Friday, April 20, 2012

2012 - An year of Travel & Exploration

What an awesome year it has been so far with travels and seeing new places, meeting new people, knowing more cultures, learning more things and becoming more mature every day with things in life. Yet my close and dear ones still think that I should move on. For crying out loud, I don't understand this stupid saying of people "you should move on". What in the name of God it means? Anyways, that's a complete different and pretty sensitive topic and definitely not part of this post. I know I am moving on and am content with my decisions.

So coming back to the topic, way back in Oct 2011, when I made my India trip after 3 years, I decided that I have to make year 2012 special and have to see as much of the world as I can. Well, World is quite big and surely would require many years of exploration but there has to be a start to the project so I started with the country I am residing currently, USA. Since returning from India, my home has become a Hotel for me and roads and air has become my partner in crime. Flying to family on Christmas, taking a Train trip with friends to Southern Illinois and flying to California for work, has all been in the agenda to end 2011. Thanks to my company that they gave me an opportunity to fly to one of my clients on West coast and see California. I spent almost an entire month of January in Southern California, met some really wonderful people and experienced lovely places, made new friends not only from US but from UK too.

Last weekend, I made a road trip to Kansas to see a very extended family of mine which amused some of my colleagues at office quite a bit because they couldn't digest the concept of taking so much of pain of driving 500 miles one way spending 8 hours on the road to meet someone who is like in-laws to my cousin sister. Whatever, I didn't mind about that coz' I know these things are usually found in cultures like India where every second person on the street is an aunt or an uncle :). Well the drive was smooth, took 7 and half hours for me to cover the distance and for the first time in 5 years, my car probably thanked me for giving her the opportunity of flying on the road. There isn’t much scenic to add to the drive but still I managed to capture couple of pictures of sunset and the roads while driving.

There wasn't much in Kansas City to see but the fact that I met a known one after so long was amazing in itself. I must say, the couple I met is one of the best couples I have met in many years with their Hospitality, affection and friendliness. I'm glad that they are moving close to me in June, would be really a nice company to be with. I didn't have much time to explore Kansas City and surrounding areas, so it would be unfair to say that there isn't much to see but I guess my Host took me around everywhere in Kansas City which covered both Kansas state side and Missouri state side. For gambling people, there are more than couple of places to gamble, for food lovers, there is quite a few options to explore and for others city has couple of things to offer for a decent evening life.

For art lovers like me, there is Nelson-Atkins museum.
 (Outside Nelson-Atkins museum)

The return drive was an adventure. After a night of tornadoes in Midwest that caused a loss of about $260 million dollars to one of the known cities of Kansas, Wichita, and God knows how many others, I knew it would be an interesting drive, especially when I was driving in the bull’s eye. First 350 miles of drive was nice in bright sun but extremely windy weather. The last 150 miles, only I know how I drove. Stormy rain and no vision forced me to slow down my car from 80 mph to 50 mph. At one point of time I even thought of stopping but on the second thought, who wanted to get stranded on road in mid of corn fields with no clue as to when this rain would stop, so kept moving on the road like a snail. I hated those monster trucks when I had to overtake them. I was driving in 5% vision and overtaking these trucks was like passing through Death valley with no vision at all, water splashing all over your car and the truck's force against you pushing you hard and slowing you down. I spent almost 15 minutes to overtake first 3 trucks but then I realized that if I have to overtake them, I need to zip speed my car so that I spend least time driving parallel to them and be tortured. Trust me it's scary when you are driving at 80 mph crossing a mammoth truck and have no vision. Fortunately, I made it to home in one piece.

July is planned for a week vacation with family in Wisconsin and hopefully something would be planned for the May long weekend as well with friends. I wonder which Destination would be calling me next. My bags are pack and I am ready to explore.



Aval said...

I feel jealous :P

Poor In Java said...

:) It's time for payback Aval. I used to be jealous of you all when you guys were exploring Canada and you Pune...just kidding...come over pal, we all can have a gala time...let my GC be issued then probably I will plan an Aus trip too

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