April 16, 2014

Destination: Mauritius

In December of last year I had one of the best layovers of all time: Mauritius! This paradise Island was on my long list of destinations to see before... well.. you know. It was my 'top bid' month, meaning I had first choice (sort of) in choosing 5 destinations to fly to. Of course, I chose Mauritius as one of my top bids.


And what I did in Mauritius will be with me for the rest of my life: I went swimming with dolphins in the Indian Ocean! Not in some small, confined tank with trained dolphins. No, wild dolphins in the OCEAN!
At first I was hesitant to go, because it meant getting up at 5 in the morning. When you're a flight attendant you usually come at your destination exhausted and deprived of sleep from the night or day before, that lacks routine just as the rest of your life. You arrive in a different country, where now there is also a time difference. Put all these things together and "nice to meet you, I am a walking sleeping disorder". Anyway, I got over it and got myself out of bed in time.
Me, and some of my colleagues, were picked up by two guides and driven to the ocean side. A boat was waiting there for us. If you know me, you know I don't really like boats or water for that matter. However, this was a speedboat and the water was clear green, meaning I could see a shark coming from a distance. That kinda made me feel better. So.... with enormous speed we went on our way to spot the dolpins. It wasn't long before we found them. Swimming in a large group, there they were, the dolphins. I could not believe my eyes. When it got too crowded with other boats and curious people, our boat driver (my english dictionary has left me at this moment) brought us to another place. We were very lucky. Some very happy dolphins were playing around and jumping out of the water.


I was the first to go in. With fins and a snorkeling mask, I sat at the end of the boat waiting to jump in at the count of the guide. He brought the boat in front of the approaching dolphins and told us 'go, now'. As I am not too familiar with snorkling or diving... or anything regarding swimming.. my first experience was that the water was really salty, in taste. I couldnt figure out how to breathe throw the snorkle. But there they were, the dolphins. Part of me swallowing loads of water is probably because I was in awe and couldn't close my mouth. This was amazing.
It only lasted for a few seconds and I got on the boat again to let other people experience the same. But when they asked who wanted to go for a second time, I jumped in again. However, not before asking some questions about how to work the snorkle.
I understood the trick and as a miracle I now could breathe and look under water at the same time... and there it was... the most amazing experience of my life... dolphins swimming right under my feet. A mommy and her baby. If I had reached out, I would have been able to touch them. After they had crossed me I tried to swim after them. With the emphasis on tried, because even if you would flap those fins as hard as you could, it would only add maximum one second of extra viewing time. They go so fast. Swimming after them is an illusion really.
Even though it went by fast, that image is stuck in my brain. I will never ever forget it.


Oh.... the rest of the island is pretty cool too by the way hahah. There is lots of nature to see, like waterfalls and volcano craters. Also rare occurences like the 7 coloured earths, which is beautiful. The beaches are white, the water is bright green.. what more do you want? GO see Mauritius.


xoxo Kim

February 1, 2014

Something Sentimental...

Six months and a lot of beautiful memories and hard times later, I am still living in Dubai and working full time as a trolley dolly. Nobody said it was going to be easy.
My favorite places until now are Cape Town, Bangkok and Mauritius. They are so different from what I know and what I am used to, in a good way of course, that I cannot but love them. It is amazing, and I hope I never take it for granted, that one day I can buy my favorite tea in London and the next I am picking out red wine in South Africa.
 
This also makes it hard to stay in the moment sometimes. I do get frustrated. Night flights, early mornings, no sleep at all…….. Sometimes I just want to go home, put pajamas on and watch The Kardashians. No seeing the world or experiencing different cultures, you just want familiar ground under your feet.
 
Being away from everything you know, including family and friends, is not something everyone deals with well. For me it is very hard. It can get very lonely even though I literally have hundreds of people around me every day.
 
What I have learned and what has fascinated me is that everyone in this job is searching for their mission in life. No one knows exactly what they will be doing next year or even at all what they want to do. But I also realized for myself that, even though I like not being stuck in a 9 to 5 job and a very routinized life, I miss some structure and stability in some areas.
For me structure and stability does not mean living and working in one place. It means having a stable basis of friends and family around you, and romantic love. I can go anywhere in the world, live and be me anywhere in the world, but not without a love that is shared.
I have always wanted to escape outside my ‘normal’ environment. As a little girl I wanted to travel, see the world and wander unknown streets. Now all I want to do is find love and go wherever love goes. I will find my way in the mountains of Fiji or in de snow of Sweden, as long as there is love. I will find a job, that might not satisfy my creative brain, but I will make it work. As long as I have love around me, I can make anything work.
Uncertainty about where your heart is geographically can be dealt with. But going without a true ‘home’ where your heart can go and be itself, be known by others and be strengthened by others is really difficult.
My journey in life thus becomes not only to travel the world, but to travel within myself, finding love in my heart and, as a result, be able to love and be loved in return. And that’s that.

November 5, 2013

September: Paris, Manila, Colombo & Dar es Salaam!

My first roster almost gave me a heartattack. I had a lot of turnarounds (you fly somewhere and after two hours you fly right back to Dubai) and 'only' four layovers (destinations where you spend the night). Luckily, they were nice layovers so I had something to look foreward to.

