Inspirational Heathfield Alumni: A Cabin Crew Who Rides A Bicycle to Endless Destinations

Phanatda Waerojruedee (Panda), 26, was one of the pupils who appeared in the spotlight at Heathfield Secondary music band shows.  Having previously shown her confidence and enjoyment in visual arts and playing the drums at school, she has now turned her interests to marathon bicycling and devotes her passion and vocation, to serve as a cabin crew member, at Bangkok Airways.

Phanatda is fun to be around.  She has always been diligent in new creative activities since young as she expressed that at Heathfield International School, “I enjoyed studying Visual Arts a lot. Every time when I studied this subject, I was so excited about what the teacher was going to assign us to do.”

She also had a chance to start off with her first full band show at the school – which gave her excitement and nervousness at the same time.  The result however turned out to be successful because of the supports both from teachers and friends. “I miss playing the drums every time I hear fun music. Maybe in the future you’ll see me playing the drums again,” she added.

At Heathfield, teachers always encouraged Phanatda and her classmates to speak English only. Being in an international environment, it helped her to communicate in English naturally.  She thought back of her experience in the classroom saying that, “this helped me to improve my English a lot.  Before, when I wanted to talk with my friends I needed to think in Thai then translated them into English and spoke them out. When the time passed, I could easily think in English and speak out directly.”

“Right now, as a cabin crew, I need to talk in English most of the time. This benefits me than others because I’m not afraid to talk in English. Also, when I contact with my suppliers on my own business (especially foreigners) we use English most of the time,” Phanatda expressed.

The most exciting part of her career is that she gets to talk with her passengers asking about where they go.  Having good conversations with them leads her to the feeling like as if she goes with them too. “I love my work place, it’s different every day, sometimes it’s cloudy sometimes the sky is clear,” she added.

With lots of skills that she had planted early along with her favourite hobby in riding a bicycle, now she expanded her ability to work multitask and became Thailand’s Chapter2 Bike and Quoc Cycling Shoes distributor.   

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Recently, her inspiring story about her passion in biking for at least 50-100 kilometre per day was featured in Manager Online (click here to read).  Her response to the interview was that her riding journey in Japan was the most challenging mission.  “The weather was 7-8 Celsius degree when we rode up the mountain.  Just on the half way, it was raining and the fog was covered all the way… As soon as we reached the top of the mountain, with tiredness I thought to myself ‘what did I just do!?’ because what we saw was far from reality.  The top of this mountain didn’t give us the same scene of a beautiful lake as in the poster. In reality we saw the white fog everywhere which was a disappointment.  But when we rode down from the mountain I realised that it was the most amazing journey.  It was the best trip and I was very proud of myself.”  

Whether travelling by an airplane as part of her career or by riding with her buddy bicycle, she has always been looking forwards to adventure and meet new people. 

“The country that I’m most excited to visit again is Mumbai, India.It’s not a country on my wish list but when I went there I liked it. People there are very nice the place is amazing. For those who want to travel overseas, I suggest them to be well prepared for where they’re going.  Study about their country, respect people, follow the rules and regulations so you’ll travel happily,” Phanatda gave a simple advice for young people who want to get international experience just like her.

Being a 20-something years-old young adult, Phanatda has already proven that many wishes are possible if you are brave to take decision.  So, be open-minded, do not be afraid to take a chance, learn and live while you are young.