When I learned about my visa acceptance, I was overwhelmed by the news. I started planning for the preparations for this visit. Since the whole thing happened in a short notice there was not much time to get ready the things needed for the coming visit.
My flight was scheduled for 8:50 pm on February 10th. Me and my flatmate Arjun were busy collecting remaining items to take to the States before the evening of my flight, and we started packing on same night. I Went to office, completed task for that day and went to Airport to start the awaited journey where my friends came to see me off. Being the person who loves to travel, I was super excited about my trip but I could feel the anxiety in me. It was the first time I was travelling on Jet plane, and the very thought of going to the other side of the globe made me even more anxious and curious at the same time.
Five Hours flight to Doha was smooth. I watched movies and gazed outside the window and enjoyed the meal. The view of city lights over Dubai was beautiful, and I finally landed at Doha. I was transferred to luxurious Melia hotel for my layover. Afterwards, I went back to Hamad to catch the flight to Boston early in the morning. More than 13 hours of flight was a bit boring but I managed to make it fun with lots of movies, meals and drinks. Finally I landed in Boston at around 2:30 pm EST on Friday where I saw snow all over the place. I had to face additional queries from immigration authorities because of lack of supporting documents and they had it verified from Sagar Dai and Ashay Dai and they finally let me go. I got to see two familiar faces as soon as I hit exit gate and that was the moment I got my smile back. Snow was all over Boston, and it felt like perfect winter on February.
I joined the Lexington office on Monday, 13th of Feb, since then my actual purpose of visit started. I was very happy to meet the people face to face that I have been working and chatting since long. The warm welcome and care from US team members was already making my stay easier and office became very familiar place within short frame of time.
Ashay dai usually got to the office before eight in the morning and I had to follow the same schedule as well. This would provide us some common time between Nepal office and US office during which we could discuss common items. Stand up was being practiced in US office as well where we discussed major and generic issues across product and clients. I could see client calls and meeting happening all across the corners of office hall and some of them included myself as well. Different emotions across people’s face were visible over the time because of different issues, client complain and compliment. Work pressure was also a bit different there and even when I was sleeping I felt like I was sleeping with some load on my head.
The earlier days were relatively hectic and boring due to lack of outdoor activities. It was too cold all the time due to heavy snowing and my routine used to be straight from home to office to back home again. I must admit that the friendly office environment helped me to have good vibe during that period. Office hours during my stay were always busy. I had to confirm on concerns shared by Nepal team, provide sign off on different stuffs and get into client call and requirement.
The most important thing I learned during my stay was to get into client requirement and expectation and help them with the issues they face.
The most important thing I learned during my stay was to get into client requirement and expectation and help them with the issues they face. This involvement helped me to provide clear guidance to Nepal team as well. This also helped clients to learn about process, limitation and status of work being done. This eventually built a reciprocating relationship between us and clients.
Beside office stuffs and work my secondary goal of this trip was to explore new places and understand culture, traditions, lifestyle and of course the food. My visit trip started on very next day when we went to New Hampshire for shopping. I had not brought enough winter clothes and for a man of my size it was difficult to find clothes that fit. I even had to grab some items from kids section 😀
I used to hang out with Sagar Dai, Anita Vauju, Manish Dai during most of the weekends and some weekday evenings as well and sometime Bipul Dai and Rosina Didi accompanied us as well. During this time I got to visit many shopping malls, restaurants, stores and places around New England and it was really an amazing experience to see the cultural, social and technological trends so different from Nepal.
Snow was completely gone and trees were reclaiming their green lush during the final quarter of my stay and I could finally run with my Goldstar shoes. I could easily run/walk to nearby towns like Cambridge, Watertown and Waltham. I even played basketball with random kids at the park. Which was fun and I got to know more about the cities and people in it.
During my stay I visited all the states of New England except Vermont. I went to major cities like Boston,New York City (visited twice as once is not enough for this city), D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. I visited world renowned educational institutes like Harvard, MIT and Stanford. I also got the chance to visit some of the Tech giants like Facebook and Google. I got opportunity to catch up with some of the fellow ex Deerwalkers with whom I used to work together like Minal Koirala, Sabita Khadka, Pramod Bhandari and Bibas Sitoula all in different cities of states.
One thing I should be grateful about this trip is that I finally ticked out a thing from my bucket-list: Skydiving. I skydived at Virginia, thanks to Sabita didi for accompanying me in this once in a lifetime thrill!
I got invited for gathering and eat-and-meet-ups to different places; Sagar Dai/Anita Vauju/Manish Dai, Smriti Di/Prashant Dai, Namita Di/Nabin Dai, Muna Vauju/Rudra Dai, Bipul Dai/Rosina Didi, Rebika Di/Prabhash Dai, Suresh Dai/Jeni Vauju, Abanish Dai/Richa Vauju. Everyone poured in their love and admiration which made me feel home. I am very grateful for their hospitality and support during my stay.
I am thankful to Ashay Dai/Ekta Vauju for being awesome hosts during my 3 months of stay at Boston and showing me Places of new England and Namita didi/Nabin dai/Prisha/Jenisha – Hosting me for delicious food.
I am also grateful to following hosts during my travel and for showing me the respective cities.
- My friend Bibas/Pragya didi and Dinesh Vinaju: New York City
- Sabita Didi/Sudeep Dai; DC, Maryland and Virginia
- Minal Didi/Sajan Dai/Reeti: San Francisco Bay Area
- My friend Raj/Ishwor/Pramod Dai: Greater Los Angeles Area
- My Friend Binay: Las Vegas
Since I had stayed for almost three months, I got habituated with the people, culture and the cities. The summer was approaching soon, and somehow I felt sad about having to leave that place to get back to Kathmandu and breathe the same old dusty air. Nevertheless, home is home, and I knew there is nothing better than being around people I love. Coming back to Nepal, I felt warm and welcomed.
Three months long US stay was a memorable time that rejuvenated me in a new environment where I reconnected with old friends/colleagues, made new friends and learned the American culture and lifestyle. These memories of places and people will always remain in my heart for a lifetime. Last but not the least; I am deeply grateful to Deerwalk for providing me such an amazing opportunity.