It has been almost a year since my family relocated to Central Florida from South Florida. One of the best things about our move north is being an hour drive away from my sister. With the prospect of a four hour drive in either direction, time often felt rushed, more so when the holiday season rolled in each year. So, I’m taking advantage of my nontraditional schedule and our close proximity to one another to spend more time with one of the most important people in my life, my beautiful sister.
Often people think I am perpetually on vacation as my layovers photos go up, but many fail to realize that I work to and from each destination I travel to, and more often than not, I spend the entire time alone. Yes, I sit refuse to sit at the bars at restaurants. I take a table for one. I go sightseeing alone. I laze by the pool with my books. I hit the gym solo. I lounge in my king-sized bed and watch TV. I explore cities with a map and a list of places to check out without a companion. Occasionally, I am fortunate enough to find a fellow crew member to hang out with or wind up in a city where I have friends to visit. Usually, I am a lone wolf when I am on the fly, and I am okay with that.
I am exceptionally fortunate to have a great relationship with my sister, but I do not visit her nearly as much as I would like. This is largely in part to my wanting to not move an inch when I am not flying. However, when the sun crept in my window this morning, I told myself to get out of the house, and luckily enough, my sister’s lunch break coincided with my day trip. When I drive through Orlando, I make an effort to see my sister in person because she’s one of my favorite people in my life. She’s got a busy social calendar, so I enjoy our speed date on her lunch hour.
Sakari Sushi‘s Kalbi Bento Box was quite filling and well executed.
When I first moved home from Japan, it took nearly a year to dial down my hypercritical analyses of Japanese food in the United States. Florida can rock Southern cooking as well as the delicacies of the Caribbean, but when it comes to Asian cuisine I have always been a snob (and a very disappointed one at that). Going out for sushi with my sister, the vegetarian, is fun. No, really, it is! It was a far greater challenge when she came to visit me in Japan as the Japanese aren’t too adept to the concept of a completely vegetarian diet. Thankfully, the sushi restaurants of Florida lean more heavily on the satisfaction of the American patron than that of adhering to authentic Japanese cuisine. So, she orders her salad with ginger dressing and veggie roll, and I down some miso soup and the closest thing to a Japanese boxed lunch (short of properly making it myself). I really appreciate the attention the server provided my sister, one of the restaurant’s regular customers.
Sis and I went halfsies on a Nutella crepe packed with bananas and strawberries at Déjà Vu Creperie. Zero calories, right?
Just around the corner from Sakari, is Déjà Vu Creperie, where sis and I go to whittle the remaining time on her lunch hour away over Americanos. Today, we split a crepe and it was fantastic. Since I haven’t seen Paris since summer and Montréal since September, DVC is a little sliver of familiarity and decadence (minus the hefty airfare). One might wag a finger at a seven dollar crepe, but trust me when I say it’s completely worth every cent. I received my crepe stamp card, so I’ve made a commitment now. 🙂
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned since I started flying is the importance of making time for those who matter in my life. In an occupation where I am constantly on the go, I do not need to plan epic days of leisure packed with things to do and people to see. It only compounds my exhaustion and contributes to burn out. I have found that carving out time, even just a little bit, makes all the difference in my mental health and my appreciation for my job. For me, quality time is measured by how I spend my time with those I care about. Perhaps, my views are a little non-traditional, but it is part of who I am. I’m quite fortunate that those I have surrounded myself with understand the unique nature of my job and help me relish life.