My 20th Work Anniversary as a Flight Attendant

Where has all the time gone? I can’t tell you how full my heart is today. I’m celebrating my 20th work anniversary with Lufthansa as a flight attendant and I couldn’t be more proud of myself!

OMG, who cut the onion? I’m literally shedding tears of joy as I’m writing this very personal blogpost about how much I love my job. This blog you are following simply started out of the idea to share my travels around the world with you. You laughed and cried with me, followed me to all the beautiful countries and we bonded over comments and messages on my social media accounts. I’m more than grateful to have you as my loyal readers and being so supportive of what I’m doing. So thank you! :)

My journey started back in Seoul, South-Korea, in 1998 when I was working for a German company. I was just about to graduate from university where I majored in German and English Studies. Languages have alway been my passion, and I was thinking about pursuing a career as an interpreter. I had a lot of opportunities to translate and work as an interpreter when I was at uni, and that eventually paved my way of becoming a flight attendant. I’ve always loved to work with people and help them out. I think it’s a trait that we flight attendants were kind of born with. Don’t you agree? :)
So my 9 to 5 job was ok, but I wanted to see the world and felt trapped in the office. I secretly googled for new job opportunities with the key words German, English, interpreter, travel because these were my USPs and job goals. It’s so important to know exactly what you wanna do, that you can focus on your career. I knew I wanted something interactive and not only sitting in an office all day long. I found the job description of interpreters flying for a German airline and thought that would be perfect. It was the first time that I really thought of becoming a flight attendant. Now I was on fire and searched the entire internet for every single piece of information on how to become a stewardess. 20 years ago, the term stewardess was more familiar than flight attendant and I think it has a nostalgic feeling to it. You know, like the golden era of flying.
We always talk about how timing is everything and so it was for me. I was 24 years old, just had graduated from uni and was ready to conquer the world. While I was preparing myself for interviews and working on my CV and English skills, I saw an ad in the newspaper that was looking for flight attendants based in Germany. I knew that was destiny calling my name! And the rest is history.

I wanted something to remember, so I came up with this video. It’s a homage to my flight attendant job that I love so much. And maybe in another 20 years I can watch this video and think about all the beautiful memories I made whilst wearing this uniform proudly looking back to all the good times.
Your wings already exist. All you have to do is fly.

People often ask me about my best and worst experiences of my flight attendant life. And I thought I share with you my most touching moment that I had in my 20 year career of flying.
It was the time, when I was still flying as an Korean regional flight attendant, which means I would only fly the routes from Frankfurt/Munich to Seoul, before I left the group to join the global team. It was the flight ICN-FRA and I worked in business class. Passengers were boarding and I welcomed an European couple with two Korean babies. Yes, overseas adoption is still a thing in Korea, but I’m happy for the kids to be given an opportunity for a better life. Turned out the babies were twin brothers and I immediately fell in love with them. We took off in Seoul and started with the service. Thanks god, the business class was almost empty because the boys didn’t stop crying. It’s not unusual for babies to cry since they have to adapt to the typical airplane surroundings and have to deal with pressure, noises and such. I’ve always loved babies and did my best as a babysitter(yes, we have several job titles on board) to comfort the twins. It turned out that they would only stop crying when they hear my voice speaking in Korean to them. Imagine the new-to-be-parents frantically trying to soothe the babies in Danish(they were from Denmark). After the service I was able to cradle the babies in my arms where they finally fell asleep. I guess it was the language they were used to and maybe the feeling that I was one of them(Korean) that gave them comfort and peace in that moment. My colleagues were kind enough to let me babysit the babies as the parents were still kind of overwhelmed with the situation of being new parents to twins. They were so kind and generous. I mean they didn’t just adopt one baby but twins brothers. During that 12 hour flight, we had a beautiful bonding time and shared something special. It’s not about skin color or where you are from. Our nationality is human being and this couple was the best example of being LOVE and COMPASSION in all ways. It left me with an deep impression and gratitude of life and I wished this family all the best while I was parting with them in Frankfurt.
Years later, I guess almost 10 years had passed since that flight, I received a friend request on Facebook. It was the mother of the twins from Denmark and she had found me! It was the best feeling in the world and we immediately caught up on the twins. Oh boy, they had grown into two beautiful, strong and independent teenagers! There is a reason why some people step into your life and this family made my life just richer. My heart is more than full when I think of this story and I hope the boys have the best time of their life in Denmark. :)

The bow has been an essential part of my uniform and I put so much love into it. I religiously take care of the shape when I’m flying and it is my favorite uniform ‚fashion‘ piece besides the pillbox.
Many of you asked about a bow tutorial and yes, I’ll be filming a video to show you how to make the perfect bow.

20 years ago, little Ji touched down in Germany on 3 October 1999 with nothing but two suitcases in her hands to start a new life as a flight attendant. It has been the best decision of my life and I’ve never regretted it. I’ve been to so many new countries, met fantastic people(both colleagues and passengers) and experienced things that I would have never dreamt of in my wildest dreams! Looking back, it has been a wonderful journey so far and I don’t want it to stop. I thought this exciting feeling of itchy feet and wanderlust will gradually disappear, but it’s still going strong for 20 years now! Whenever I look at my uniform or see a plane up in the sky, I feel like the luckiest person in the world. It’s not always pink cotton candy sky, but I’ve always been a person who focuses on the good. And in my flight attendant world, there is always sunshine and blue skies. :)
I could go on forever like this, but what I feel right now is nothing but deep gratitude. So much love for my job that gave me literally the wings to fly and make my dreams come true to travel the world. So much love for the people that had crossed my way and shared this journey with me. So much love for YOU, who are reading this blogpost right now.

Life is short, eat the cake! We take the party as it comes. And yes, we should celebrate milestones in our lives. I was talking about my 20th year anniversary on social media, but didn’t think about anything big. But I changed my mind as I wanted to celebrate the journey and the essence of it. Life has been great so far and I wanted to pay homage to what I love. Flying and being up in the air. So don’t blame me for being cheesy with this cake. It’s just a kind reminder that life is sweet and that it’s all about cherishing the moments. I’m so excited to share the next 20 years of my flight attendant life with you! So fasten your seat belt and enjoy the flight! My name is Ji and I’m your flight attendant to your destination good life. :)

Congrats to my Korean colleagues course 1138! I still remember the days at Wings Hotel where we all stayed together and became family during our training of 7 weeks. Th smell of kimchi we secretly shared in our rooms, the talks and laughter after a long day of emergency training and the highs and lows we went through of living abroad with no family around. I’m really proud of my Korean colleagues who came to a country of which they didn’t speak the language, just only to pursue their dreams of becoming a flight attendant. We all came that far and whenever I see them at the base, it feels like family.


Many thanks to Danial who created this video with and for me.
Big thanks to Elli, my photographer par excellence.

And special thanks goes out to Tortenfee, who made my airplane cake dreams come true.

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