Born: July 26th 198?
Born in: Raleigh, NC, USA
Place I call home: Mississippi Delta and the sky
Current City: Dubai, UAE
Profession: First class cabin crew
Previous Careers: Journalist, ground staff, ticket agent, airline whipping boy, server, entrepreneur and farmer
Hobbies: Travel, photography, writing, blogging, listening to new artists, vegan cooking, juicing, studying nutrition, starting many collections but never sticking with one and of course an airline geek.
Nick names: Pooky, White Boy (went to an all black high school so that explains the first two), J-Rad, J and Fly Guy
The name’s Jay, known in the aviation cyber world as Fly Guy. I have the privilege to be your steward on this journey around the world.
My personal journey started more as a Mark Twain adventure than a city slickers guide to the globe. I was born in Raleigh, North Carolina but I call the Mississippi Delta home.
Little Fly Guy
I spent most of my childhood barefoot exploring cotton fields and swimming in rice paddies right east of the Mississippi River. My father worked on the family cotton farm and mom was a flight attendant with American Airlines.
My dad cultivated my love for the ground and my mom passed on her passion for the sky.
During my junior year of high school I managed a reoccurring byline at the local newspaper. As the paper’s weekend reporter I stayed busy covering everything from Friday night murders to Saturday afternoon blues festivals. Summer vacation allotted more time for me to pursue my journalism career and I was taken on as a full time staff writer/photographer for the Delta Democrat Times. I managed several press awards while working as a teen journalist. I am most proud of my 2nd place award for a portrait I shot of a girl enjoying a piece of watermelon during a 4th of July celebration.
Bern and Franke Keating
I owe that award and my photography skills to Franke Keating. Franke and her husband, Bern, were a powerhouse travel writer/photography team based in my port city. For half a century Bern and Franke captured photos and stories for the pages of prestigious journals like National Geographic, Town and Country and Smithsonian Magazine. Afternoons with the Keatings were daydream sessions that I craved. Their stories of faraway lands would send my imagination off on epic adventures. Bern and Franke fostered my love for photography and intensified my urge to explore the world.
Fly Guy the Reporter Guy
After graduation my newspaper career advanced when I landed a position with the largest newspaper in Northwest Florida. Not long after covering my second hurricane in Pensacola my travel bug was intensifying and I caught the next plane out West to Arizona. I landed in Phoenix on the other side of 21 which meant I would soon no longer be eligible for my mother’s flight benefits; thus ushered in the start to my airline career.
Working as a gate agent for US Airways
I took my first ticket counter job with America West Airlines, which soon after took over, and became, US Airways. One year into the job I had digested their international network and was hungry for more overseas destinations, and a decent paycheck.
A conversation I had with a flight attendant while working the gates at Phoenix Sky Harbor would change my life as I knew it. She spoke of an international airline in the Middle East that was searching for attractive young people to stock their growing fleet of luxury jumbo jets. English was the only required spoken language. Her words were like a mirage to my teenage dreams. I applied for the job the next day.
Flash forward five years and Fly Guy is born; now an international air steward based in one of the most vibrant cities in the world. I spend my working days at 38,000 feet serving up generous portions of caviar and vintage champagne inside one of the world’s most awarded and coveted fist class cabins.
I’m blessed with A.D.D. and a license to fly on the largest and most luxurious passenger jetliner in the sky. That’s a winning combination which always means there’s something new and exciting to write about. I enjoy dancing with the romance of days gone past. I’m an old soul in search of the golden days of aviation and I’m willing to cross datelines in search of those exotic hideaways that fueled my adolescent desires to breakaway and escape my simple life. I always have my camera along for the ride and with it I aim to capture the glamour and adventure that comes with being a steward for one of the best airlines in the sky.
So in my best PA voice, “I invite you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the Fly Guy ride!”
Fly Guy’s Travels Scrapbook
In front of Neuschwanstein Castle near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palac was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle
In front of the the Parthenon. The famous temple sits on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the maiden goddess Athena
A Fly Guy
Lebanon Cedar trees in the Forest of the Cedars of God.
The Colosseum in Rome
The streets of Valletta, the capital of Malta
In front of Shakespeare’s Birthplace. This home is a restored 16th-century half-timbered house situated in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England, where it is believed that William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and spent his childhood years
The hills of Hollywood
Standing with my friends in front of a Saguaro Cactus in the Sonoran Desert.
Looking up to at the The General Sherman. By volume, it is the largest known living single stem tree on Earth. The tree is located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in Tulare County, California
Overlooking a valley of Salzburg
The famous Statue of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Cadillac Ranch, a public art installation and sculpture in Amarillo, Texas
Reliving a scene from the Sound of Music with my family in Salzburg, Austria.
