February 29 was not only a leap year day but also an extraordinary and unforgettable day for me. I slept with a mind made of flying with the Korean Airlines (no masks and sanitizer were available because of COVID-19), and only in the morning, I found out that my flight itinerary was changed with Qatar Airways for the next day. Nonetheless, I was excited about the trip, and thanks to Deerwalk, I was being stationed at the US Office for March 2020.
I was as excited about my second trip to the US as I was for the first one. Having already known many things about the flights, transits, and US culture along with the dos and don’ts, it was easier to travel this time. In a way, I felt I was fully prepared for the trip.
It had been more than ten years—and here I was again—in Boston at the start of wintertime. It was still warm and the air was fresh when I came out of the plane at the dead of the night in Dubai. As soon as I stepped out of the airport in Boston, I was caught off guard as a sudden gust of wind blew off the jacket I was carrying. I hailed a taxi in a hurry and sped off to the hotel. Soon, I discovered that the hotel was conveniently situated near grocery stores and shopping malls.
We gathered at Deerwalk premises at 7:30 AM. Everyone was excited about the hike. Our van left Deerwalk at 7:45 AM. We also picked some hikers on the way. Also, we went to a supermarket at Golfutar to buy snacks. We reached Budhanilkantha and had some light breakfast. Breakfast was delicious. After breakfast, all the hikers looked more energetic. We began our hike.
I have always been passionate about traveling. After traveling within my country for many years, I now had the time and opportunity to fly internationally. All thanks to Deerwalk. With newfound excitement of exploring an unknown destination, I started my journey from Tribhuvan International Airport to Boston via Hamad (Doha) and JF Kennedy International Airport (New York). These airports are much larger and global than I had ever imagined. After traveling for 30 hours, 20 of which I spent in the air, I was exhausted when I landed in Boston. Yet I so wanted to explore this unknown land. From the Boston airport, my travel buddies (Arjan and Saurav) and I swiftly proceeded to our stay, which was about to be our home for a month.
Oscar Wilde once wrote, “Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets.” Even though it was midnight of February 28, my eyes were still wide open. I was thrilled about my first international flight to the United States the next day. On the day of the flight, I along with two of my travel buddies, Santosh and Saurav, bid farewell to our families and the loved ones. We then headed to Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
I had heard it repeatedly, in different words, but in the same spirit that traveling opens up the mind and the heart, and it gives us a unique perspective in life, changing us for the better. As my office visit to the US approached nearer, I was excited. I had all these expectations built up in my mind, and now when I sit down to write about my experience, I can tell you that the journey did not disappoint at all. I learned more than I could have ever thought.
It was the last Friday of January 2020; I had to depart for the US visit. I reached Tribhuvan International Airport at 10:00 PM with my family. At the airport, I met two of my colleagues and fellow travelers, Krishna Raj Dahal and Suresh Ghatuwa. The weather felt chillier as I waved goodbye to my family. With our heavy luggage and heavy hearts, we went through the security checks and boarded the Qatar flight to Doha at 2:00 AM. We had a 2-hour-long transit in Hamad International Airport, Doha, and another 14 hours of flight to Boston.
Travelling is always fun. Always full of unfamiliar experiences, it also gives you opportunities to interact and share your thoughts with people you’ve never met. After 14 hours of flight from Doha, Boston welcomed us with light snow showers in the chilly afternoon. It was a pleasant welcome because I loved the wintry weather; the snowfall was comforting and relaxing for our jaded bodies.
31 January 2020. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning. Before leaving for the US, I had attended the engagement ceremony of Nabindra. Our flight was scheduled at 2:00 AM on 1st February, so I had to head towards Tribhuvan International Airport by 10:00 PM 31st January. As this was my first long break with my family, it was hard to bid farewell.