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12 May 2012

Story of my Travel transformation...

Contrary to the title, this is not about my travel. This is more about personal transformation...

In one post in my blog, I mentioned that your past do not represent your future. If you look at people, 'What they are' is determined by their past, but 'What they will be' is determined by the actions that they take from the current moment. In my opinion, it is silly to judge people by 'What they are' because, all your interactions are going to be an unknown 'What they will be' person.
This specific post was referring to my brother Mony, who would easily have been written off in the past, but has since staged a stunning turnaround by modifying his actions.
Here is another illustration that your past and your current situation can be significantly different from what will be.
I joined work force in the year 1987 having joined a leading steel maker in India as a mechanical engineer. I worked in the company for about 11 years. We were working in a place called Durgapur, which is in the state of West Bengal in the eastern part of India. For about 9 years, the only thing I remember doing is to get up in the morning, go to office, come back home, eat, sleep and start all over again the next day.
Working in that company, I did not have any opportunity of travel. The only travel I did was to travel back to my home in Kerala during the vacations. That too by train. 
There was not a iota of hope that I will be able to fly (even within India) let alone travel abroad.  As far as I knew, I was destined for train travel, mostly between Durgapur and Kerala.
During that time, the company I worked for went in for a round of modernization. As a part of the exercise, a group of selected engineers traveled to Holland for additional training. This group included a few of my friends. I was not in that lucky group. When they came back, they had brought us some gifts and regaled us with the stories of what happens in other countries. While we all enjoyed listening to their stories, we were also jealous of their opportunities to travel abroad. 
Listening to their stories we had the vicarious satisfaction of having traveled to Europe. 
Opportunity for me in that company to fly to another country? Out of question. 
At that time, if you had told me that I will be travelling to many countries at Company expense, I would have laughed at you. I would have asked you to visit a Shrink and get your head examined...
My travelling abroad? Are you out of your mind? I did not even have a passport.
Then sometime in the year 2000, I joined an IT company in Bangalore as an ERP Consultant. 
I still remember my first travel abroad. It was to a place called 'Pudong' in China. This was to the China operations of 'Grundfos', a leading global pump manufacturer. I had done an impressive project for Grundfos in India and the India company recommended that I go to Grundfos China. The contact person in China was a person named 'Vincent' (Of course !!).
The Singapore Airlines Flight was supposed to start at 11.55 PM on 30 November. However, it was delayed by about 15 minutes and started at 12.05 AM on December 1st 2001.
December 1st is my birthday. So my first travel abroad started on my birthday !!
If this was not a good omen, I have never seen one...
Since then I have traveled to many countries implementing ERP solutions. I have visited China (Beijing and Pudong), Bangladesh, UK, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Sharjah, Egypt, Jordan, Colombia, Mexico, Mauritius, France and US. I have piled up more than 200000 flying miles in different airlines including Air France, Emirates, Lufthansa, Biman Bangladesh, Aero Mexico, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Avianca, Delta and United Airlines. 
I have visited the Pyramids in Cairo, Petra in Amman, taken the Seine river cruise in Paris, been to Golden Gate Bridge in Sanfrancisco, dipped my feet in the icy cold waters of North Sea in the city of Scarborough in North London, taken long walks on the Great Wall of China, done Snorkeling and Para-sailing in the cool waters of Indian Ocean in Mauritius....
I am now the unofficial travel consultant in my organization. Anyone travelling to Latin America comes to me to get my inputs on the best route to take. I advice them on the route, the airline, the rates, the best hotel to stay....
You know, the works....
In 90's if you had told that I will be flying extensively one day,  that I will be advising people on trips to Latin America, that I would be vacationing in Mauritius, I would have laughed at you. 
I would have been guilty of extrapolating my past to my future. 
In late 90's, I would not have known that in the next 10 years, I will be piling up over 200000 flying miles. That is an impressive 20000 miles a year....
As on the year 2001, there was big difference between 'What I am' and 'What I will be' in the next 10 years....

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