Although I usually post under my Home To Italy blog, Agnes and Amy deserve to be in the Solo Travel site even it I met them on my current trip Home To Italy.
After changing my travel plans, which included a return sail on the Queen Mary, because of hurricane Sandy I found the only non stop flight available to me was to Zurich and then train Home To Italy.
I met Agnes at the door to the jet as I boarded the dreaded overnight flight to Zurich. For the past 3 years I have used FF miles for half of each adventure so that I could sail east or west, depending on the solo deal offered.
Agnes, who I later chatted with at length, was wearing a corsage and I asked if it was her Birthday. She replied, no but this was her last flight after a 40 year career as a flight attendant! Even on her last flight she offered a smile to everyone in the steerage class and chatted with passengers she meets regularly on her transatlantic crossing.
The FIRST thing that came to my mind when she said she was retiring was the commercials that ask: “what are you going to do now?” and the response is I am going to Disney World. So when Agnes agreed to chat with me later in the flight when passengers had been fed and put to ‘bed’, this was the first comment I made.
Agnes did not hesitate and replied, “I am NOT going to Disney World”. This began our chat about working with the airlines for 4 decades, the places she had visited, the changes in the career that found her after she took an au pair position in NYC in her early 20’s. See later the slogans airlines used since the 1960’s. She was frank and outspoken. This was her last day flying the ….skys…..and I am only using her first name, so the chance of retaliation was slim.
But what was far more interesting to me was how she viewed the next chapter of her life….. As I travel solo I sometimes meet other ‘next life’ travelers. Often we only scratch the surface into each others’ lives: why are you traveling here, why are you traveling solo. One of their first thoughts are that you must be gay to be traveling alone. Agnes confirmed this too. Even though her job constantly sends her off solo.. I loved her (Agnes’) spirit of adventure. We went over her bucket list and some were USA based sites and others international sites she wanted to revisit. She has a list of mountains she wants to ski!
All this points out to me again that I may travel solo but I am not as adventurous as many of the thousands of others out there living every day to the max.
Such good words to live by. So congrats Agnes. I hope you read this and tell me where you are next and what you find there…..