Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day 1 - the Big Apple (NYC)

Setting out one more time for an international trip around the world, with major differences from my last trip:

1) This trip will last 3.5 weeks, as opposed to 7.5 months
2) A majority of this trip is for business.
3) I have a bigger budget this time, and a per-diem stipend!
4) All flights and locations of travel have been predetermined and pre-booked.
5) I will have to lug around a large roller suitcase, instead of my beloved backpacker sack.
6) This is more of a vacation than an adventure.

I was lucky enough to find a job quickly after I settled back in Southern California, and even luckier to find a position with a global company with offices in Brazil, India, and China. After eight months of working, I was given the opportunity to travel to our India and China offices for a couple weeks to meet the team and provide operational solutions to some of the inefficiencies we face as a small company.

Since I would already be in the area, I decided to take an extra week off to visit SE Asia once more, and also see the Taj Mahal in India, one thing I missed last year. I should knock on wood... Trains have been booked to and from Agra, and it's on the itinerary, but travel in India can be sporadically inefficient and unreliable, so who knows? I booked a flight on Kingfisher Airlines, but the bankrupt company kept revising my departure time that I finally had to rebook a flight at the last minute. Employee unrest has prevented the company from operating effectively...

The first leg of my trip was a quick stop in New York to visit my friends in Brooklyn. I hadn't been back since New Years, and I still have dreams of living in this city one day. Plus, a flight from Los Angeles to India would be too much for me to handle, from one side of the world to the other. The flight from NY to Delhi alone is already 13 hours! LA to Delhi would be 18+ (including a guaranteed layover somewhere).

I packed last minute, reusing some of the travel supplies that I brought along with me last time. Just looking at some of these items that were tucked away in my backpack behind all my other crap in my closet brought back wonderful memories of my last trip.  There were still a couple things I had to purchase though, including another travel adapter, new backpack (my durable North Face backpack finally ripped at the zipper), and some toiletries.

Took a Thursday Red-eye straight from work to the Airport and arrived in NYC at 5:30am next morning. It took about 45 minutes to go through security at old, reliable, LAX, and everyone had to go through those full-body scans, something new to me. I thought it was a "random" lottery, but I guess TSA is getting a little more voyeuristic these days.

I met up with my good friends Eric and David and just reconnected for the next 24 hours. Surprisingly, I stayed out and about until the AM, something I didn't think my 26 year old body could do these days. We dined, walked around Williamsburg, shopped in Soho, dined, shopped some more, dined, and had a couple cocktails by the end of the night. As long as I'm staying active throughout this trip, I'll be happy!

JFK Airport - New York

Union Station - Los Angeles

My good buddies - David and Eric

No comments:

Post a Comment