05 – 11 – 2020

#MentalHealthMonday

…It has been nearly a year since I took time out to update my blog, but today seemed as good of a day as any to start it back up again…

Since 1949, the month of May has been observed as Mental Health Month in the United States. Today seemed like the perfect day to start back blogging since I have deemed Monday’s “#MentalHealthMonday” ‘s on my social media platforms. To be completely honest, growing up in a very religious household definitely molded my view of mental health in a negative way, and I am just now getting to the point in my life where I have unlearned my bad childhood view on what the subject involves. As a kid, whenever I heard that somebody was “going to therapy or dealing with mental health issues” that meant that they were crazy, and could not deal with their own issues accordingly.  Mental health is so important and definitely not talked about enough but, until you reach a certain age, I truly believe the significance of it is trivialized. Life can be so rough and full of unexpected turns and living through Covid-19 has definitely taught that!  There are so many things I took for granted because I was so caught up in things that truly did not matter. I decided to take a three month leave from my job and focus on the root of my problems and my mental health. In the last five years, I haven’t had a summer off until now and I am extremely excited about finally having one! As a flight attendant, summer is always the busiest time of year for our career due to people traveling much more because they are on holiday or vacation and want to finally visit their favorite travel locations. These days, I am spending my time in Barbados, healing and unwinding an learning about what makes my mental health unstable and what brings me true peace. Having peace and stability has brought me so much mental clarity in 2020 and now that is my main focus.

These days I am fortunate to spend my time doing all of my favorite things that keep my mental health in check. With everything going on in the world, and everyone in this world just trying to stay sane despite all of the chaos, having a routine has been great for me. On March 13th, I gave up coffee (it was not completely by choice) and cut back on drinking caffeine all together. I had already stopped drinking soda as much, but cutting back on tea with caffeine went out the door as well. The results seemed to be counter productive in my head, but after 12 days I feel like a new person. I still can’t believe it, but by no choice of my own I have been starting my days at 6AM with no alarm system. Yes, you read that right 6 A.M. EST and I am up in the morning with no caffeine religiously. I remember watching some of Casey Neistat’s vlogs, where he talked about how many hours in the day you have to be productive, and how many are wasted on sleeping. Sleeping is one of my favorite activities, so I never payed it much attention ….until now. I spend so much time sleeping (which is time well spent still in my opinion) and now that I am back rested up and not exhausted from flying, I feel like a new person. I have time to do as much yoga as my body deems necessary, cook every day, exercise, spend time fully emerged in nature, drink wine, watch my favorite things on Netflix an Youtube, sleep, and find new creative outlets that interest me! Mental health is so important and I strongly encourage and challenge all of you reading this to take a step back and focus on yourself for once!! Only you know how YOU truly feel when you are in the mirror facing your toughest critic…. YOURSELF! Take a day out in May to reevaluate all of your habits good and bad and take time out to focus on things that makes YOU happy during 2020.

I hope and pray that all of you are doing well and the continued support is so very appreciated! During this chaotic time make sure that you hold your loved ones a little tighter and squeeze a little harder because we are all in the same boat trying to make sense of all of this madness! Stay resilient and treat others as you would like to be treated my loves.

xoxo -ASH ❤

Boredom vs Flying

The one thing they don’t tell you about being a cabin crew member is how much down time you’ll have when you get this job. I get bored very easily and for that reason alone I always make sure I’m pulled in tons of different directions in order to keep myself busy. Between mechanical and weather delays, long layovers with crews that are slam clickers (myself included), standby assignments, cancellations, and commuting, there is so much hurry up and wait involved in this career. I have listed some thing I do in order to keep myself preoccupied on these situations.

Netflix & Chill:

Compared to your average person I don’t watch a lot of television and I find it hard to keep up with most shows as they come on because of my hectic schedule. Being able to download Netflix was definitely a game changer and I strongly suggest getting an iPad or laptop and keeping it loaded with your favorites just make sure you watch them before they expire and have enough memory on your device to watch. The amount of genres and options is endless and now there are so many other streaming services trying to compete, so you usually can shop around and see which one has better options for the things you prefer to watch. I love binge watching a good series from time to time so I plan on uploading a video with my lists and recommendations for shows that I have found to be very good.

Reading:

I personally prefer actually books to reading on a device, but I did get a kindle a few years back. Unfortunately, it is collecting dust at my house but I think I may get it back out this summer since I started a reading challenge on GoodReads. I know reading isn’t for everybody, but I have always loved it and I made a profile on there that I find very satisfyingly to have for the simple fact when you type the page number that you are on, it shows the percentage of the book you have completed reading. For whatever reason I really love that, so I made a pledge to read 2 books every month in 2019 an so far I’m only 1 book off 1/2 way through the year. Science Fiction, Dystopian Societies, Vampire Series and mysteries are my favorite, but anything with a really crazy plot twist that I didn’t see coming at the end is also very satisfying to finish. Magazines are left in a lot of the jumpseats by other flight attendants and passengers so you can catch up on the latest celebrity gossip as well if you’re on the right plane. I know audio books are a popular option but I personally haven’t been able to get into them for the simple face I love visiting libraries and Barnes & Noble too much.

