It’s a cliché but it’s true – It is all about the journey.
In becoming a Boeing 737 Captain last week I achieved a goal that had been lingering for thirty years. It was originally a goal that could easily be obtained within a decade but when the airline collapsed, I slid back to square one in a career-themed game of snakes and ladders. It was a body blow, but it was far from a death knell. In fact, it was the catalyst for change.
As I began my new career with another airline, the scent of vulnerability remained with me as aviation is such a specialised career. To counter those first sleepless nights I undertook study and completed a Master’s Degree. In turn, this led to technical writing, then feature articles and ultimately authoring books. A further effect was receiving invitations to fly and review a range of aircraft, to visit France and Spain and write of the developments at Airbus and to bring a 737 home from Boeing’s base in Seattle.
There have been long haul flights around the world, Antarctic charters, and a term as an Airbus Captain with an affiliated airline. I have flown historical re-enactments and charity flights and of course, I was VERY privileged to fly as crew on the final Qantas 747 flight to the Mojave Desert. The opportunities and experiences are too numerous to list here, although I’ve detailed many of them in my books.
From a significant setback twenty years ago, my career has proven to be richer and more diverse than I could have ever imagined. As a young pilot, I saw the path as linear but in truth, it has been the twists, turns and blind corners that have made my life richer.
It may have taken thirty years to finally achieve the captain’s seat in a 737 but it has definitely been worth the wait.
Enjoy the journey!