I am really happy about this post. Finally I decided to visit India for the next vacation in March - 2016. Last time I went to India was in January - 2014. You are right, it's really been a long time since I visited my home country.
Being in different country and visit the home land is not always straightforward decision. You have to take a close look at holiday schedule, email from a manager approving your leave and entry visa formalities. If you are not sure about any of these parameters, do not expedite to plan an itinerary.
It always is amazing to see how things change in such short time span. Guess it is going to be a summer time in India in March and I guess that would be cool. I also need to schedule a visa interview since now I got transferred to H1B from F1. But this is something I try to finish off in the first week so that I can finish rest of my vacation in peace. Hopefully things will go alright, otherwise I will not be able to return back.
One of the things I do few months before scheduled departure is to ask special people in India if they want anything from here. Though it sounds redundant in new age since everything we get in USA is mostly available in India too except for the prices. But this is just my gesture to say indirect thanks to people who matter in my life.
Not sure what reason but mostly people say we don't want anything from you. We just want you to arrive safely and drop by to say hi. That's alright, I would just buy chocolates for their families as a friendly gesture. In my opinion Ghirardelli chocolates are the best. They are bit expensive than their competition but can last longer and deliver within time.
I may also need to buy other items as per necessary who immensely helped my family while I was away. I asked my parents to remind me if I need to bring something special for someone else too. I have bad memory and I wouldn't buy anything until it's a month for my scheduled departure to India.
I am planning to visit as many relatives' houses as possible. In most cases they live in the specific region which makes it easy to visit every house when you make a plan.
I need to reduce my tea intake at each house unlike last time since it caused serious heart burn due to excessive tannin consumption
Not sure if I would make any shopping in India since the cost almost equals their US counterparts after rupee conversion. However, I would visit my most favorite eating places all around Mumbai and Pune if possible. Especially Hotel Adarsha and Shri Krishna Bhojanalaya in Dadar, A long forgotten thali restaurant in Yerwada, Pune, Aarfa and Hotel Vrindavan in Andheri are some of the places I can recall off the top of my head right now.
Hopefully I can have internet access this time. Otherwise I can always go to nearby cafe. Not that it's important, but it's usually important to stay up to date on office email and current developments.
My nephew has grown so big now. Hope to spend time with him too as I am sure he hardly knows me. (Which is kind of sad.) I can probably take him for a ride or two. He's 5 and more mature than kid of this age.
3 weeks of vacation sounds like more than enough. But it all depends on how smooth a visa interview goes. Otherwise it can turn into my worst nightmare. Time flies by when you are on vacation - Especially visiting your family.
Reminder to self : March-April is also a tax month. So I need to file tax returns before departing on vacation. Hopefully I won't screw that up. Paying tax is important task as a citizen and temporary worker in specialty occupation. It helps to build the nation and provision to protect it from external enemies
I will write another blog post if there are any updates on my trip. Hopefully everything will go alright.
It has nothing to do with this post or my India visit. But here we are on the 27th December. Almost an year end. It's drizzling outside with 50F. I still see no signs of winter/cold/snow for that matter. It's surprising since if I remember correctly, last year on the same day it was 20F outside. It was so cold that I didn't go outside to buy groceries and had to consume Maggie noodles for whole week. And look at it this year. Weather is indeed an unpredictable event. If I am lucky enough, temperature won't reach below 20F since that is the point where the hell breaks loose on me