Layover Life: Toronto, Canada

People tell me I think to much. Whether that’s meant to be an insult or not, I don’t disagree with them. I’ve had a lot on my mind these days, and having the opportunity to operate a flight home to Toronto, Canada last week gave me the chance I needed to clear my head.

Dubai is an exciting place to live, but with so much going on in the city all the time it’s nice to get away. I’ve spent nearly a month here on ground, so you can imagine how good it felt to get back into the air and of course, to operate a flight home.

My layovers in Toronto, Canada usually consist of a visit to Burlington, Ontario to see my family. My parents don’t live in the city, so I tend meet them halfway at my aunt’s place for dinner. When I’m not with my loved ones, you can find me catching up with friends at local hot-spots, running around the downtown core trying to get my errands done, or roaming up and down Queens Quay taking in the picturesque views of the Waterfront. It’s hard though. With less than 52 hours to spare, I can’t see everyone I’d like to see and do everything I’d like to do.

Lately, I’ve found myself wondering what things would be like if I didn’t make the move overseas. I think it’s because I’m starting to realize that being a flight attendant isn’t necessarily a career for me, but more of a temporary position that has allowed me to escape the confines of the concrete jungle for a while.

That’s not to say that I’m not happy with where I am right now. I’ve accomplished a lot since I’ve made the life-changing decision to join Emirates. I’ve been to 32 countries, done things I’ve never thought I’d do and made friends that come from places I didn’t even know existed.

My social media presence has also increased dramatically, and I am constantly receiving messages from people all over the world who are inspired by my writing and love of travel. This, of course, was not planned, but welcomed. I’m glad that I’ve been able to share my experience with others. To be honest, this has been one of the most rewarding parts of the job so far, and I am content in knowing that when or “if” I resign, that this attention will fade. I welcome that too.

The hardest part about leaving home is not knowing when I’ll be coming back. Each time I visit, returning to Dubai becomes a lot harder. I read a quote online recently that said:

“Once you experience travel, you will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere”

No matter where this journey takes me, I feel as though this will always be the case. My body will be in one place, but my mind, heart and soul will always be in another. <3

Next Stop: Johannessburg, South Africa

IG: @LipstickAndLuggage
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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.



  1. April 20, 2017 / 12:49 am

    Aww. Hang in there. It must be hard living away from home! I can’t even imagine. But you’re such an inspiration! Stay happy 🙂 xx

    • Lipstick And Luggage
      April 23, 2017 / 5:21 am

      Thank you Tasmiyah! 🙂

  2. Ruari Allen
    April 20, 2017 / 1:23 am

    Wat r u most proud of with the Emirates cabin crew as mine is u wearing the uniform really suits you

