In 2015, I boarded 85 planes and flew 85 times. This number means I flew on average at least once a week, sometimes two. [My record however was 6 planes in 7 days]. No, I am not a businessman, nor do I work for a company that requires me to travel back and forth to some mundane office job. I am not even of age to work in an office, nor do I ever intend too (no offense to anyone who does, it’s just not the path of life that I am on).
My name is Kelly, and I am 19 years old. I have the incredible blessing of flying for free- my dad is a pilot, so my family and I have free flying benefits. I can go anywhere in the world for free as a Stand-By passenger- this means that if there is an empty seat on the plane, I can hop on and take that seat. (With some priority rules of course, which I will discuss in later blog posts)
I am an actress. I work in TV/Film, Voiceover, Commercials, and Musical Theatre. Most actors plant themselves in one city in hopes to conquer that particular market (The Big 3 Cities being LA, New York, or Atlanta). However, with my flying benefits, my parents and I have come up with a schedule where I am able to fully and completely work in all three markets, commuting back and forth from each, and changing my home base every once in a while. I recently moved back to my hometown near Atlanta for the summer, however I will be commuting to LA and NYC quite often. For what, you might ask? Auditions, workshops, classes, networking opportunities, and to visit friends. I have agency representation and free lodging in all three cities, so I am able to be a local hire and audition in all of the major markets! I do not take this opportunity lightly- while I am young and have the ability, why not take advantage of my circumstance and also pursue my dreams?
But this blog is NOT about acting. In fact, I am doing this because writing is a hobby I very much enjoy, and takes me out from under the cloud of stress that constantly hangs over my head. Recently I have been told that I need to find other things in life that make me happy, anything but acting. My fierce passion for my career has a tendency of consuming my everyday thought, and consistently holds the key to my happiness. However, I only have one life, and I am beginning to realize that the best way to enjoy it is by maintaining strong relationships with people I care about, and doing the things that I love. I love to act, but if working as an actor equals my happiness in life, then I will probably never work. It’s the ease of acting, the radiant joy that comes from within combined with the skill (and mostly the look) that you have, that books you the job. If you are in your left side of the brain, thinking about how badly you want the job and piling up pressure on yourself, your body will crack in the audition room. As an actor, I balance on a thin wire. In order to avoid the sharks circling beneath my feet, I must think about anything other than the potential of falling while walking on the tight rope.
[I know. I just talked about acting. THAT IS THE LAST TIME! This blog is indeed about traveling, and I will only mention the “A” word again if it pertains to my reason for hopping on another plane. ]
This blog is about my experiences traveling. Not necessarily the destinations I go and the “cool” spots to visit, but the experiences I have as a 19-year old girl flying alone. I meet so many people from all walks of life, and go through so many crazy situations on a typical travel day. I will also include passages about my favorite airports, the cheapest and easiest modes of transportation when arriving in a city, my go-to travel essentials, in-flight entertainment, and details of current trips plus flashbacks from when I was young.
One last thing: I do not think I am better than anyone. (And if it sounds like I do from this post, please tell me). I am not trying to promote myself and get a following online. I am very aware of how spoiled I sound when I talk about flying, and trust me, I am trying my best to avoid that air. I am insurmountably grateful for this life that God has given me and for this unbelievable benefit I was dealt.
Honestly, I never would have decided to blog about my experiences if it weren’t for the encouragement of my boyfriend, Parker, and a recent encounter with a casting director named Kim. I lightly mentioned to Kim in conversation that I flew in that afternoon for a workshop she was teaching, and intended to fly out the next morning. She was intrigued, and soon we began talking for 25 minutes about my situation and my experiences. I mentioned that I had thought about writing a blog, and she immediately responded, “YES. Also, write a Pilot”, no pun intended, “This would be such an entertaining show”.
For now, I am sticking with the blog. I hope that you enjoy my posts and if you feel compelled, share them with your friends! (But if you don’t, then that’s fine too. Because again, I am not trying to promote myself)
Thank you for flying with me!