Traveling abroad is not a big deal these days. But tell that to a recently turned 18 year old middle class boy, who is leaving his country for the first time. This is his story. A story of how he managed to overcome all the hurdles and issues he faced to make this journey of a lifetime.
I took so much of build up, because my story is not an usual one. And that is how I have always lived my life, the UNUSUAL WAY. So, how come anything I do was going to be easy.
The whole deal started back in 2007. I recently cleared my 12th grade exams and got enrolled in a pathway program, that facilitated to study an year in India and another two years in Australia. By the end of my 2nd semester I have cleared the IELTS exam which was mandatory and finished all my paperwork and got enrolled in the university in Melbourne. Me and my mom started shopping and a list of must have items was provided by the college (didn’t need half of them). But as we were new to the whole deal, we never took any chances.
The feelings I had were very mixed. I was happy I was going to a foreign land, all the freedom doing things on own, feeling all grown up. But on the same time I was feeling sad, as I was leaving a lot of things behind. My parents, as I am the only son, the connection and bond we share is more than special. My friends, my house, my bike and many other small or big things that I never paid attention to, now suddenly started to feel a lot more special. I wanted to enjoy as much as I can, eat food as I was not going to get that taste or feel for a long time. Travel, meet relatives and friends I haven’t spoken or seen in long time. As the time came near, I use to feel something weird in my stomach. Was it nervousness? was it fear? was it excitement? or was it mixed emotions? I started to feel as I am growing and maturing everyday.
The day was 7th July 2007. I reached the domestic airport as I had a layover in Mumbai and then direct flight to Melbourne. We were a group of friends going on the same day. Met a lot of relatives, friends, family and with all the courage I bid goodbye to my loved ones. I was trying to put up a happy face and all tough but was crying from inside. The flight departed and was able to see all my life in a flash. After an hour, we were in Mumbai.
As I was going for the first time, I was following the instructions given. Our layover was of 8 hours. We were told to check in the bags and that is when the trouble started. We were told that as students, we can carry one lap top bag extra, along with the regular baggage. While checking in the bags we found out that, there was no such deal. We were allowed the regular 3 bags. 1 hand bag and 2 check-in bags. I was already carrying 3 to 4 kilos of extra weight. So, I was going to pay for the extra kilos and that is all the money I was carrying on me. Now, with this no extra bag deal, either I have to pay for the extra bag or figure out a way to put the laptop bag in the hand bag. I requested a lot at the check in counter but of no use. Out of money and options, I had to dump my all items from the hand bag, I wore some clothes on me and just had enough weight to accommodate the lap top. I was the last one to check in for the boarding procedure and after all the hassle, I was finally aboard the flight.
Finally, I was on Aussie ground on 8th July 2007. New place, new weather, new faces and with lot of dreams in eyes, I entered into a different corner of the world. I stayed in Australia for 3 years. I did my bachelors there, did different jobs, met new people from every corner of the world. Made friends, learned new things, learned new culture had many different experience.
The journey has just started and I would be sharing more of my experiences in Australia and other places I have travelled. Stay Tuned!