This is not a travelogue. I am not sure if I am competent enough to write one of those, although one of my dream jobs is to become a travel host in the discovery channel!
One of the things people do religiously while they are abroad is to travel. Travel to different parts of the country they are in. Eventually they end up seeing more places/cities in the country they are touring than they would have of their own country. Well, I have been no different. First it was the trip to see the liberty aunty at NY and then to the “who’s your daddy” Vegas. I am not describing either of them out here. But I am going to dwell into the whole process of planning and executing a trip.
It all starts as a secret mission. Carefully evaluating the people you want to go with - The forming of the group for the trip. Should we ask X. Why do we need to ask Y. Z would also come if Y comes. And thus a huge mission would be flagged off. Most of the times the group would comprise of close friends. If they are not available, then the co-workers would get an opportunity. And most of the times there will people who miss a trip and would have to tag along with another group. Factors such as commitment to team mates, room mates, and friend’s friend play an important role in finalizing the trip team. This would be followed by a huge row of tu tu main main for doing the bookings. Booking flight tickets, hotels, rental cars and much more.
Most often there will be a huge conference calls to decide the time, date and places of visit. And this is when it breaks loose. The more the number of people, the more would be the opinions and hence the confusions. And if people are coming in from different parts of the country, the confusion multiplies. The problem also is that we Indians are good at maths. Calculating the time, distance and more importantly the money, in N number of ways can be quite tasking for even a PC! And of course the famous “theory of Dollar to Rupee conversion” makes it worse. It always amuses me how often the thought of spending over rides the fun that we should be having in the trip.
And So eventually with an awful amount of luck, the trip plan is readied. The combination part of it after reaching the destination could be taxing. Within the group there might be a couple who would want to be together alone in a group!! Then there would be the possible couples who should be left together too. This causes a huge confusion while forming subsets within the main group.
Chaos galore when the trip finally kicks off. From dealing with people’s sleep-ish-ness to adjusting to the fast/slow pace of walking to talking care of vegetarians, I would suggest this as a good management lesson. And once the process is started there will be lot of complaints from everyone suggesting that we should have booked a better hotel, we could have started earlier and so on. And God forbid if there occurs a real fight amongst the travelers. The scene would get ugly. But apart from that there would be a photography tournament running throughout the trip. The person who does not carry a camera mostly wins the race. He/She would be clicked the most. You would come across other such similar groups all through the trip. Also you would be seeing desis and families awed by the Amkarikan grandeur. One of the most ridiculous thing I saw was an old desi couple along with their son in Vegas. Why on earth would you want to take your ever so conservative parents to the city of sin!? Anyways, I am sure he would have written a blog about that too!
The events do not get over when the trip actually ends. After that begins the trading of the photos. And putting up the pics on Orkut. Again the early bird catches the worm here too. When everything is done, there will be the infamous XL sheet session, to settle the expenses. Most of the times this would be started by the guy who spends the most!
But all the pain and hardships you take to put the trip together pays off more often than not. Keeping the sight seeing part apart, the trip would provide some amazing moments. Like they say - Flight tickets to Vegas - $300, Trip to Universal studios - $65, Renting a car - $100, Moments you get to spend with your friends – Priceless.
Song for the occasion: Abhi abhi mere dil mein, ye khayal aaya hai.