“The future has many names.. For the brave, it’s limitless”
- Tarryn Hanekom
To have dreamt of flight.. and achieved it, will always be one of the most remarkable journeys of my life.
Small girl in a small town, I never knew the possibility of reaching for the stars. I never knew there were stars beyond belief out there to begin with. It all began in typical jammed up morning traffic I was in daily with my first big break office job in the Capital City. Disillusioned by a windowless office and mind-numbing meetings, I yearned to embark on something completely different.. I wanted to break the mould.
From the very first time I went up in that old small airplane, and was given control of this lump of metal in the sky, I have been unequivocally taken with flying. I pursued this career with a ceaseless passion and dedication, perseverance and commitment that I never knew resided within. Once Aviation is in your blood, its part of who you are, and never leaves. Overcoming obstacles to attain it, is like jumping hurdles with your eye never leaving the prize. I didn’t pay attention to the seemingly insurmountable challenges, only to going at it with all I had until I did it.
Milestones you never forget - going solo (just you in the plane) for the first time.. and finding your way back to the airfield again!! Being given control of my first Turboprop aircraft, this time not in the simulator but on the runway at our International Airport, and feeling the unmistakable knowing - throughout every cell of my being - that I was born for this, that I have this capacity, I have this ability, and now I am living that out loud in a spectacular direction. Living and thriving, feel remarkably different from surviving.
Fast forward to “landing” my first Big Jet job on an Airbus, and spending most days flying domestic passengers up and down the countryside; grabbing a quick but good coffee in the airport lounges in-between sectors; dodging thunderstorms and mitigating the myriad of threats we manage as pilots constantly.. from the hectically early winter mornings to the long summer days and late night sign-offs; the bi-annual, gruelling two-day Simulator sessions which set the bar for currency and skillsets required in emergencies; from feeling total pride when I put my uniform on when I leave for a trip; to knowing I’m treating my passengers to the best experience, because I love what I do, and I’ve made it my business to do it with excellence.
Many years of sky-scapes (studying meteorology versus seeing cloud formations yourself, sunrises and sunsets, snow-covered earth and massive Cumulonimbus Thunderstorms about to unleash themselves, from your strapped-in seat at 35,000 feet up in a flightdeck, are two completely different things), years of the boggle-your-mind night sky so littered with stars it takes your breath away, slipping by as I traversed the globe in the midnight hours, to new International destinations where people speak different languages and have a completely unfamiliar way of going about even ordinary tasks, together with the vast exposure to experiencing different cities (I like to think of it along the lines of being a Citizen of the World), incredible Architecture, diverse Culture.. travelling to new places and experiencing sights, sounds and scenery.. gave me an
innate passion for the natural beauty of one's surroundings,
and how immensely a space can impact your mood, productivity and quality of life.
And so started something fresh - signing up for night school in-between flights and trips, so I could learn how to harness the suppressed Creativity in me. To switch on the so-called Right-brain hemisphere after thinking of myself as a Left-brained, one-skillset, facts-and-logic, one-career person. What do you know, going at it with passion, dedication, perseverance and “take no prisoners” determination has been the Resilience skillset learnt in flying training that works in many spheres. Mustering up the heart-stopping courage to jump off of the things you know, into the unknown, feels terrifying. Until you do it, you do it and suddenly you’re airborne, and what you once thought impossible, is now reality.
Sometimes circumstances hit you from the side that you just couldn’t have seen coming, which catapult you headlong into a different life.
We’ve all lost something - or someone - during the past year or so. For me, it also meant I grew in to a new capacity I didn’t think was possible. How do you break in to an entirely new industry halfway through your life with no previous experience? Forget about why you can’t or shouldn’t… JUST DO IT!!
“Start where you are, use what