Early morning and night flights – the bane of a traveller’s life! You might have noticed an increase in this trend, too, as more and more flight companies try and cram as many flights in to popular destinations as possible. Of course this is good for you, as it means more choice and maybe even cheaper fares, but as far as tiredness goes, it’s a recipe for bleary eyes!
Last year, I was introduced to the field of travel nursing, an admirable field combining a sense of adventure with helping people. How inspiring is that! So when they asked me to speak about travel and career development at their Gypsy Nurse conference in Vegas, how could I say no? All I had to do was will away my intense fear of public speaking and squeeze in time during my move to San Francisco to write a speech — and then make it to Vegas four days after my move and one day before grabbing a flight to Hong Kong. The conference’s founder, Candy, is an energetic, encouraging, sincere woman, and I can’t thank her enough for inviting me to be a part of her world for a day. I had been so nervous, but once I got into the room of kindred spirits, I was fine.
It was strange to write a speech during this transition time, as I gear up for my next chapter, when I am determined to go after everything I want–personal time, success, freedom. But as always, I remain flexible to what my future actually holds…
All I know is that for now, I am right where I belong: on the move.
Here is a condensed version of my speech, about how each of these big moves/travels have been a defining moment in my life and shaped my career:
Yes, it’s true — I am hanging up my stilettos and deserting the desert. It was a long, hard decision, one I had been mulling over for about six months. I did some Hail Mary-type plays in the end to see if maybe I could save my comfortable, happy life here. Alas, I did not get the humongous raise I gunned for (I said it was a Hail Mary), and Prince Charming did not ring my doorbell (ok, maybe becoming a homebody while I tried to figure out where I could move to doesn’t count)… But the universe was stubborn. In fact, the ol’ uni was sick and tired of whispering that my time here was done, irritated as I proved to be just as headstrong. So it threw bricks — the weekend getaways that usually rejuvenate me to return home? This time, on an innocent girls’ trip to Napa and San Francisco, I learned that I wasn’t going home, not really. My life as I knew it had come to an end.
“Why don’t you just move here?” an old friend asked me during happy hour in the Castro.
And I answered, “Why don’t I?” as breezily as if he’d asked me if I wanted another drink.
So here we are. I am at last… Leaving Las Vegas.
Looks like I have good taste! Awhile back, I was asked to help some very important winners of a “free trip to Vegas” contest plan their big Sin City vacation. And I got to personally pick them up in an El Jet plane, the private jet on hand to fly the winners to the Strip. All of this was my first time flying private (although not my last!), and I fell in love with the company and the people who work there. Well, I just found out that El Jet won the prestigious World Travel Award for leading private jet charter company in North America, pushing out another company that had won for years. You take that top spot, El Jet! So the next time I fly between California and Las Vegas, I will look into flying private — but only with these guys. I’ve got an important move to San Francisco to plan, and I do only the very best.
Being the editor of a magazine that represents all things luxury Vegas has meant three years of not only a demanding work environment, but also a life as a 24/7 spokesperson of sorts for not only the publication, but the city as well. All of this has been the most wonderful experience. But the “100 percent all the time,” all-encompsing-job schtick has meant one thing to me in the past few days since I ended this chapter in my life: Whoa, saying good-bye was way more emotional than I thought! Enter, my very last cover party. After throwing soirees with stars such as my favorite Las Vegas Strip icon Celine Dion, country idol Shania Twain, and Dancing with the Stars beauty Brooke Burke, I have come to relish the excitement. My very last one? Chrissy Teigen, the most stunning of swimsuit models
I, of course, turned it into a going-away party of sorts for myself.
Instead of looking back at one of my favorite places this week, I was thinking about how in the last year I managed to fly private three times… and how there’s this awful chance I might never again. Of course, I might never again make it to Sunny Beach, Bulgaria or Borneo, so how perfect a daydream is hopping on a private jet? I joked that “I could get used to” private jets, and “fine, I’m a jet-setter” after my first two flights — when not flying to the Grand Canyon for the day on my third. But the truth is, I get so frustrated booking my own flights when I travel. And with all three of those flights I didn’t even have to – one was as part of a contest, one was with my company, and one was a group trip. So I asked my friend at ElJet to walk me through actually booking a private jet charter to Las Vegas or Van Nuys, the private airport used by celebrties. He told me to close my eyes, and then he played with my famous impatience: Imagine this, Abby. You’re calling in to your favorite commercial flight company after you have scoured their website for the best deal and departure time. You finally reach the customer service line only to receive an automated response. After pounding on the ‘0’ button and shouting “representative!” you finally reach a human – who tells you about an extra surcharge…