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Going south…

This must be my worst kept secret. After 7 years of inactivity, the pages of my passport are being filled for a destination that boasts of the southernmost capital in the world. I am doing my Term 5 in Tamaki Makau Rau, Aotearoa – a period of 14 weeks to be precise, with a trip to its sister city Bris Vegas thrown in the October break. Tamaki Makau Rau and Aotearoa are Maori names for Auckland and New Zealand respectively, whereas Bris Vegas is the pet name for Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. I am excited, no doubt. Going international is the fad(!) with Bschools here and ours is no exception. The hitch is all the expenses are mine and that is the prime reason why I got selected. In any case, the tuition fees are waived and that is a huge portion of education costs abroad.

Student discounts shall sustain me, I hope with my ISIC. The site says “You are a student only once, enjoy!” The selection happened in March and put an end to my family’s plans of visiting me in Indore and touring Rajasthan. After customary hassles associated with planning a trip, I am reasonably sure about the details. My flight tickets are done, thanks to the father of a classmate, who runs a travel agency in Jalandhar, Punjab (where he tells me international travel is huge). I have a rather tight schedule, with just 10 hours to say tata to Amma, Abi and the rest in Madras where I will take the Singapore flight. I hardly have any time there and I would keep flying to my destination. On my way back, I will have a 6 hour halt in Hong Kong, where everything seems expensive. I wonder how I will study. It seems to be the last priority for me there. I have taken my first loan in life for this exchange and I have to use it to the fullest.

I got lucky with my stay as one MBA student there and her hubby offered me (in an extremely nice gesture) accommodation at a nominal fee, saving me quite some money. Also, the couple are fond of travel just like me. I hope to make the maximum out of their NZ knowledge. NZ became enticing to me, thanks to Madhan‘s bushwalking photos and hearty recommendation some time back. We had to choose between France, NZ and China. France is where every one else is headed. France opens avenues to the whole of Europe. But I had two reasons. I have a strong feeling I shall go to Europe some time in my life and Europe would be cold during this period. It will be spring to start with in NZ and a pleasant summer to finish. Of course, Madhan is at his usual generous best with an invitation for me to spend a week with him, all expenses paid of course. I would have to just arrange the flights.

Also, the NZ sites are a wealth of info. In fact, there is so much of it that I am finding it difficult to remember it all. I have made most of my enquiries online and what a pleasure it is to do business with folks who respond over email so promptly. When I was at this, I came upon this great Indian flights metasearch site, which looks so deceptively simple. I booked on it and found it to be easy to use and having the best fares. The delivery was quicker, with AFL. Now, all I have to do is sit back and wait for a few weeks when I will find myself in the original God’s Own Country.

Categories: Bschool, Travel
  1. Saravanan
    3 August 2006 at 6:54 am

    Any plans for meeting big M ?

  2. A
    3 August 2006 at 10:49 pm

    Coooooooooool :-D! NZ and OZ is a very good choice! Lucky you – I am all green right now! Apparently NZ was where they shot the Lord of the Rings movies – so I guess it must be darn beautiful!

    Have fun – when are you leaving? Bon Voyage, mon ami!

  3. 3 August 2006 at 11:24 pm

    dey saravana, yes, if big M so wishes. 🙂

    a, thanks for the wishes. am reaching NZ on aug 28.

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