Foreign Language Apps:

This is one option that I absolutely need to get better about an haven’t managed to make the habit stick quite yet. I downloaded Babbel and Duolingo and haven’t made the effort to stay consistent with learning a foreign language. I would love to learn French, Spanish, & Mandarin, but it takes some serious discipline which I haven’t had much of at the moment…..😬 I can understand a lot of Spanish that is spoken to me, but am not fluent enough to speak it back other than the very basic phrases. I know if I would just put more effort into learning I would be good at it. Knowing multiple languages is such an amazing, highly sought after skill and an advantage so this is always something I heavily recommend to people.

Social Media: Having a social media platform is actually really time consuming and can be costly if you get a lot of equipment but it is another really good hobby. There is a countless amount of profiles that are dedicated to the travel lifestyle but there are always people out there that like to hear a different view or opinion. Starting a blog is so easy these days and for people that love videography there are Youtube channels with millions of views that are all shot from a smart phone. Building a brand and staying consistent is more difficult with everything being extremely saturated, but it definitely can be done especially if you’re passionate about what you’re talking about. I love a good themed Instagram or Blog with good quality photos & have been finding lots of random gems lately.

Playing catch up:

Random delays and sits are actually when I finally get around to doing several of the little tasks that I put off otherwise, but I keep a list on my phone for when that happens. Rescheduling appointments, paying bills, editing thumbnails, or cleaning out my cluttered tote bag are all things that I do when I have this little spots of time with nothing but my phone. Time is so precious and so many people waste it so filling up your day with important things an mundane ones is a good balance. Life is short but it’s the longest thing we do and with a job with such a hectic schedule making it all fit is a thing of beauty.

(I typed this little blog post up on a lovely weather delay so my productive thing for this afternoon is official done)

XOXO ASHLEY 🖤

O C D

…I have finally come to the conclusion that working as a flight attendant has made me slightly OCD and selective about so many things. I just spent about an hour reorganizing the links to all of my social media account, changing my Instagram bio for the thousandth time, scrolling through Twitter (which is the best way to waste time)…. freaking out a little bit at the fact that Black Mirror officially has new episodes, even though it’s only three…. changing my lists on Amazon, looking through my family’s facebook posts, answering Youtube comments, and deleting emails. In 2019 this is the social media cycle on repeat but I love laptop club just as much as the next Youtuber. I have never had a problem being able to re organize, and I think people that pay attention to details are the best sort of individuals. I am leaning toward not using my blog as a diary where I type whatever, and more so as a place to upload all the photographs I plan on taking of my travels that don’t belong on Instagram. The control freak in me isn’t happy with the layout of my profile, so ideally I would like to figure out how to code my page and get it where I want it. This post is me putting my thoughts online, but I need to spend some time getting inspired by some of my favorite influencers and then get back to it. I hope everybody is having a good re set since it is officially the halfway point of 2019. This year has made my realize just how OCD I can be about things and accept that it isn’t a bad thing to just go with the flow even when it doesn’t seem right. I am still amazed that so many people from all over read me rambling but I see y’all and I appreciate it.

XOXO ❤ ASHLEY

Back In The South

I am pleased to announce that I am officially a Dallas based flight attendant!!!! Happy is an understatement, and I can’t believe 4 years into this crazy aviation life I have come full circle and am back at home in Texas. I was born and raised in the south but getting the opportunity to leave and experience the world has broadened my outlook so much, and I definitely am glad I get both. Now it will be so easy for me to get to anywhere I need to be and travel more leisurely. I have shied away from going overseas as much as I wanted, and now I can take all those crazy trips I would have avoided in the past. Flying has taught me so much and molded me into a better more patient and cultured person and I love that. The vlogs will definitely improve and now I feel so at peace with this career choice. I know that I am right where I need to be and that everything leading up to this moment happened for a reason. This new chapter of my life is going to be exciting and I’m ready to take everything one day at a time and live it up!!

XOXO ASHLEY ♥️

My Quarter Life Crises

….I just had my “quarter life” crises or as I call it my “young life” crises & I survived it with ease! I can’t pinpoint exactly what triggered it, but I can say it was a weird combination of several heavy hitting issues all at once. Even though I’m still so young I really do have an old soul. That shift of being so guarded and protective of my family has hit me hard and they really are my strength and my weakness. Everything in my life has come full circle, and it’s so satisfying and relieving that all my prayers have already been answered. My trip to India put me in such a good headspace as far as thinking about my future goals and accomplishments and what I want out of life. I’m really fortunate to have the opportunity to travel and even though I have been to so many places I haven’t even began to make a dent in my ridiculously long bucket list. My transfer really came at a good time and I have never been more excited to begin this new chapter of my life. I already have so many exciting things in the works for my social media platforms and ideas for upcoming projects and I can’t wait to share the love via the Internet. My young life crisis humbled me, brought me off my high horse temporarily, and definitely made me reflect on a lot of things. Lucky for me I’m surrounded by a family full of savages that push me to do better and be better no matter what. We have always been so solid despite out differences and this month made me realize that more than ever. My young life crisis is over an now it’s time to remember that I do have the same twenty-four hours Beyoncé does and make the best of them.

