Call me crazy, but those are all the airports I’ve visited in the past 10 days…a fair old bit of flying!
So I originally had 5 days of leave allocated at the beginning of April, but somehow I managed to get 4 days off before and 2 days after, leaving me with 11 days of leave! Joey and I had originally planned on going away for a few days but unfortunately he’s got a lot of work at the moment and couldn’t take any extra time off. So I decided to do what any sane person would do and fly halfway around the world to Albuquerque, New Mexico! Ok, there was a reason behind this…my sister has just moved there, so I thought I’d go and visit her and her boyfriend. 
However once I’d decided where to go, I just needed to work out how to actually get there. Flying on standby is always a bit of a gamble, and all the direct flights to America from Dubai are pretty much fully booked every single day. So with a little help from my dad (who is a pilot with a different airline, so can also get staff travel), I flew Dubai – Hong Kong, and then Hong Kong – Los Angeles. From LA it was just a short hop over to Albuquerque. 

Once I arrived at the airport Lizzie and Jarett came to pick me up and we headed on over to their apartment. Our first evening was spent catching up, eating and I soon fell asleep very quickly after around 30 hours of travelling!

ImageImageThe views over LAX and Albuquerque

ImageI brought Lizzie and Jarett some chocolates from my trip to Osaka!

During the week Jarett had to go to work and uni, so we could only meet up with him at lunchtimes when he had a little bit of time to spare. Lizzie and I spent the days exploring Albuquerque, doing lots of eating and generally having a lovely time! One evening we bumped into one of Jarett’s friends and decided to go to dinner at a Mexican place called (I think) Zacotecas.

ImageSkulls on the wall at the restaurant


One morning Lizzie and I cycled down to the Rio Grand. It was such a windy day, we honesty thought we were going to get blown off our bikes!ImageImageImageThe (not so) beautiful Rio Grand.


We stopped of at the Old Town and had a wander around.ImageImageImageImageThe most amazing chocolate and sweet shop ever! We couldn’t leave without getting some fudge.Image

The next evening we met up with Jarett’s sister and her partner and daughter and went to an Irish pub/restaurant for dinner. They did the most amazing fish and chips, almost as good as in England! Afterwards Lizzie, Jarett and I headed over to a rooftop bar (thankfully they had an indoor section as well, as it was pretty chilly outside!) for a drink.


On my last day, Lizzie and I took the train to Santa Fe, which is about an hour and a half from Albuquerque. The landscape is beautiful, lots of desert, mountains and quite a few horses along the way! 

ImageImageImageImageImageStopping off for a salted caramel chocolate. So good!

ImageImageThe main square area of Santa Fe was pretty similar to the Old Town in Albuquerque, with lots of quirky shops and art galleries.

ImageImageWe spent the day wandering around, having some more Mexican food for lunch, and then hopped back on the train to Albuquerque. That evening the 3 of us cooked dinner (actually Lizzie and Jarett cooked, they refused to let me help) and had dinner with Jarett’s sister and her family. Before we knew it it was time to pack my suitcase again. A lovely 5am start the next morning and I was once again off to the airport.


Thankfully the standby gods were on my side, and I made all of my flights; I actually got the last seats on two of them!

Mum, Dad and Harry were waiting at the airport in Austria when I arrived and we headed home for a nice catch up. I was only home for 2 days but I managed to squeeze in some time with my friends as well.

ImageDelicious coffee and cakes with my friends Iris and Claudio who were in Klagenfurt for the weekend.


We also had a stroll around the Easter Market and cuddled some of the fluffiest bunnies EVER! They were so soft! 

The next day I met up with my lovely friend Simone who I hadn’t seen for a while and we sat outside in the sunshine catching up. Somehow I even managed to squeeze in a haircut! After my last experience I don’t trust the hairdressers in Dubai!

All too soon it was time to head back to reality and tomorrow I’ll be back to work again. It was a lovely break and it was so great that I managed to see all of my family even though we’re all in different parts of the world!

And now for some other exciting news….next week I’m moving apartments!!! FINALLY after nearly a year and a half of living out in the desert, practically in Sharjah, I’m moving in with my friend Kirsty onto Sheik Zayed Road! I’m super excited, as I finally feel like I’ll actually be living in Dubai now! I’d probably better start packing soon, as I have a feeling I’m going to have accumulated quite a bit of stuff….!


P.s. If you want more regular day to day updates of what is happening in my life, follow me on Twitter and Instagram @rachelwwilson!




