Unfazed by the Pandemic, Flight Attendant Publishes Travel Journal

Lia Ocampo Flight Attendant Publishes Travel Journal

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

– Leonardo da Vinci

For us who love to fly, this quote above speaks to us in this present time. Our passion for flying takes us to a greater height, limitless horizon, and undaunted. 

At the beginning of 2020, I was busy working on my first book about immigrants. I finally finished it in February and published it in March. I was getting ready to travel to the Philippines to promote the book. But it didn’t happen.

In January, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a public health emergency. Consequently, the news about the COVID-19 became more prevalent. The first case in the U.S was detected in Washington, and the first death was reported in February. After that, COVID-19 quickly spread across the country. The rest was history.

Lia Ocampo-Flight Attendant

The World Has Stopped Flying

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives and the world of travel. Demands have drastically fallen because of fear of traveling and global efforts to stop the spread of the virus. Travel warnings were heightened, and restrictions were mandated. Non-essential travel was limited. Planes have been grounded. Airports became deserted. Employers offered retirement programs and voluntary unpaid leave. Others have lost their jobs due to massive layoffs and furloughs. In addition, the industry reported some deaths linked to COVID-19. The pandemic even forced some airlines to go out of business.

I was overwhelmed and sometimes depressed with all the negative news every day. I had to tell myself not to be consumed with what was happening around me and the world. Wearing an uncomfortable mask at work and in other public places became the norm. Walking at the quiet airports and working in an almost empty plane was a sad reality.

Turning Adversity Into Opportunity

When my employer offered the voluntary unpaid leave, I took it in April with the intent of working on promoting my first book. However, the time I spent at home ultimately became a blessing. Little did I know that the emotional impact of COVID-19 would inspire me to write I Love Flying: An Inspirational Journal for Your Flying and Travel Adventures. I felt a strong desire to create something positive out of adversity and do my part in the ailing world. My love for flying was my driving force. Hence, I started brainstorming in September and finished the journal in December.  

As a flight attendant, the least I could do for the victims of COVID-19 is to honor them.  For this reason, I dedicated I Love Flying to those lost who their lives to COVID-19 and the frontline workers in the aviation industry.

Hard times present us with an opportunity to reflect, grow, reinvent, or discover. In my case, it took me to a greater height, a new journey of writing my second book.

A Passion for Flying

My goal is to fall in love with as many places as possible and never stop exploring.

If you love flying and traveling, I encourage you to write your stories and create your book of life. Writing your thoughts and memories about your flying experiences and travel adventures is a way to reflect. I Love Flying can be a time capsule of your memories, people, places, and experiences you have encountered. Writing them down is a way to help preserve them. You can always look back to this journal and share your stories with your family and friends.

Set your travel goals. Fill in your bucket list. Find an adventure. Discover a new country. Enjoy the experience. Capture poignant moments. Build inspiration to create beautiful stories and wonderful memories. See for yourself the magnificent world in which we live. 

On Being Optimistic

While the recovery advances and the progress against the COVID-19 continues, travelers are venturing out and flying again. I am excited to share this unique journal that you can take along with you on your next adventure. I used my photos to show a different perspective of the world through flying. Traveling and flying reconnect us with ourselves and with others. It can bring out the best in us. It can empower us.

COVID-19 has become a household topic and generated a new normal in the way we live and work. The aviation industry is underway into its recovery. Humanity is slowly healing from all types of losses and pains. 

We may have different opinions, approaches, and journeys to recovery. But one thing is for sure — you and I had learned something from this unprecedented era when the world suddenly stopped flying.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Lia worked for the U.S. Government for 22 years. She came to New York City in 2012 as an immigrant. In 2014, Lia achieved her dream of becoming a flight attendant. Her flying stint allows her to meet amazing people, create beautiful memories and inspire her to do the things she loves: writing and photography. She became a first-time author in 2020 with What We Know for Sure: Inspirational Stories of Filipino Special Immigrants in America. Lia is a mentor and resource speaker for immigrants. She splits her time between Florida and New York while pursuing her writing, love of travel, and passion for helping others.

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