Different

Times were different. We all thought we’d be wearing our matching blue and turquoise uniforms until we were grey and wrinkly.

It was a warm spring day with a bit of a breeze and we were in Windsor. Again. A crew member was telling me how adorable Hvar was, having been there several times, and it became firmly planted in my mind’s forever-long to-do-list. I saw the flowers she talked about, I saw the sea sparkle at the end of the alley. I was almost there. Meanwhile, in Windsor, I walked past a cafe with colorful, luscious muffins in the window, and did not feel the urge to take a picture.

The hotel had a nice gym and my workout mate was a girl who was obsessed with whitening her teeth. They were very beautiful indeed. Everyone was excitedly planning what to shop at Tesco, what foreign food items to bring home to their empty fridge. Joss Stone’s songs were playing as I waited for reception to return my passport.

We were issued company credit cards without asking – we spoiled brats – as we traveled from country to country. At one point or another, we’d all sat on the tiny jumpseat in the cockpit listening to funny aviation talk with important-looking headphones on. Watching the plane land from the pilots’ viewpoint, seeing them aim in between the lines on the runway. Feeling pleased when they hit it spot on. Triumphant.

Another warm spring day and I was in Zurich, speed-tanning myself on the front steps of an empty plane. Our empty plane, that day. The pilot, a plane spotter, announced the arrival of an unusual plane at the airport at that precise moment, and told us where to look. I let the technical details slide, but was curious to see. I had previously been testing perfumes at the tax free shop and could smell four different scents on my wrists. Perfume and coffee were my airport routines.

Times were different. Climate change wasn’t part of dinner conversation and mass tourism wasn’t everywhere. The notion of a pandemic was just a nightmarish sci-fi movie. The only thing on my mind was what to buy next, where to travel next, what to eat next. It was all about me.

I didn’t grow old and wrinkly in that uniform – and that’s a good thing.

42 responses to “Different

  1. so simple and so powerful: The only thing on my mind was what to buy next, where to travel next, what to eat next. It was all about me. / Honestly, I miss me..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Loved this. Amazing how times have changed, and how fast it’s all gone by. I’ve started working on a memoir, so my kids will know what it was like in the Dark Ages! X

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow, that’s a good and honest transfer back to those time. Hvar is pretty special for real, you know. My mother’s parents went there on a holiday every September. 🙂 Company’s credit card? Realllly??

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Different days, different lifestyle, different life really. But then, many of us probably have some version of that in our background. The way I look at it is that all these experiences contribute in some way to who we are today, sometimes inspirationally, sometimes as a warning. The trick is figuring out which is which. Perhaps your ‘Pointless’ tag is a clue in this regard!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. So very poignant! An honest look at our naive and younger selves. How we go forward now is the true question of this time. Thanks for this thought provoking post. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Those were the days. Huokaus. Vapun sampanjalasillisen hienoin juttu oli kenties kun sen sai juoda Wirkkalan Ultima Thulesta. Sai hetken muistella miten hyvältä lasillinen Nicholas Feuillattea maistui pilvien päällä. Vähän sitä on kyllä ikävä. En ole koskaan ollut mikään himoreissaaja, mutta silloin kun olen matkustanut, en ole liikkunut millään säästöbudjetilla. Onneksi shoppailu ei ole koskaan kuulunut harrastuksiini, kaikkein vähiten matkoilla… Mutta bisnesluokan lento – sinne Zurichiinkin – ja kauniit, pienet putiikkihotellit, niitä kaipaan kyllä. Mutta kenties vielä enemmän niitä Sveitsin vuoristomaisemia ja vihreitä alppiniittyjä ❤

