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SIGNATURE PAULA MAREE



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WELCOME BACK, VIRGIN AUSTRALIA!


Over the past year I’ve limited my time on social media to curb my anxiety. I found it triggering to look back at my old life whilst I was missing flying so much. However, I am so ecstatic to finally be able to share some VERY BIG NEWS with you all. I will soon be returning to the skies after landing a new role as cabin crew for Virgin Australia!


In 2020 I lost my DREAM JOB when the Virgin Group fell into voluntary administration during the coronavirus pandemic. So I am still pinching myself, as it seems so surreal to finally be going back to doing what I love!!!

Flying is something that truly does get in your blood and for so long I have been dreaming of the day that I will finally return to the airport and work at 38,000ft again. I miss the buzz of the terminal and the excitement that surrounds travel. I miss walking onto the plane and the magic in the air after take-off. And most of all I miss working with my fellow crew, who really do make it the best job in the world!


Covid-19 truly turned my entire world upside down. The aviation industry was hit hard and it was so stressful not knowing what the future would hold.

Each week would bring another update as we anxiously awaited news about the evolving situation. For the first part of 2020 I was confined to my apartment and although I tried to keep my spirits high, mentally it was one of the most challenging years of my life.


Here in Melbourne we were living in lockdown for most of 2020. Travelling has seemed like such a foreign concept for so long now that I can’t believe that border restrictions are finally easing. Mentally we are all exhausted and in desperate need of some R&R after enduring one of the world’s longest lockdowns. Demand for domestic travel is stronger that ever, as Australians long to be able to escape for some much needed time away from the confines of their home.


One year ago, Virgin Australia was still in administration and the future of the airline seemed very uncertain.

So this really is a significant milestone in re-building the brand as the Australian aviation industry slowly starts to recover. I am so excited by the stimulus package that the Australia government has launched to support local tourism. Hundreds of Aussies have been able to snap up half price airfares and I can’t wait to fly you there!


Like everyone else, I’m eager to see more of Australia and somehow this pandemic has made me even more appreciative to live in our beautiful sunburnt country. Over the coming months, I hope to be able to share travel stories during my layovers, with a new series of posts – ‘SEE AUSTRALIA’. International travel is incredible and I absolutely love exploring and experiencing different cultures. But for now I feel very blessed to be able to see more of my own backyard and I can’t wait to share my local travel recommendations with you all.


The past year has been so challenging and it breaks my heart to see coronavirus claiming so many precious lives.

The pandemic has been brutal and it continues to place so many restrictions on our day-to-day lives. We are all living in hope of the day that we are finally free to roam the world again without fear. Yet somehow, I’m also grateful for the life lessons that I have learnt over the past twelve months. I’ve developed so many new values during the lockdowns and I’m glad that I was able to give back to the broader community by working on the frontline in hotel quarantine during the height of the pandemic.


It may have been a forced career change, but it taught me some invaluable lessons and fundamentally changed me as a person.

At first I thought it could be time to transition into a new chapter and pursue some of my other passions. But being grounded for so long made me miss flying more than ever! So I’m returning to the Flight Attendant life with a new perspective and commitment to my chosen career path.


Ironically, I actually applied to Virgin Australia when I first starting my flying career. So I have no idea how I managed to lose a job that I absolutely loved, but then be offered a role at an airline that I have wanted to be a part of for so long! However, as I wrote in my previous post, the path that I have taken to get to this point has been one hell of an adventure and I wouldn’t change it for the world.


I guess it just goes to show that universe really does work in mysterious ways.

As fate would have it, I am very fortunate to not only be offered a role at Virgin Australia, but also to retain my previous ranking as an On Board Manager. And this week I start training, beyond grateful for this incredible new opportunity that has come my way.


The coronavirus pandemic has turned our world upside down and I’ll forever remember this as a pivotal turning point in my life, which also completely changed the world as we once knew it. Sadly the pandemic isn’t over. But for me anyway, it’s onwards and upwards from here… Time for the next adventure!!!




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