Friday, April 26, 2013

Flight Doctor

When I first arrived in Singapore in year 2000, I was miserable and would find it hard to be with myself for even a weekend. To top it, I was short of money, having arrived in Singapore with less than S$2,000 in my bank account!

Rightfully, I should have scrimped and saved my money for the next few years till I became financially comfortable. Instead, something quite the opposite happened. I started traveling. I would plan a trip on any pretext, be it a long weekend, or a public holiday in the middle of the week, or just because I felt like. Most of the trips to South East Asia were last minute, depending on how far and how quickly I wanted to run. Traveling was like medicine. It always numbed the pain, and sometimes it healed me too.

Between 2001 and 2010, I made several overseas trips every year, spending every penny I would save in the months in between. In later years, I began traveling officially as well to meet customers (UK, US, Dubai, Japan). There was another change too- I became more adventurous with our holiday destinations (Burma, Mongolia, Turkey, South Africa, Tibet).

Being an Indian citizen, I needed Visa for almost every place I traveled to, but that didn't faze me- I was that crazy about traveling. In the process, my close family, mainly Atreya and mom, got to see a lot of the world too. At the end of the 13 years in Singapore, I had spent huge number of dollars on travel, but hell was I richer in so many other ways!

Recently, I looked up my old passports to see where all I had traveled in those years and this is what I noted. I have included my official trips in the list (marked with an *) just to show the frequency of travel. But this doesn't include my official and personal trips to India (3-4 every year).

  1. September: Malaysia- Desaru (Atta and I)
  2. October: Malaysia- Pinang (with RS, his friend and Atta)
  1. January: Indonesia- Bali (with mom, dad and Atta)
  2. May: Malaysia- Sebu Island (with Atta and Mallika)
  3. September: Malaysia- Langkawi (Atta and I)
  4. December: Cambodia- Seam Reap (RS and I)
  1. February: Thailand- Koh Samui (with mom, dad and Atta)
  2. August: China- Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Hangzhou  (Mom and I)
  3. November: Malaysia- Desaru (Atta and I)
  1. June: Europe- UK, France, Italy, Switzerland (Atta and I)
  2. *July: Indonesia- Jakarta
  3. *August: Indonesia- Jakarta
  4. *September: Indonesia-Jakarta
  5. *October: Indonesia-Jakarta, Jog Jakarta
(The Jakarta project was committed by my boss when I was away in Europe and sucked my entire year. This is one travel I didn't enjoy because I had to leave Atreya alone in Singapore for long periods of time.)

  1. January: Thailand- Bangkok, Pattaya (with mom, dad and Atta)
  2. Month not sure: Thailand- Hua Hin (with Arun, Manjari, Revati, Shruti and Vasanta)
  3. *September: UK
  1. March: Malaysia- Sebu Island (with Atta and Vasanta)
  2. *June: Dubai
  3. October: Malaysia- Kuala Lumpur (Mom and I)
  4. November: Burma- Yangon, Bagan, Inlay Lake (with Shalini and mom)
  1. Feb: Srilanka (with Shalini and Atta)
  2. *March: Spain
  3. Sept: Mongolia (with Shalini, mom and Atta)
  4. *Sept: Dubai
  5. Dec: Malaysia- Tioman Islands (Atta and I)
  1. January: Thailand- Phuket (with Atta and Ashu)
  2. *July: Japan
  3. August: Thailand- Chiangmai (with Shalini and Vasanta)
  4. *September: US- New York, Florida, Texas
  5. October: Turkey (with mom and Atta)

2008 (I didn't travel much because Aloka was a baby)
  1. *December: Brunei
  1. January: Cambodia (with mom, Atta, Aloka and Mallika)
  2. June: Canada- Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, US- Chicago (Mom and I)
  3. *Sept: Brunei
  4. Dec: Malaysia- Kota Kinabalu (with mom, Atta, Yu Shuen, Aloka and Mallika)
  1. *May: Brunei
  2. *November: US- San Francisco, New York, Washington DC
  3. *November: Australia- Sydney 
  4. December: South Africa- Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Garden route (with mom, Anu, Arun, Sushil mama, Aloka and Atta)
  1. January: Indonesia- Jog Jakarta (with mom and Aloka)
  2. August: Tibet- Lhasa, China- Beijing (with mom, Swati and Meenu)

  1. July: Morocco- Fes, Meknes, Merrakech (with Swati, Rachel, Julie and Heiki)

  1. January: Thailand- Chumpohn (with mom and Aloka)


  1. Thanks Puja for the chronicle and also taking me to so many places.

    1. This is mom posting comments using my laptop!