That moment has come when I am at least definite about my decision to visit home back in India. It's been almost a year since I visited home last. Now that I seem to have well settled in Boston and at my job after 4 months, looks like it's time to start making plans.
As usual I had a call with my parents this weekend I asked about the best time to visit home. My mom said she wanted me to come of Diwali - A Festival of lights in India since it will be 7 years in 2017 winter since I last attended Diwali at my home. It was quite an emotional request and I said I will do everything to make it happen. NO. I will make it happen no matter what. So here's how it all begun - All hands on deck on planning.
First off I need to ask for permission to take few days off during vacation. By few days I mean 3 weeks! Yes, because my work visa got transferred recently and by the immigration rules I need to go for (another) visa interview again during my next visit outside USA. You can say it's too early, but I have already started looking for potential flights.
Lufthansa is my one and only choice when it comes to overseas trip to India (Or anywhere if I make one!). I can fly with few Lufthansa partners through their connections which includes Swiss Air. After going through potential options for an hour, I have decided that my dates will be somewhere in second week of October to first week of November. During my first week I will enjoy Diwali and for remaining weeks it's time to spend time with family and relatives and get a new work visa under my current employer.
I haven't really talked to anyone about this - yet, but will do as soon as things are confirmed and stabilize more than they seem right now. It just feels bad that my cousin's wedding is in the next week and I could not plan the visit to align with this special occasion. Unfortunately, it's not like visiting and coming back as one would do with regular travel. It wouldn't even have to be a monetary issue. Problem is that I have to appear for my visa interview one more time and it makes me plan my trip to have at least 3 weeks in plan. There are lot of things they can go wrong during the process, but hopefully 3 weeks offer enough buffer to thwart any adversary that can may befall on me.
I got an email from my manager stating my request for 3 weeks of leave starting from second week of October to first week of November has been approved. I won't be taking full vacation. Out of my 3 weeks, few days would be work from home. I think that is for good reasons since I won't lose the track of work if I keep doing a little bit of work along with frequently checking emails.
Also, soon after I got this email I booked a flight back home. There was one advantage of catching flight from Boston since that way I didn't have to catch domestic flight as I did while in Columbus. That saved me some money on flight and luggage as well.
Lufthansa allows 2 checked in luggage flying between Boston and Mumbai both ways. That was one plus point
Next thing is to create a checklist of things to do, shopping and important - To book a visa interview appointment with US consulate in Mumbai.