I can write a detailed travelogue, but I don’t want to bore you to death! I don’t think I’m good at writing! Here is the short version! 😃
A weeks notice was all I got about my first ever business trip. To work at client’s location, to deal with client interaction, to deal with the cultural differences, and the list goes on. Though I was prepared for all of it, I was caught off guard with other stuff.
I couldn’t collect all necessary documents until a day before the travel date. Packing was done just 4 hours before the departure time. I just went around the house and picked up all my stuff and stuffed it in the luggage bag. it weighed less than 35 pounds I guess. I had two luggage bags and a backpack which later I realized was a mistake to carry with.
Sujith, a cousin of mine, had come down to help which I should really appreciate. It was just 2 hours remaining and the Meru taxi guy was lost trying to find me. After a lot of byes, take-cares, hugs, I left. I felt sad for my mom and grandmother, they were all in tears when I left! The possibility of seeing my grandmother for the lost time didn’t escape my mind!!! 😟 I hope that thought never becomes a reality!
One the way to airport called up as many as I could. Meru cab service is good to say the least. Just 60 minutes to travel and there I was, entering the international airport for the first time. Few more hugs and I left them (Dad, brother, cousin) behind. I could see my dad beaming with proud through the glass walls of the airport.
- Bengaluru to Delhi (5:20PM - 8:10PM) (Air India)
- Delhi to London heathrow Airport (02:15AM - 06:45AM) (British Airways*)
- London Heathrow Airport to Miami (01:40PM - 5:50PM) (British Airways*)
- Miami to Chicago (08:40PM - 10:45PM) (American Airlines)
The gap between the flights was big, but I didn’t even realize how time flew. In London, I sat down to have something from Pret A Manger. Rest of the time, I was roaming around; I was good enough to write a book on how to spend time at LHR that day. This is when I realized that the backpack was a mistake. Take my advice and buy a wheeled cabin baggage if you don’t have one already, you will thank me for that.
At Miami, the immigration check was smooth. No issues. I had quite some struggle calling a US number from Miami airport. First, I didn’t have change; secondly, I didn’t know the denominations. I was stupid!
Bharath picked me up from Chicago and it was already 2AM Monday when we reached Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Someone had hit his car in the parking lot in Chicago airport! Visa covered it though.
The journey was good, not at all tiring. I didn’t even have jet-lag or anything of that sort. I went to office at 9AM that day. It was time to match all names that I knew for years to faces.
* - I had a bad experience on British Airways with one of the flight attendants. I did write to them later. Given a chance, I will never fly with British Airways again.