kangaroo.
But you know what?

I can’t wait to start the next chapter.

x desleyjane

Posted by:desleyjane

photographer, blogger, planner, scientist, dog lover, frequent flyer, daughter, sister, BFF, human

34 replies on “Defined by Flight – a Mini Life Update. 

  1. Good luck to you, hon! Close friends will stay close friends but it may not be the same if you’re not working together. You’ve done your stint. Time for a change. Enjoy it! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great farewell to the flying life – even if you are writing it on a plane. Enjoy all the fruits of your mid-week plans and the new challenges of the desk job. It will be interesting to see whether you ever miss the flying life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good on you you’ll be glad you made the change. I loathe flying now yet I once loved the amazing ness of it. But there is only so much that you can take and when my husband started to tell people that my other home was Tullamarine well… you know how it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All the best to you in your next chapter my friend!! You will do well and enjoy the changes to your lifestyle. Hope all goes well and although it’s a big step you seem sure that it’s the right one, so good on you x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How exciting! I hope the desk job is going well, it will take a bit of getting used to, but I’m sure you won’t miss all the flying. My OH did a lot of flying a few years ago with his job and he was always tired and stressed – didn’t cope well with jet-lag. I enjoyed accompanying him for a while, but all the waiting around at airports becomes quite tedious especially if you are not in a business lounge! As you said, flying for work is not always glamorous and I am sure Miss Gidget is happy to see more of you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s going really well, I’m loving it. Thank you! Yes, the flying is tedious but I was very happy to have lounge access. I still have one year of it left! GG is definitely happy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I didm’t read this at the time…but I know exactly what you mean about the experience of flying for business. Between 2007 and 2011 I flew the red kangaroo and even felt emotional when returning to Sydney and being enveloped in the cosy embrace of ‘The Spirit of Australia’, felt doubly so when approaching the airport, flying across the harbour and spying my apartment building in Pyrmont on the final approach. Now, I fly the BA ‘Speedbird” back and forth across the Sahara and reflect on all those precious flights, and like you, have mixed emotions about the experience….

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know it may sound nuts as a Brit, but I always felt the same. Something about Australia found a place in my heart. Flying with BA has never had the same impact on me. Admittedly approaching Heathrow on a rainy day is not swooping across the glittering water with Balmain nestled below…

        Liked by 1 person

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