Chapter 12 : Finally Leaving India (2002-2003)
Moving further ahead with my story, as I said in my previous chapter that I had fixed my mind to go to Thailand only and before the end of 2002 I finally started planning to go to Thailand. So the person whom I trust I started talking to them. There was an uncle of mine who was close to me and currently lives in Dehradun, he already had a trip to Thailand, so I went away to ask him about the atmosphere, work availability, etc., just to gain some confidence, as I was getting nervous to travel alone to Thailand.
At that time yahoo chatting was in trend, and use to have rooms, so until and unless the opponent doesn’t accept your request, one cannot do the chatting. I also started chatting in the Thailand room and at that time people use to be friendly and become genuine buddies with whom one can daily chat. Every day in the evening I use to go to the cafe to do chatting for a couple of hours in Dehradun.
The purpose of my chatting was to get real friends with whom I get to know the exact scenario of Thailand and prepare myself for that, such as how to get a visa, what if I don’t get a job, etc., a bundle of questions was there in my mind. In the initial stage of chatting I don’t get a proper connection with people, then after few days, 2 to 3 persons were there who like to chat with me. Those students belong from the Philippines only, I use to ask them about the rent of a house, work availabilities, what alternate was there, and many more. My those online friends help me a lot in providing suggestion and how to do all and also motivated me to just visit Thailand and to give it a try. I felt a bit more confident, while my uncle also suggested I try but the thing was I haven’t informed anybody at my home.
I do have a passport but have never been out of the country, while from the backside I use to gather more information related to Thailand and the visa process. There were a lot of challenges faced by the person who went for the first time out of the country. Numerous questions buzzing on my mind, so few people started saying negative stuff, while few say positive ones. Now it was up to me to whom I should believe it. But in my mind do or die situation was running, if not now than never.
I initiated the process, first I visited to travel agent in Dehradun to know how to get a visa for Thailand and what are the ticket rates of Thailand. He provides me all the information’s and I show my passport as well, he said one thing was missing that is first I need to stamp my passport with the stamp which has to be done after graduation, so I have to go Bareilly for that verification stamping and then after we can move ahead with the visa process.
So in my weekdays I gave an excuse to my family that I am going to my friend’s house at Bareilly and went alone to Bareilly. The passport office was there at Bareilly and in the morning I reached the office along with all documents that are required over there, till the evening my work was done and I return back to Dehradun in the evening. At least one work was done, from within it feels like when I will go and by another side, I use to talk to my Thailand friends on a daily basis.
First I thought of going on New Year (2003) but it was not possible so I decided to go after the New Year. I was getting good vibes and my confidence was getting boost day by day. While on the other side my projects were going on and I was not taking any new projects into my hands. In the starting days of New Year, the first work I did was to hand over my passport for a visa and they said that if I apply for the visa from here, so I will get the visa for three months and then after I have to travel back. I agreed and ask to process further.
In the first week of January, I gave my passport for the visa stamp and it gets to travel from Delhi and after 15 days I received my passport and there was a Thailand visa for three months stamping on my passport. I was damn happy by seeing that and now I have to book my tickets for the Thailand flight to go. I came home yet haven’t informed to anything to anybody. Daily I use to see my passport to see the stamping of Thailand visa and wish when I will go, I was feeling like my dream came true and started imagining my first flight trip and everything related to the place. I was excited plus nervous as well, such as how to fill up a form at the airport, what should be carried, if mistakenly anything did then how to tackle it at the new place, a lot many questions were there in my mind which I use to ask my uncle.
Along with all these feelings I went to purchase my ticket of going and coming back too, before booking my tickets I thought for 1000times as 20,000r s was not a small amount for me. But finally booked it and the ticket counter person said that my ticket was of 7th February and January mid was going on so only 15 days were remaining with me, while I informed my Thailand friends that I booked tickets as well and now I just have to come. Yet I have not informed anyone at home, only my uncle knows everything about me.
I started counting my days and every day I use to chat with my friends, likewise, the whole Jan month got over. Feb month started and only one week was remaining to go, so I informed my uncle and aunty that I have the plan to visit Thailand next week and the surprising thing was I was the first person from my family who will travel out of the country.
My uncle gave shocking expression to me and ask me that when I did all this, I replied him: I want to go to Thailand so I tried all possible ways and finally got my visa and done with tickets as well, while I have a few of my friends over there who are helping me to get a job, I added few extra things that I am going over there for the interview purpose and I am getting vibes that this will work out but for that, I have to visit over there. To be very frank my friends in Thailand also talked to their college professor about me that a person is coming over here and do meet him, maybe he can help in taking lectures for the students.
So I confirmed that at least one interview was there and the rest I will take care of it. Now on another side, there was a marriage of someone in Delhi on the 5th of Feb, so I agreed to go there and spend a day with my mother and brother, they stay at Delhi. My flight was on 6thfeb of midnight after 12:30 am which was considered 7th Feb of the next day. I can never forget this date, I said bye to everyone at Dehradun and in Delhi also I informed everyone about my Thailand trip, my mother became happy and blesses me, while I was getting nervous.
I changed the currency of the amount I have and took an extra amount from my brother too and kept 500$ in my pocket. There was tight security at the airport especially for the person who was going for the first time and at least 500$ one should keep in his/her pocket while traveling to out of the country. I attend the marriage function nicely and was in touch with my friends, I have to carry 20 kg of luggage with me, prior to going to the airport I check my luggage on a weighing scale, just to be sure about the weight so that any problem doesn’t occur at the airport.
I was very excited and my flight was of midnight so I wanted to visit the airport before 3hours of my timing. My mother and brother came to the airport to drop me and I was feeling like dream come true, so they drop me at the airport, and when I went for the boarding process, where after going inside one cannot come back to see family members. When I went inside by showing my ticket, I started getting confused feelings such as excited, nervous, panic, totally blank out at that time.
Finally, I completed all my formalities of fill up forms and all, I cleared my all process including customs and all, but when I went for the immigration process they stop me to interrogate and ask my question like where I am going? And why I am going? Do I have money in my pocket? I answer all of their questions accordingly as my uncle guided me. I saw the receipt of 500$ and finally, I cleared my immigration and step ahead for departure, where they check again.
I saw the flight first time in front of me and went ahead to take my seat, I was feeling awesome just like movie kind of stuff. When the flight takes off I opened my eyes to see Delhi from the window side, it was a fabulous view and then I had my food (I was vegetarian) and drink in the flight and was going to land at 6 am in the morning at Thailand, so here the journey of India gets over and my new journey of life will start in Thailand in my next chapter. Thank You!