  1. Elena
    March 2, 2015 / 6:37 pm

    Sorry i have a question for you. I want to apply for cc but i dont have 21. I understood that you can apply untill that but i am not sure.
    I will have 21 on the 25 july can i go to an ODin london on 30 april?
    I want to know because i don t want to spend the money for nothing.
    Do you think it s a good ideea to travel for an OD?

    • March 3, 2015 / 11:41 am

      Hi there! Well, I went to an open day about 3/4 weeks before my 21st birthday, and even got the GC while I was still 20. However 3 months may be too much, I’m not sure. Why don’t you try emailing the company and see what they say? Otherwise I’m sure there are plenty of open days in London, maybe just wait a couple of months to be sure! Good luck 🙂

  2. Night Hawk
    April 22, 2014 / 12:44 pm

    What companies do you get to fly on standby ? Can you get on Lufthansa or Austrian flight ? What about FlyDubai ?
    I live in Europe and unfortunately Emirates does not fly to my home country :-/

    • May 7, 2014 / 7:30 pm

      Hi! We get standby on soooo many airlines! Most of the time when I’m flying home to see me family I go on Austrian, as they always seem to have space available. So whichever airline flies to your home country it’s very likely that we can get standby on it!

      • Night Hawk
        May 7, 2014 / 8:40 pm

        That sounds great, I was very worried about not being able to go home other than during my leave! 🙂
        Thanks a lot for your answer and keep up good work with blogging, I feel in love with your style of writing 😉

    April 22, 2014 / 6:27 am

    Hi, i love reading your blogs, its nice to read and follow, pls tell us on your experiences on the flights as well with your passengers..

    • May 7, 2014 / 7:29 pm

      Hi, thanks for reading! I’ll see what I can do, although I don’t think my company really wants us to be writing too much about the flights/passengers 😉

  4. Nati
    April 19, 2014 / 10:44 am

    Hi Rachel :)! I really like your blog! Could you Please give some advices for candidatrs during Emirates recruitment :)? Wish you all the best 🙂

    • Anonymous
      April 27, 2014 / 4:56 pm

      Read her previous posts on that

    • May 7, 2014 / 7:27 pm

      Hi Nati, thanks for reading 🙂
      I wrote a post quite early on about my recruitment, try reading that for some tips! Other than that just be yourself and keep smiling!

  5. Zyzz
    April 11, 2014 / 11:55 pm

    It is so nice to read your adventures and I have been following you for a while now! And guess what, I got my GC this week! 🙂 Can’t wait to explore the world and maybe see you in a plane one day haha

    • April 13, 2014 / 10:31 am

      Aw thank you I’m glad you enjoy reading! Congrats on getting your GC!! Maybe see you in Dubai one day 😀

  6. Tina
    April 11, 2014 / 1:06 pm

    Hi, your blog is really amazing! I found it like two days ago and I’ve just finished reading all the posts from the beginning and can’t wait to read new ones! I’d like to ask one question…how is it with travelling when you’re on leave? Do you have a discount on flights as a cabin crew?

    • April 13, 2014 / 10:28 am

      Hey! Thanks so much, I’m glad you enjoy reading 🙂
      Yeah we get staff travel which is a great discount, but you’re on “standby”, so if there’s a seat available you can fly, if not you’re stuck at the airport! Sometimes you’re left waiting until the very last moment to see if you made it or not!

  7. Cleopatra
    April 11, 2014 / 9:17 am

    YAY! So awesome that you’re moving to Shk Zayed Rd! You’ll be right in the thick of it, instead of walking distance to another Emirate. 😀 Interesting to here about Alberquerque – a bit jealous of all the mexican food you had yumyummmmm. Really enjoy your blog, hope you’ll keep us up to date!

    • April 13, 2014 / 10:26 am

      I knoooow I’m so excited!! 🙂
      Haha I love Mexican food! So yummy!

  8. Anonymous
    April 10, 2014 / 12:29 pm

    Are you moving out into an Emirates accommodation or do they give you a housing allowance? I’m considering applying to be an Emirates CC but I already live in Dubai so I wanted to know IF they do, how much do they give you as a housing allowance?

    • April 13, 2014 / 10:25 am

      I’m moving into company accommodation 🙂 However every now and then they do offer live out allowance, and they also offer it if you are married…I’m not sure how much it is exactly but from what I’ve heard it’s barely enough to get a studio apartment if you’re by yourself!

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