Due to COVID-19, American Airlines has officially furloughed 19,000 employees including 8,100 flight attendants.
I am one of those flight attendants.
The news did not come as a shock to me since we were warned of a possible furlough months in advance, but the realization that my lifestyle that I’ve grown accustomed to for almost five years is over is shocking.
My heart goes out to all my coworkers who lost their dream jobs, their livelihood, and their security. This job was the peace of so many people. A job that changed lives for the better, and gave people a new outlook on life.
Luckily furloughed does not mean fired. When my company gets back on it’s feet and things are normal again, I will be among the first to get rehired if I choose to fly again. This is all temporary.
I know people are wondering what my next step in life is because the career that afforded me the privilege of travel is over for the time being. If you follow my social media, you know that my content has been heading in a different direction these past few months.
Those who know me personally know that I have always had a love for the food and restaurant industry. I love the liveliness, the creativity, the history and how food connects us to different cultures around the world. (A dream of mine was to own a restaurant for a while.) I also recently decided to change my diet to a plant-based diet. This was a bit daunting at first, but I focused on creating ways to eat a plant-based version of my favorite meals and I realized that I LOVE doing it.
I knew that my love for constant travel was starting to fade, and I was trying to figure out how I can redirect my whole “brand” without looking flaky, or like I had given up. At the end of the day, I know I have to do what makes ME happy, because I am my first priority.
Hence, the birth of Cauliflower Fed (Thanks for the name Selam <3). I started this page for fun simply to share my food that I had been cooking on my new plant-based diet, but I found that this was helping so many more people than I had intended and I would love to continue doing so. I am pursuing a degree in Food and Nutrition, and I look forward to continue gaining the knowledge to help as many people as possible eat in a healthy, yet tasty way.
Am I done blogging about travel?
I would say that my short journey as a travel blogger was very rewarding. Being able to document my journey and the things I learned from them has forced me to grow and learn so much more about the world. I know that I’ve inspired a lot of people to travel, and I do not take that for granted. However, I want to do the things that I love and what is best for me. TJ Was Here has served me well.
As for my fellow flight attendants, STAY STRONG. This is only temporary. I don’t know how many of us will go back to flying when it’s time, but I hope to see you guys again soon. Stay in touch, let’s meet up. You guys have been part one of the longest and most transformational chapters in my life and I love my AA family forever.