Scared, unsure, a bundle of nerves best describes me when I landed at Buffalo New York Airport. Really what was I thinking as I planned this maiden trip.But here I was, at the airport a beginning of a new journey.
Flash back 6 hours, I was in my office preparing to fly to Buffalo and take in my solo trip and make the most of my vacation. I was closing for the day or should I say for the year, final last good byes and mails before I would head to my next destination. Finally I was going to achieve one of the things on my bucket list.Something I had only dreamt of was now about to come true.
The journey with my colleague to the airport appeared short, we were on different routes she to New Jersey me to New York on different flights. The Plane was dingy I had not seen such a small and compact plane. 🙂 I could actually put my arm across to the other person on the other-side of the aisle 🙂 The journey of 40 mins (1 hr time difference I think) really was funny I had 2 ex-army men sitting on my either side, with the seats being really compact it was difficult to try and sit and keep to yourself. Both ex army men got talking, one of the them in higher spirits than the other. The air hostess poor thing too was confused when she charged the wrong liquor amount to the wrong army men. I was just waiting for the flight to land and me to get off.
Once off the flight I quickly retrieved my baggage, it was around 10:30 in the night. Thankfully someone advised me to call the hotel before taking the flight to ask for instructions to go to the hotel. This advise helped, I was scanning for a phone. The receptionist had instructed that there would be a phone at the baggage area, I should call the hotel and they will direct me. I scanned the baggage area for a phone, located one, but it was out of order. I looked around and came across a May I help you counter. I asked the person how I could contact the hotel, he signaled towards the phone. I came back to the broken phone.Not sure what I should do now, I was confused, irritated and not to mention hungry. I did what I would do back at home, shook the phone & the screen a bit 🙂 The jugaad worked…it gave me directions to call the hotel. I quickly dialled the Hotels number, the receptionist picked the phone and guess what she couldn’t understand my accent. I was sent reeling back to my call center days, where the customers when they identified an Indian accent actually said that they don’t understand my accent and wanted to speak to an american. LOL, I couldn’t believe that the receptionist was actually telling me that she couldn’t understand my accent. Then I remembered a lesson that was taught while in the call center, that there is a good possibility that she couldn’t hear me. So I dialled the number again, thankfully she could hear me this time, she gave the instructions of where the shuttle would be parked.
Finally it was time to leave the confines of the safe airport and make it on my own in the wild 🙂 Ok its only my imagination running wild. No it was not the wild but it was a cold dark night for sure. I walked out with luggage in tow, ok now to follow the instructions closely, I looked to the left and right and could not see the shuttle anywhere. I quickly walked up to the security standing at the gate and asked for directions for the shuttles. The security pointed out the direction, I just had to cross to the other side. There 3 different shuttles, none of them bore hotel signs or name tags, I told myself, you are on your own…… if you want to enjoy the trip or get information the only way you are going to get it is to ask. So ask I did, I asked the 1st driver and he pointed me to the 2nd vehicle. I got in the vehicle, the driver was busy on the call, he lifted my luggage and kept in the vehicle and off we went towards the hotel. Yippee my heart was beating louder than a drum, I was the only passenger on the bus.
Throughout the 5-7 min drive the driver was on the call and I could make out that he was going through a break up not that I wanted to listen to his conversation, but he was loud enough for me to hear. I felt a tinge of sympathy towards the driver and said a silent prayer. Once at the hotel, he offloaded the luggage and off he went. I never seen the driver again.
At the hotel, the receptionists was very efficient, she not only checked me in quickly, but also inquired about my plan for the next day and gave me some tip on how I could go about my visit. For a solo and 1st time traveler, I had booked a good hotel, I checked in my room. Finally I was in the confines of a safe environment. I knew that i could now do the trip by my self.
It was around 11 in the night time to sleep and get up for a new and exciting day. I slept with a vision of a new day in my heart. Awaiting for dawn to break…waiting for what the new day would unfold…