Going to unfamiliar places can be daunting. We spoke to a youth hostel manager, an explorer turned Airbnb host, a flight attendant and a tourism board manager to find out how they help you make the most of your trip
Flight Attendant, Austrian Airlines
Ever since she was a little girl, Diana Grigorova knew she wanted to be a flight attendant. Since her parents lived abroad, she would often fly as an unaccompanied minor, getting that extra special treatment for kids on planes.
“I really enjoyed that airport flair and being picked up by the beautiful flight attendants,” she recalled, flashing that special smile that only flight attendants seem to be able to summon at will.
It’s obvious that Grigorova is a happy person, which is actually one of the recommended qualities for the job. Having to meet, greet, and treat so many people per day – sometimes up to 600 on a long-haul double flight – is not for the temperamental.
“You have to enjoy being a host, interacting with other people, and being communicative,” she agreed.
All the years of being so well taken care of by the lovely stewardesses seem to have really rubbed off. Grigorova even describes her profession as “a way of giving back to all those beautiful hostesses I encountered as a child.”
And give back she does. She takes the principles of her job very seriously, striving to recreate a special experience for every one of her passengers.
“It’s really important to feel like you’re being taken care of. A flight is not just a transfer from point A to point B; it still has some class – not like taking the bus. You should feel welcome and at home and look forward to the next flight.”
Grigorova carries this sense of appreciation into every aspect of her life. Having been to over 60 countries already by age 30, she never takes the many perks and privileges for granted.
“When you get to go to so many places, you can take away and collect the best parts of each of them and put them back together in your heart. That’s the gift that no one can take away from you.”
She gave me another dazzling smile.
“I was born in Sofia, raised in Austria, my grandmother is British. The world is my home – I’m regularly in Vienna, Bangkok, New York. Where do I come from? I don’t know how to answer that… My mother’s womb!”