-ASHLEY BANKS


VACATION TIME!

January 2K19 was such a crazy year but glad that’s over 😜! It’s black history month and I’m taking a nice little break from flying and being on the east coast where it snows out of the blue. Complaining about the weather has almost become a hobby of mine, and while it’s counterproductive, it’s something I know I will continue to do any time the temperature is below 60 degrees 🥶. I have 2 major vacations in the making for March, and I’m excited about it because I don’t use my non rev benefits like I should. Mini vacations are the best in my book, however I did say I would attempt to plan more major ones that are out of my comfort zone this year. So far I’m still sticking to all of my resolutions and right on track with staying consistent this year. I still think back to how inspiring I found ‘Fun For Louis’ vlogs and how he managed to travel so much and be so present in the moment yet share so much of his journey. I love that and plan on doing that more this year.

XOXO ASHLEY

The Government Shutdown

Working in aviation has made me realize things I never cared about in the past now directly effect my life as a flight attendant. I never bothered to check the weather in advance before… now I have weather apps that get just as much use as my social media ones do. I have learned so many little things I didn’t feel were that important now effect my livelihood. I think that it is all apart of growing up and attempting to do this “adulting” thing correctly. College definitely did not prepare me for the real world, but I am proud of myself for figuring it out one day at a time.

The airlines are losing so much money from this shutdown and it has had a terrible impact on traveling at the moment, but I am so proud of our union, the air traffic controllers in LGA, all those who called the White House asking for it to be reopened, everyone that used their voice to do something about what is going on. It will stay open until February 15th and I really hope they come to a solution that does not mean 800,000 won’t be receiving paychecks again.

XOXO ASHLEY

5:15AM STBY

….I’m on standby 😶

& that basically means I have to go to the airport to nap for 6 hours in base now… but I have been quite productive on this particular assignment…

I made my way through all my company emails and now my work, personal, and business email accounts are all clear. I developed a bit of an OCD with emails from working at State Farm so it feels really good to have cleared out all of them. I’v edited a new vlog and have blog posts scheduling for 2 weeks in advance, I set up an appointment with my new dentist and to get my lashes re done… I have reorganized my phone and my move and stand goals are moving right along on my Apple Watch. Consistency is the goal for this year and it will be achieved. I like taking things 1 day at a time and having a planner and writing everything down really helps me stay motivated. When I received my stby I was originally annoyed but now I’m glad I did because I got a lot of things done. I still have 3 hours to go and I’m debating on finishing Gypsy then starting my new book or vice versa…. This stby was just what I needed so in spite of the early report it’s not so bad after all…

XOXO ASHLEY

Morning Flight

As I listen to the gentle hum of the engines that have launched me into a misty morning sky…. my passengers drift into a dreamy haze calmed by the noise and happily headed back to sleep in my quiet dark cabin…. I think to myself this is a perfect morning in the office.

My “office” is currently floating through the air at 36,000 (ish) feet and the captain has told us to stay seated because it’s going to be a bumpy climb… I smile to myself and sip my hot chocolate while gazing out of my peephole into the dark clouds and wonder if I should warm up my chorizo egg and cheese burrito now….. or later…I suppose later.. It’s satisfying to sit here and think that this is the hardest decision I have to make during the course of my day and that I’m up before the sun has made an appearance on this corner of the globe…

It’s a peaceful morning and everyone is sleeping. Nothing beats that at work. We’re flying through a storm and the rocking of the plane combined with the hum of flying and a dark cozy cabin has knocked out my lovely passengers. Some are snoring, others tucked into their middle seat, heads bobbing, neck pillows wrapped around for support each attempting to get a little shut eye before they catch a connecting flight….

The coffee is brewing, the orange juice is ready to be poured and the mimosas are waiting for the ones celebrating early…. the cart goes up the isle an back down without any fuss and they drift back into the abyss…

I’m satisfied knowing they all make it to their destinations safely and peacefully on my watch and now it’s time for the next leg…. this is my morning flight

XOXO ASHLEY

2K19

…it has been months since I’v typed a blog post or even picked up my vlogging camera & my laptop has been deserted and collecting dust in the closet of my place in DC….& honestly I have loved every second of our time apart….

I won’t go on a long fake inspirational rant about how I was taking a social media break to reset or stay away from all the bad energy because it was completely spur of the moment and just because I felt like binge watching Netflix and eating pizza nonstop 🙃🍕….(I tend to do that…a lot)

It’s a new year which means new resolutions, new goals, new perspectives, new beginnings but more importantly new passport stamps! I basically spent the last few months of last year hibernating with my fiancé and fur babies and I feel rejuvenated and want more than ever to travel more. I know it seems crazy because I travel for a living but I really fell it love with it all over again out of the blue. It’s a very satisfying feeling to love what I do entirely and feel so content and complete with my little life. Despite how unglamorous my lifestyle can be at times… through all the jet lag and late night calls from scheduling…. waiting for the crew van and stuffing my face in a hurry before it’s showtime and boarding begins… I love what I do and I do it well and 2019 is going to be a fantastic year.

XOXO ASHLEY

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