(All thoughts and observations expressed are from my personal experience)
It has taken me three years and a huge amount of courage to write this blog – on the eve of the 3rd anniversary of missing on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 carrying 239 passengers and crew flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China.
Do you remember where you were on that fateful day?
I do – I will never forget it!
It was a happy occasion as we came to the end of our beautiful honeymoon in the Maldives.
My husband and I were flying on Malaysia Airlines from the capital city of Male in the Maldives back to Brisbane, Australia via Kuala Lumpur (KL).
It was a late night flight which meant we would be arriving in KL early in the next morning and I was able to get some shut eye on the plane.
Before I knew it, I was awoken for a meal. It was during that service that I recall some of the cabin crew in our section seemed to be somewhat “distant” and not fully engaged with the passengers. Their usually beautiful smiles did not reach their eyes.
I distinctly remember thinking that something must be “off” or maybe they’re not having a good shift and then thought nothing more of it.
Touch down in KL was uneventful and I was looking forward to the trip back to Queensland. Blissfully unaware, we patiently waited at our transfer gate for our connecting flight, where I took a photo from inside the terminal (and is the same one that I have chosen as the image for this blog post).
During this time I started to receive texts and messages from worried family and friends to see if we were ok?
I’m thinking to myself what’s going on? I searched the internet using my mobile phone only to discover the upsetting and sad news.
Then everything made sense – did the crew on our flight learn of the devastating news of their friends and work colleagues?? So many questions?
I replied to family members to reassure them that we were ok and were in transit on the last leg of our journey home.
I sat in quiet shock and experienced a multitude of emotions. I felt a sense of both relief and guilt because we were safe at our destination, blessed that fate had spared us, sadness for the passengers, the crew and their loved ones left behind. A silent sombreness seemed to descend upon the terminal.
My mind was racing a hundred miles an hour – had our flights crossed paths as both planes flew over the Indian Ocean? Then the “what if’s” set in???
This date and this event will be forever engraved in my memory and on my soul (like so many other people I am sure and some more affected than myself). By the grace of a higher power I am still here today and consider myself very fortunate indeed. It certainly puts life’s priorities into perspective.
From the news stories that I have seen and read, I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the wonderful efforts of the Australian contingent in their search efforts to find MH370; sadly “on January 17 it was officially announced as over by officials in Australia” after nearly three years.
I guess the purpose of this blog post is two-fold – firstly, in a quiet moment of reflection, to remember all of the passengers and crew of flight MH370. To live in hope that one day we will find answers to so many unanswered questions and for all the family members, loved ones, friends and co-workers left behind that they will find some sense of peace and closure in a time of indescribable sorrow and turmoil.
Secondly, the impact that this event has had on me personally and the actual realisation that my ability to travel and travel safely is indeed a privilege and is not a given.
It is a simple reminder (for us all) to not take anything in life for granted and to embrace, enjoy, cherish and savour every single moment and experience to the fullest!
Most importantly, to share our journey with those we love and adore the most.