  3. Sonia
    April 20, 2017 / 4:04 am

    Hi Kelsey,
    I have been enjoying reading you since your beginning and with this post I felt inside of me I would like to give an answer to your nice post.
    First, let me tell you I admire the determination, kindness and bravery I feel in each of your writing.
    Now, I would like to tell you something. It may get long, so I apologize in advance and I hope you find in this something interesting to be able to read me till the end.
    Once, I was in a similar position to yours. That situation was the Open Day of Emirates. I went there in one of the first months of 2016 to give it a try. The thing is I found myself taken aback when I saw my name in every list after every test of the Open Day. The CV drop off, the first group discussion, the other shorter group discussion, the english test… a whole day was going on there when I didn’t have the hope of getting that far. From 126 people that were there in the morning, just 7 of us were there for the last part. The thing is my family didn’t like me to go to such a far country with such a different culture and I was not sure by then about if I would fit in if I finally went to Dubai, and before the last test, I left the building. Later that day, they called my home. But when I tried to call back the following day to the hotel where they did the interviews, at least to do things correctly, they just said: ‘We are not allowed to take any calls or give any messages related to this company’.
    However, the idea of becoming flight attendant with Emirates created a seed in my mind. It’s like the film of ‘Inception’, you know?
    So it was late. I was not going to become flight attendant with Emirates this time and the idea as starting to grow inside me. Since that day on, I found myself looking up to the sky all the time looking for some airplanes to see them up there, flying. I have dreamt many times about planes, and I started following the life of Emirates flight attendants.
    But of course, I am more than just that idea, and I kept doing my things. Now I’m almost finishing a master’s degree on digital marketing and I am thinking in creating a YouTube channel to teach my mother tongue while I continue thinking about my future.
    What I’m trying to tell you, it’s that I know the other side of your view. I am one of the infinite possible answers to ‘what would things be like if I did not move’. I have wondered the opposite as you, what would have happened if I had kept myself there the other time and if they had finally hired me? How would my life be like if I had become flight attendant by that time? So I think that it may be true what they say “The grass always looks greener on the other side”.
    I think each side and each choice will give you something. In my case, I keep with me that despite what happened that day, I continued doing things, I invested in myself and I spend lot of time with my loved ones. The idea has gotten stick in my mind, but I have thought also about other possibilities in a near future to give a try as well. May be not with Emirates as they also have closed down by now the hiring process, but may be with a national airline, with which I know I would not have the chance to see the vast majority of the world, but that would allow me to sleep at home more nights.
    In your case, I would tell you if you let me, that you should keep with yourself the idea that yes, your life would probably would have been very different from which is now if you wouldn’t have taken the risk, but the idea of flying would probably have been flying in your mind as well, and the ‘what if’ would have been in the other way round. You did well in risking and choosing to go to that experience, and you should keep in mind all the adventures, experiences, knowledge, life mindset, that you have developed and adquired thanks to your journey since you started working there. It doesn’t need to be an everlasting journey, and if you ever feel inside you that it’s enough, you always have the chance to say stop and go back home. But your knowledge and inner experience is something that will always be with you 🙂
    So, I send you strength for the moments you may feel down and homesick, I’m sure your adventure in Emirates will be great for your life, and that if you ever feel really tired, you will always have your family and loved ones waiting for you with their arms wide open.
    Lots of hugs and best wishes

    • Lipstick And Luggage
      April 23, 2017 / 6:26 am

      Hi Sonia,

      Thank you for taking the time to write to me and to share your experience. You’re right! It doesn’t need to be an everlasting journey, and I’m fortunate enough to have friends and family that will support me no matter what. I appreciate your support and your advice- it means a lot to hear this! Wishing you all the best too.

      Kind regards,

  4. May 14, 2017 / 3:16 pm


    Keep reading your blog for a while and it somehow makes me feel close to you knowing there is someone like me out here-someone with the same feelings. I joined in october 2016, so literally just finished probation and as much as I love the traveling and everything, I know that Dubai itself is not the right fit for me. I didnt come here for some career either, I wanted to meet more people, get independent and travel the world. Which is exactly what I do, it just might have been a big change for me all at once. I used to live at home, going to uni 3days a week, having the part time job 2 days a week and I knew what my days would look like, where I would be the next couple of days, also had family around me all the time. So moving here, being away from everyone is extremely hard for me. And as you say, coming back to Dubai from leave is harder and harder. I am going home next week and the idea of coming back here kind of scares me already. I feel so far away from my home town (literally) and feel sad when I am not home for all the ocassions and celebrations. I talked to the csv the other day amd all she said was “it’s all just stucked in your head, it’s your choice whether if you let your mind go there”… i guess she was right but it doesnt really help.

    How long have you been flying for? I also write a blog if you want to have a look 🙂 have a great day and happy flying!


    • Lipstick And Luggage
      May 16, 2017 / 8:05 am

      Hey Claudia!

      Thanks for sharing your experience with me. It’s comforting to hear similar thoughts from other crew! I’ve been flying for about a year and a half now, and I still haven’t really adjusted to Dubai. I agree with the CSV though- mind over matter, always! I noticed your blog name in the email that was listed with your comment. I will definitely check it out! Thanks! 🙂

      Safe travels,

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