Layover Life: Beijing, China


A last minute swap last week led me from Singapore, to Beijing, China! I’m always looking to visit new places, so I couldn’t let this opportunity pass by.

It was my first time visiting PEK and it was highly recommended that I check out the Great Wall despite the -10°C weather. Many Cabin Crew on our flight had gone before on previous layovers, but that didn’t stop my colleague and I from making the trek ourselves. We decided to hire a car and ended up going in the early morning.

I’ve seen many photos of the incredible structure, but experiencing it in person left me in complete awe. Pictures really don’t do it justice!

Some history for you- It was conceived by Emperor Qin Shi Huang (c. 259-210 B.C.) in the third century B.C. Originally designed to prevent invaders from entering into the country, the wall never really proved effective. It ended up functioning as more of a psychological barrier between Chinese civilization and the world. Still to this day, it remains a powerful symbol of China’s strength*.

Considering the frigid temperatures, we didn’t stay too long. You can’t blame us though, because you could count the number of tourists visiting on one hand. This gave my colleague and I ample photo opportunities as it is usual really busy there in the summer.

Unfortunately for us though, the Great Wall of China slide wasn’t operational and we ended up taking the cable car both ways. This just means I’ll have to come back again another time to check it out!

Next Stop: Zagreb, Croatia 🇭🇷

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

* Source: History.com

February Roster (2018)

If you’ve been following my journey with Emirates this month, you may have noticed that I’ve had a few roster changes. This is because I swapped a few flights around, and also received a change of duty from the Business Promotions team.

Instead of operating a turnaround to Kabul, Afghanistan or having a layover in Zurich, Switzerland, this week I had the privilege of representing Emirates at a few meetings in Toronto, Canada!

Lucky enough, I had leave right after and am currently enjoying a few extra days at home with my family than originally planned.

Next month I will be visiting 2 new countries (Croatia & Kenya) and 3 new destinations:

  • Johannesburg, South Africa 🇿🇦
  • Jakarta, Indonesia 🇮🇩
  • Adelaide, Australia 🇦🇺 *
  • Kuwait, Kuwait (Turnaround) x2 🇰🇼
  • Zagreb, Croatia 🇭🇷  *
  • Nairobi, Kenya 🇰🇪 *

* = New destination

As usual, I will continue to update this list as things change! I love visiting new places and am also looking to swap a few flights with my colleagues.

Update: I was originally scheduled to fly to Moscow, Russia but swapped so that I could visit another new country this month; Nairobi, Kenya!

Next Stop: Zagreb, Croatia 🇭🇷

IG: @LipstickAndLuggage
YouTube: @LipstickandLuggage
FB: @LipstickandLuggage
Twitter: @KelseyBelleDXB
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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.

Emirates Country Count

You asked so I’ve listened! A lot of you wanted to know which countries I’ve visited and in the two years I’ve been flying, I’m happy to share with you that I’ve touched down in over 50!

Emirates flies to 150+ destinations across 6 continents, but not everyone of these flights are layovers for our Cabin Crew. Sometimes we operate turnarounds, where we fly to a country and return to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (our home base) on the same day. We also have stopovers, where we land in a country, let some passengers disembark and welcome new ones onboard before continuing on to our final destination (i.e. LCA-MLA or MLE-CMB). I don’t count turnarounds or stopover countries on my list because we are unable to leave the plane and explore them.

That being said, here is the full list of places I’ve been:

  1. Angola                               17. Ireland                                 33. Seychelles
  2. Australia                            18. Italy                                     34. Signapore
  3. Austria                               19. Malaysia                             35. South Africa
  4. Bangladesh                       20. Maldives                            36. Spain
  5. Belgium                             21. Malta                                  37. Sri Lanka
  6. Brazil                                 22. Martinique (France)        38. Sweden
  7. Canada                             23. Mauritius                            39. Switzerland
  8. China                                24. Morocco                             40. Tanzania
  9. Denmark                          25. New Zealand                      41. Thailand
  10. France                              26. Nigeria                               42. The Netherlands
  11. Germany                           27. Norway                              43. United Arab Emirates
  12. Guinea                              28. Philippines                         44. United Kingdom
  13. Hong Kong                       29. Russia                                45. United States
  14. Hungary                           30. St. Lucia                             46. Vietnam
  15. India                                 31. Scotland (UK)                     47. Zimbabwae
  16. Indonesia                         32. Senegal

Countries I’ve touched down in, but never visited include: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Cyprus*, Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Zambia*. These places are within a 4-5 hour flying radius outside of Dubai (except Zambia which is 7 hours) making them turnaround flights and not layovers. *Cyprus and Zambia however are stopovers. Meaning that again, we drop passengers off in these countries and pick new ones up before continuing on to our final destination.

It’s hard to believe that when I first joined, I’d only visited 5 countries! As I enter into my third year flying for Emirates, I’m hoping to cross off a few more before returning home to Canada. That leaves me wondering, which countries have you been to?

Next Stop: Malta 🇲🇹

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

2017 Year in Review

This year has been an exciting one! There were many ups and downs, but all of these moments have allowed me to make many great memories which I have been fortunate enough to share with you. Here are my top 5 favourite memories from 2017. Please share yours with me in the comments below!

