Travellers never did lie, though fools at home condemn them. – William Shakespeare
I started my career in an upcountry location in Nigeria which was one the best life experiences I have had so far. It was tough, but a lot more learning. I don’t consider myself an extravagant, but living in Africa taught me to be content. Being content is relieving. It unbinds us from the urge of collecting things, keeps us from buying stuff which we don’t need and more importantly time to focus on things important.I am not a globetrotter (I wish I was). Nevertheless, thanks to my work, I had the opportunity to travel and visit different countries and even live in a few of them for a considerable time. When I was in college, I never expected that I would be working outside India. But it is Providence that I have been working outside India since finishing college. It’s surreal to me when I think back.
Here is the list of countries I have been to so far, and brief about why visited them. I hope the list becomes longer with time:
1.Nigeria: This is was the first country I went to outside of India. I was 23 when I set my foot in Nigeria for the first time soon after finishing college for my first Job. I lived here for a year and a half and traveled extensively across the country by Road.
2.Madagascar: This was the 2nd country I went on to live in after Nigeria. I had only heard of this beautiful Island country because of the animation movie named Madagascar (even though there is nothing in the film about the country). I stayed in Madagascar for a year and a half.
3.Sri Lanka: SL was the 3rd country I worked in after Madagascar, and it is my favorite country so far. I love the place we stayed, the warm and welcoming people from the local church (and outside the church as well). It’s a small country with a big heart. I didn’t feel like I was out of India as everything was so similar to the southern Indian states that we know. I almost spent here 2 years here after which I moved to UAE.
4.United Arab Emirates: UAE was one of the countries I always wanted to live in. As a trader, the two most sought after work destinations for me was Singapore and Dubai. It was the providence of God that I came to Dubai – he makes all things beautiful in his time. I have now lived most months in Dubai than another place I lived before since I left India.
5.Mauritius: Mauritius was our honeymoon destination of choice and rightly so because of its pristine beaches and nature. I and my wife spent 3 days in Port Luis which would be memorable for the rest of our lives.
6.Mozambique: It was a work trip to this place. I visited Nampula in the north and then to Beira in the central Mozambique part. Once a Portuguese colony, this country surprisingly doing well despite the never ending battle between the Govt and rebels on the ground. It is sometimes hard to imagine living in a country like this, yet people are very nice and courteous and love to spend their weekends’ nothing short than a festival. Two words are etched in my memory – Bon Dia Patron( Good morning boss) and Obrigado (thanks) which were repeatedly used by everyone I met in the few days I stayed in Mozambique.
7.Tanzania: I spent 12 days in this Kilimanjaro country on work and almost traveled 3500 KMs on road across the country north to south. The capital city is full of Indian expat population and many Indians now call it home living there for decades.
8.Bangladesh: I visited this place in 2014 just after the Twenty20 world cup concluded in Bangladesh. My first reaction in Dhaka was how in the world did ICC pull off a major tournament in this place because the roads of Dhaka can be summed up in one word – Chaos. I was here to meet my clients in Dhaka and Chittagong. Oddly I taste sushi for the first time in Chittagong.
9.Indonesia: I love going to Indonesia. Even though I have been to Indonesia 4 I wouldn’t miss the opportunity of visiting it again. Whenever I am in Indonesian restaurants I feel like a kid in a candy store. I love their food. So far have been to Medan, Surabaya, and Jakarta. I hope to cover Bali with my wife sometime in future.
10.Malaysia: I visited Kuala Lumpur in 2016. The trip was very special because I met my best mate from college who lives in KL. After we finished college, I have been able to meet him every year unplanned in some or the other country. KL is a great city to live in. I especially liked their metro rail which was a fun to travel with.
11.Vietnam: I have been to Vietnam 2 times on work. I landed in Hanoi both times. One of my clients took me to a place that served raw lamb meat on a sizzling hot stone block.
12.United Kingdom: I went to London in Feb 2017 on work. It was a great experience to visit this first modern city of the world. Even though it was a working visit, I got the opportunity to see the best of London.
13.France: I visited Paris and Versailles in 2014 for the SIAL Paris Convention.
14.Georgia: I and my wife visited Georgia in June 2017. This was a long overdue vacation for both of us. The scenic beautiful landscapes of Georgia and its historic Churches were spectacular.
I would be updating this list whenever I travel to a new country.