Oh holiday with the family visiting the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria
At the spot where the famous Venus de Milo was found
Sunset on the Greek island of Milos
Behold the famous Island of Capri
The Blue Mosque of Istanbul
The very big merlion of Singapore
Climbing the Great Wall of China
At The Great Pyramid of Giza
Getting my Memoirs of a Geisha on at the gates of Fushimi Inari-taisha in Kyoto, Japan
Visiting the Nagoya Castle in Nagoya, Japan
Walking in the footsteps of Jesus up the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem
Floating with some fly girls in the Dead Sea
Feeling small in front of the Treasury at Petra
Loving Kuala Lumpur with my crew
Excited to be at the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, Korea
Spring day at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
Dressed in Traditional Korean best in Seoul, Korea
Exploring the secret gardens of Sintra, Portugal
Inside the ruins of Byblos Castle in Byblos, Lebanon
Relaxing on the mountain top on the Island of Comino during a two day layover in Malta
Inside the Mdina, a medieval walled town situated on a hill in the centre of Malta
On the edge of the Taal Volcano in Tagaytay, Philippines
Standing at the gates of Graceland, the home of Elvis, in Memphis
Feeling small at the Grand Canyon in Arizona
Exploring waterfalls near the Tibet boarder in Nepal
On top of the Empire State Building in NYC pointing at the old Pan Am building (now the MetLife Building)
Shipwrecked 🙂 with my best friends in the Maldives
Me with my favorite travel partner in a telephone booth on the island of Gan in the Maldives
Swinging on jungle vines on Villingili Island in the Maldives
Getting wet during the city wide water fight in Bangkok. It’s part of the Thai Songkran festival
The Eiffel Tower in all her night time glory
Trying to get the perfect jump shot with the crew in front of the Musée du Louvre
Exploring the streets of Cuzco, Peru.
In Main Market Square in Kraków, Poland standing in front of St. Mary’s Basilica
Walking through a Jewish cemetery in the Kraków Ghetto. This ghetto Ghetto was one of five major, metropolitan Jewish ghettos created by Nazi Germany in the new General Government territory for the purpose of persecution, terror, and exploitation of Polish Jews during the German occupation of Poland in World War II.
The Lennon Wall in Prague, Czech Republic. Once a normal wall, since the 1980s it has been filled with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics from Beatles songs.
In front of the Orchard House, This is a historic house museum in Concord, Massachusetts. It was the longtime home of Amos Bronson Alcott and family, including his daughter Louisa May Alcott who wrote and set her beloved novel Little Women there
Exploring the jungle of Maui Hawaii
Sedona, Arizona: One of my favorite places on earth. Sedona’s main attraction is its array of red sandstone formations, the Red Rocks of Sedona. The formations appear to glow in brilliant orange and red when illuminated by the rising or setting sun. The Red Rocks form a popular backdrop for many activities, ranging from spiritual pursuits to the hundreds of hiking and mountain biking trails.
In front of the Seattle Space Needle
Under the CN Tower in Toronto. At the time this photo was taken it was the world’s tallest free-standing structure
The airline geek mecca, the Boeing Everett Factory, in Everett, Washington
Cruising the waterways of Suzhou China
Shanghai skyline, one of the best in the world.
Walking the ancient streets of Pompeii
In Positano on the Amafi Coast in Italy
In front of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City
Meeting a member of the Hmong tribe in Sapa, Vietnam
With my crew in front of Edinburgh Castle
Strolling down a private beach on Mahé Island in The Seychelles off the coast of East Africa
At Sigiriya (Lion’s Rock). This site is a place with a large stone and ancient rock fortress and palace ruin in the central Matale District of Central Province, Sri Lanka
Inside the Forbidden City in Beijing, China
Chilling under the Sydney Harbor Bridge
The famous blue doors of Tunis, Tunisia
Snorkeling in the Red Sea in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
Auckland Cityscape as seen from Devonport
Sydney Opera House
Rice field of Ubud, Bali
Climbing Wat Arun, temple of the dawn in Bangkok
Jungle exploring in Thailand
Cooling off in a hidden waterfall in the jungle of Ko Lanta, Thailand
Wishing you were here on this private beach in Ko Lanta, Thailand.
Cruising Halong Bay in Vietnam
Exploring the Củ Chi tunnels in the Củ Chi District of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Hanging out in Beijing’s 798 Art Zone
Sitting on top of waterfall in Mauritius
Skellig Island is right there!
Getting lost in the forest of Zurich, Switzerland