5. Aviation-Event in Frankfurt, Germany

In April 2017, I was a part of Aviation-Event in Frankfurt, Germany where I had the pleasure of discussing air transport and social media on a panel of aviation influencers. Although I will not be participating this year (by choice) it was an amazing networking opportunity. I got to meet many industry professionals from around the world and also got to do my first television interview too!

4. Simply Stylist Dubai

This past October, I was also invited to speak at Simply Stylist Dubai; an international fashion and beauty conference. I sat on a bloggers panel where I got to chat about my crazy lifestyle, how I began blogging and offer my own personal advice to up-and-comers on how to develop their own personal brand for their digital platforms.

3. Rugby Match in Johannesburg, South Africa

2017 also presented me with my first Business Promotions event! I had the honour of attending the Lions Rugby match on behalf of Emirates in Johannesburg, South Africa. My colleague Andrea and I were flown in business class to and from the event, where I got to experience the A380 onboard lounge as a passenger! At the match, we were tasked with promoting the airline on the field for the run-in, as well as the halftime show. It was an unforgettable experience to say the least!

2. The 2017 Dubai Airshow

The opportunity to participate in the Dubai Airshow this year was granted to me and three other Cabin Crew (Elizabethe, Doyle and Jarad) by the Corporate Communications, Public Relations, Digital Marketing and Business Promotions teams. As difficult as our tasks were, we managed to accomplish all of them by working together. Doyle and I did a live Facebook Broadcast that reached nearly 2 million views and our entire team worked tirelessly to generate several other videos to promote our brand new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. We also created several Instagram stories for the Emirates account to keep airline fans in the loop about what was happening throughout the Airshow.

1. Returning Home to Toronto, Canada

When you’re constantly flying around the world, the time you get to spend with your friends and family paramount. I’ve been very lucky to have operated the Toronto flight 9 times in the past 2 years which more than most of my colleagues. I never take this for granted as tiring as the Toronto flights can be. A lot of what I’ve accomplished this year wouldn’t be possible without the love and support of my friends and family, especially that of my parents. They have always cheered me on and have never hesitated to pick up the phone, no matter what time or day of the week I call them. Home is where the heart is, and returning to Canada every once in a while helps me to stay focused on my goals and aspirations.

Other Memorable Moments

There were many more memorable moments this year that didn’t make my top 5, but were definitely up there! Skydiving in Auckland, New Zealand, touching down in South America for the first time, taking in an NHL game with my Italian family in Chicago, United States, participating in the Airbus A380 Inaugural flight to Johannesburg, South Africa and having a full page article published in Arab News (even though that one was a bit of an accident) are just a few of them that I will cherish forever.

I am a huge believer in everything happens for a reason. If you believe in yourself and work hard, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. Who would have thought that this year I’d touch down in over 50 countries?!

Remember- the sky is only the limit for those who are afraid to fly. I hope you take advantage of the opportunities that come your way in 2018, spread your wings without fear and soar.

Next Stop: Geneva, Switzerland 🇨🇭

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

Layover Life: Kolkata, India

Last week I was in Thiruvananthapuram, India, and this week I visited Kolkata! Originally I had been rostered to fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but because I had already been there, I decided to swap with a colleague for a new destination instead. Little did I know, a classmate from my  high school math class was on the flight too- operating alongside me! Who would have thought that 10 years later we’d meet again as flight attendants for the same airline, flying together to India of all places?

Running on less than a few hours sleep, a few of us decided to go out and explore the city as soon as we landed into CCU. What was supposed to be a few hours out on the town turned into a full day adventure.

We started off at the Victoria Memorial, then made our way to the banks of the Ganges River where we took a boat out on the water. I wanted to try and hitch a ride on the nearby train, but the crew didn’t share the same sense of adventure with me. I don’t blame them though. If you’ve seen how busy they can get, then you probably know why!

From here we went to restaurant Peter Cat, which was recommended to us by our guide. The food was amazing, and I didn’t have to eat with my hands!

We then ventured to the New Market. It was insanely busy! I’m not a fan of overly crowded places but I’m glad I went for the experience. There were people everywhere, there was a lot of yelling and of course, beeping from the horns of the vehicles passing by. It was a little overwhelming, so we didn’t stay long.

Our last stop was the Mother House. I’m not a very religious person, but I grew up listening to stories of Mother Theresa because I went to a Catholic school. As weird as it may sound, I was filled with emotion as soon as I entered the venue. Not necessarily because I felt connected to it, but it was just an emotional place to be. There’s so much history there, it’s hard to explain.

It took us an hour or so to get back to our hotel from the city centre after our adventure. Traffic always seems to be a concern in India, but it was totally worth leaving our rooms! I’m glad I swapped for this destination and am hoping to add another Indian city to my list soon too. Kochi, I’m looking at you!

Next stop: Brussels, Belgium 🇧🇪

IG: @LipstickAndLuggage
YouTube: @LipstickandLuggage
FB: @LipstickandLuggage
Twitter: @KelseyBelleDXB
_________________________________________________________________________

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