Standby for Adventure

Cindy's Cover

Hello Lake Berryessa News Readers. There’s a new author in the Berryessa Highlands neighborhood! Cynthia Barthelemy (Cindy) has her second book “Life On Standby” out on Amazon. 

Cindy describes it as “a warm, exciting and funny memoir of a Trans World Airline (TWA) employee who travels on standby to the four corners of the world. These stories take you to exotic lands full of pitfalls, beauty, danger and laughter. An uplifting read for anyone who loves travel or history, and it encourages everyone to do their own traveling.”

I bought the Kindle version and have only gotten through the first sections about Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Machu Picchu, but I was hooked. I’m a million-mile traveller with some strange experiences myself, but Cindy’s writing took me right along that narrow Taiwanese road, lost, in the middle of the night as if I were in the car with her and Bart. (Spoiler Alert: They made it in one piece.) Her description of the history and beauty of the places she visited is an added value to the stories.

She continues in the introduction:

“As all airline employees know and understand, standby travel is a way of life for us if we want or need to get anywhere. This means commuting to work in cities around the United States other than where we live and going on vacations. Sometimes we get a first-class seat, sometimes a coach seat in the back where the seats don’t recline, and sometimes the uncomfortable crew member jump seats.

However, it is often very difficult to get any seat. We are used to starting our vacations a few days early just to make sure we get to our destination on time. Other times we wing it and take a chance, leaving from home at the last moment. Sometimes this works and sometimes we end up sitting in airports for hours or days, wishing we had left earlier and not taken the chance. We live to hear our names called by the gate agent just before the doors are closed to the jetway. Many times, when traveling with the family, we would split up when there were not seats for all of us. No matter what seat, we are grateful to get one. We knew the ones left behind would eventually catch up. We are blessed because of minimal air fares and being able to see the world inexpensively.

Seeing new cities, meeting wonderful and sometimes crazy people on board, along with a multitude of movie stars flying between Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, and my final year of flying troop charters into Vietnam during the height of the war, was not only fun but exciting, scary, sad, happy and educational. My husband Bart’s flying career started as an Air Force pilot, flying C133 transport planes to all parts of the world during the Vietnam War. So, his changing from military flying to commercial flying was a natural for him. When we met on our first flight together, we were both based in San Francisco.

These stories are about some of our travels to the four corners of the world, experiencing some of the most beautiful, fascinating and educational places imaginable. We are intrepid travelers who prefer to do our own thing, only taking a tour if that is the only way to see what we want to see. And the people we have met on our travels were absolutely the best part of it all. It truly is a wonderful world. I hope these stories will give you enjoyment, excitement and laughter. Hopefully, you will try experiencing some unique travels of your own, and the memories you will make will be well worth it.”

Both an eBook version and a paperback version are now available on Amazon if you’d like to read it and take a (sometimes bumpy) ride along! She hopes you enjoy reading it as much as she enjoyed writing it, and especially as much as she enjoyed living it!                       © Peter Kilkus 2020