    Vähemmän mutta parempaa, se tulee olemaan mottoni jatkossakin. Ihan kaikessa. Joskus vuosia sitten lensin Rynskillä Bergamoon, kaksi kertaa eli sen ensimmäisen ja viimeisen, ja päätin heti että never again. Sen jälkeen olen pitäytynyt sinivalkoisessa. Vähemmän mutta parempaa, laadukkaampaa ja harvemmin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mä en ole ollut lentoyhtiöuskollinen, olen lentänyt vaikka millä ja työskennellytkin 4:ssä eri lentoyhtiössä. Mutta mullakin on huono kokemus Ryanair-lennosta Bergamoon! Halpislennot ei oo munkaan juttu, varsinkin kun vuodet vierii tuun enemmän ja enemmän mukavuudenhaluiseksi ja haluan maksaa laadusta. En ole koskaan ollut suurshoppailija mutta matkoilta on ollut kiva tuoda perusjuttuja kuten arkivaatteita tai ruokaa. Enpä enää kaipaa matkailuakaan. 😊 Kiitos kun luit!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Very well written, indeed. It let me think – we all have other priorities now. And we live with it. Just one thing makes me bit sad – my grandma living so far from me and being old as turtle, the most she misses is hugs. Ordinary hugs from grandchildren.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Uuummm interesting thoughts, Snow!! I guess we all have that phase in our lives… we are young, we have a job, money and all we think about is how to spend it…
    But life continues, circumstances and priorities change and all that make us see our past acts with different eyes… It doesn’t mean they are bad, just we see it with “now” eyes.
    I’m sure the babies meant a 180º turn in your life! And the present crisis is also life changing for almost all of us! We’ll see our pre-coronavirus life with different eyes now.
    I hope you and your family are safe and healthy!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. LOL. As an airline brat, I can only agree with you. I now see videos trying to ban air travel… Come on!
    (I still have my Paris tickets for July. Waiting for the airline to contact me and see if we can move the dates… For when? If the airline doesn’t go bankrupt… Sigh!)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A nostalgic post, Snow and am interesting perspective. What a life you had. Even if it seems there may have been times when you took some things for granted, I can tell you appreciate them now! Beautiful memories and well written. I was right there with you! I love your writing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Amanda. I’ve lived so many lives already (maybe most people feel that way?). I don’t miss those traveling days at all, actually. Quite the opposite. It’s just interesting to marvel at how I was such a different person then – was that really me? Am I still the same girl?
      Hope you’re well? Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Motherhood changes us all so completely. We do become a different person, with sometimes completely different priorities. I felt like I was just swimming with the current for years, until I became a mother. Then I developed a clear direction! We are well – just about to get a new puppy ( my daughter’s) and as she is home at the moment, it will be a little bit like having a baby again. It will be interesting to see if she, who will treat it like her own baby, has any change of direction too? Is there anywhere you regret travelling to?

        Liked by 1 person

        • No, nowhere I regret traveling to, it just doesn’t seem that important anymore and maybe even a bit silly (especially the selfie-instagram version of it). A little puppy sounds adorable!!! Please post photos?!?! 💕💕💕💕

          Liked by 1 person

          • Travel could be considered to be a collector type mentality. This is where it becomes shallow. Another notch on the belt. A status symbol. I certainly hear that here. “We are doing Cinque De Terre this year, Morocco next year,” etc etc. I think travel is very useful to open one’s eyes and mind to life in other parts of the world. We don’t all live the same way and have the same lives. It does expand one’s consciousness for those who have never left their own shores, never seen life in Africa or the Third World. I think that is important to combat xenophobic thinking. However, one has to have an open mind to derive any benefit from that other than just a looking at the goldfish in the bowl kind of effect, don’t you think? I don’t like hearing tourists complaining that a foreign country is so different – I want to ask them: why did you come then? If you wanted everything to be the same as home? I get that a particular country may have appeal and others don’t, but we must be respectful in our comments. Your eyes were opened at a very young age to other countries and cultures, so you were already way ahead of the game in understanding the greater world.
            No doubt the puppy will feature in a post or two, perhaps at my Home by the Sea blog.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I agree! I think, for me, the point where travel began to not seem so cool anymore was when everyone started doing it + selfies + instagram influencers + overtourism + climate change all entered the picture. Just imagine all the pollution the airline business creates due to people flying around unnecessarily, purely for hedonistic reasons. (And I was one of them.) Kind of like the people in lockdown who need to risk it all just to go buy some hair dye. Like it really was that important to stay looking good in lockdown. (Well, we are all different and if that gives some people joy, I shouldn’t judge.) Anyway, during all my travels the ones that really stand out are when I lived somewhere and worked or studied amongst the locals, making friends, learning the language, merging with the culture. You can’t do that on a one-week trip. What about you, any regrets or favorites – besides Scandinavia? 😁

              Liked by 1 person

              • At the risk of sounding hedonistic, my favourites have to be Japan, Nepal, Poland, Scandinavia – all of it incl Finland and Iceland. I regret spending time in Thailand, it didn’t appeal at all, nor did Hong Kong. I planned my trips thoroughly so I don’t really regret the paths I took but perhaps the time in particular places coul d have been adjusted. I was going to travel across the border into Jamtland, Sweden, from Trondheim and did not do that. I wish I had of now, as I probably won’t get back there and I read that is a different area, one that sees itself as separate to the rest of Sweden.
                I think your immersive travel experiences are what we all seek in our shorter travel holidays/stays, but circumstances don’t always allow for that. In that case, I see those short trips as “reccy,” trips. Checking out the spot for possible further visitation and exploration. For me, I would have hated to be stuck in Thailand for an extended period, a week was enough.
                I think a lot of people use short trips as mental health trips – a time to relax and get away from the pressures of life and work at home.

                Liked by 1 person

  11. Ahhh…carefree days. Even though they don’t look the same as those of our youth, I hope we again have some carefree days in the future.

    Stay well! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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