Paris, France

My first layover was in Paris. The hotel was close to the airport and so it took us about an hour to get to the city. Before I came to Dubai I went to Paris with my mom and had seen a camera at Lomography. These are 'old style' cameras, for which you still use the 35mm film. I don't know how, but we found the store and I bought it.


Manila, Philippines

My second layover was Manila. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling well, so I stayed in the hotel and slept all day. That's just how it goes sometimes. The flights can get you really fatigued. Especially in the beginning I had real trouble managing my sleep, but I'm getting used to it now.


Colombo, Sri Lanka

I was so happy about this layover, because I probably would have never gone to Sri Lanka by myself. Together with the Captain I took a tour by car. We visited a few temples and a spice garden. It was very interesting. After seeing a little bit of this country, I would love to come back and visit more. It has the most amazing nature and lots of wildlife.



 

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

First of all I couldn't believe that I was going to Africa. I was so so excited. Unfortunately we didn't get to see too much. It is not a place where you just go out and have a stroll around. We ordered a taxi from the hotel and were driven to the seaside where we had a really nice dinner at a seafood restaurant. After that we just returned to the hotel, which was amazing. We were told that President Obama stayed in the same hotel, when he visited Tanzania. I can see why, because I had never seen anything like it. The rooms were amazing and looked out over the sea.



 
 

xoxo Kim

November 4, 2013

Update: my life in Dubai!

It has been 4 months! Finally.... I have internet in my home and I can't wait to keep you updated about my adventures. The first few weeks (months actually) in Dubai have been hard. It has taken me a lot of time to adjust and get settled in. The 8 week training my batchmates and I went through was difficult and very tiring. All we did was study, sleep and eat. The intensity of it was amazing. However, after 2 months of flying I can say that it is one of the best opportunities I have had in life. Okay.. it is very hard.. sometimes I want to just go back home, but overall my life here is pretty amazing. The weather is always nice, I get to travel the world and meet tons of interesting people. Most times I am jetlagged and sleep deprived. There's days where I have to get up at 3 in the morning or leave at 3 in the afternoon. There is no such thing as 'routine'. It is very difficult sometimes. We work long long hours. Sometimes I am up and running for 18 hours AT LEAST! But without this job I would have never seen as many beautiful places as I have seen now. It's not all glamour... but it's worth it. I will keep you posted ;-)

July 3, 2013

One day left!

Tomorrow I'm leaving for Dubai!!! Packing is a chaos. There is stuff all over my floor and clothes in every room of the house. I have three suitcases to pack and a bag. Aaahh...
Tonight I'm having some friends and family over and tomorrow afternoon I will get on the plane. After a 6,5 hour flight with Emirates Airlines I will arrive at Dubai International Airport. There, I will be picked up and brought to my apartment, which is in Al-Qusais. I am very very nervous, but also can't wait to start this new chapter in my life. Wish me luck!!


xoxo Kim

Paris / Beauty Buys

I had a wonderful 4 days in Paris with my mom. We stayed in this really cute apartment in the middle of Montmartre. We walked to all the big tourist attractions, like Tour de Eiffel, Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre. I didn't do too much shopping, but since I still needed a few things for Dubai I thought it would be nice to get them in Paris :-).


From left to right:
1. Bio Beauté by Nuxe. This is an all natural face cream with SPF50, which I will definitely need in Dubai with my pale skin.
2. Klorane shampoo. I tried this from someone else and really liked it. This is the 'peony' version for an irritated scalp.
3. Caudalie facewash. I had seen this in New York, but thought it was too expensive. When I saw this smaller bottle at the Pharmacie, which was also much much cheaper, I had to to get it of course..
4. L'Oréal gel liner. This eyeliner stays put for 24 hours (so it says), which will be nice for long flights.
5. Evian spray for refreshment during flights.
6. Biafine. This is a cream that is usually used for burns. I heard from a make up artist that it works amazing on blemishes, red spots etc. Not expensive so I thought I'd try it out. 
I also got the NARS Orgasm blush, but forgot to photograph it .. oops.

xoxo Kim

May 24, 2013

Going to Paris!

I have planned a trip to Paris!! Yayy.. I've never been to Paris before and since I will be moving to Dubai pretty soon I wanted to do something nice with my mom. Pretty good choice right?!
I can't wait to see the Eiffel Tower, go on the Seine with a boat and shop on des Champs Élysées.
Oh.. and eat Croissants and Macaroons of course.
We're taking the Thalys (superfast train that will get us in paris in 2,5 hours) and I will book a room through airbnb.com, which is usually much cheaper than a hotel. This way, you get to stay in a local's home, which always makes the trip more interesting in my opinion. After all, they have the inside knowledge hahah.

Any tips for visiting Paris anyone?




May 15, 2013

Primark Accessories

Looks like I just got these pieces from my-wardrobe, mytheresa or net-a-porter right?... uhmmmm...... no. Got them from Primark. Although I love some good (vintage) designer pieces, there is no shame in using less expensive items to doll yourself up. The necklace was €5,- and the ring was €2,-!!! You have to start small right?!

 xoxo Kim