A Journey of More Than a Thousand Miles: Coming to Boston, USA

An ancient Chinese philosopher and writer named Laozi once wrote, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I believe that this saying does not only refer to actual travels but to dreams, goals and aspirations in our lives. A call-to-action to take the initial step in everything we face, particularly the most difficult and uncertain task or venture. This post, A Journey of More Than a Thousand Miles: Coming to Boston, USA, was a fine illustration.

Somehow when we make the first step, we become confident and motivated that whatever challenges get in the way will make us strong and strive more in order to be successful in life.

First Step

Apropos to this and as my first blog post, I see fit to set the tone by recalling a holiday which I considered as a milestone for my family. It was meaningful and the experiences made memories that we’ll never forget for the rest of our lives due to an unexpected turn of events.

An Invitation

A high school classmate and friend who had moved to Boston, USA with his family whom I have no contact for three decades found me on Facebook. He invited us to stay in his place should we travel to the US. We have been planning to visit a niece and her family in California on the West Coast but kept putting it off.

Finally, we mustered enough courage and took the first step to realise our plan. After our ESTA application got approved, I immediately booked flights to Boston and Los Angeles. The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is an automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. We were naturally excited; not only it was our first trip into the “land of the free and the home of the brave!” It was about reconnecting with loved ones and friends whom we have not seen in ages.

U S A

The Journey

So, the journey of more than a thousand miles started at London’s Heathrow Airport aboard an Air Canada plane on April Fools’ Day of 2010. This was for real and I’m not taking anyone for a ride (excuse the pun). We’re bound for Boston and once the plane was airborne, I tried to quiz myself on things I knew about our destination.

First and foremost, Boston is located on the East Coast and the capital of the state of Massachusetts. As a sports and music lover, what came to mind was the legendary Boston Celtics basketball team. Also the famous foot race, Boston Marathon. Next were bands that have their origins in the city – Boston, well-known for its hit “More than a Feeling” and The Cars, a new wave band in the late 1970s. I’ve heard of Boston Tea Party but don’t know what it’s all about.

Boston's First Album Cover
Boston’s first album cover which contains the hit “More Than a Feeling”

I guess that two of the world’s best universities, Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), were located in Boston or somewhere near. I have seen a TV documentary on The Big Dig, a massive road infrastructure project which was undertaken to improve Boston’s horrendous traffic situation. Apart from the foregoing, I have no further knowledge of the city.

Harvard University
Harvard University

The Stop-Over

After over six hours of flying across the Atlantic Ocean, we landed for a stop-over at Stanfield International Airport in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada. We dealt with the US Customs and Border Protection in the airport for our entry to the US. The whole process went smoothly and a bit later, we boarded a smaller plane for our final destination.

Stanfield International Airport in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Stanfield International Airport

The Arrival

It was a breeze upon arrival at Boston’s Logan Airport as we do not have to deal with Immigration anymore. I rang my friend to pick us up. The waiting game began and a tad later than expected, a shiny white Merc pulled over near us. It was my friend. He was apologetic for making us wait due to traffic. President Obama was in town and apparently had just left when we arrived.

My friend’s house was located in a quiet southernmost residential neighbourhood of Boston. I have no recollection whatsoever of how we got there. A better part of the drive home was spent on catching up with each other. Reaching home, we were warmly welcomed by his family as introductions were made.

Reunited
Reunited after three decades

It was a wonderful time recalling our high school memories over dinner. We were naive and full of youthful exuberance then. The transition from innocent kids into young adults was an important phase of our lives. We remember with fondness the naughty antics and mischiefs we did as young lads then.

So many people have come and gone
Their faces fade as the years go by
Yet I still recall as I wander on
As clear as the sun in the summer sky

From Boston’s “More Than a Feeling”

Before retiring for the night, we went over the itinerary we had agreed beforehand for the days ahead. A whole day tour of Boston for tomorrow.

Then my friend will drive us down to visit friends in New Jersey and to tour New York and Washington, DC. All for the succeeding three days. We can’t wait.

Have you been to Boston? How was your experience like? If you haven’t been, do you plan to visit someday and which sights do you want to see?

Travelling to Boston (or somewhere else)? Book your flight, hotel, travel insurance & other travel needs here.

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A Journey of More Than a Thousand Miles - Coming to Boston, USA

 

32 Comments

  1. Lovely post! I especially loved the introduction with one of my most favourite quotes hehe. Travelling to visit friends and family, I feel, is one of the best motivations. Sounds like a fun trip you have planned there. I have never been to Boston, but to NYC and Washington D.C. and I bet you will love these cities, too!

  2. Facebook is indeed powerful to connect us to people whom we haven’t seen for ages! Such a good and fun time reminiscing the good old memories with a friend! I have never been to these cities but as Harvard is a world-renowned University, I’d like to have a glimpse of this university. Couldn’t agree more, every thousand of journeys begins with a single step, we just have to have courage!

  3. Hi Ash and Ruth
    By citing an epic line of Laozi, you helped me reset my goals. Thanks.
    Congratulations for taking the first step. Your article took me back to my early blogging days. I have determined a plan to visit the land of the free and the home of the brave some day.
    Look forward to seeing more from you guys.

    Cheers / Himanshu

  4. Great start with Lao Tzu’s quote.

    It’s always great to have a friend in another country. I have never visited the US before but I have several friends there already. I probably need to reconnect with them soon. Hahaha

  5. Boston is the one city in US that I really want to visit and the history connected with it is the singularly important reason for that. And I am probably going to continue my onward journey to Nova Scotia, like you did.

  6. What a great way to start a trip with a thirty year reunion! That sets one heck of a tone. How fantastic to reconnect with old friends. I like the rundown of Boston knowledge, Boston is one of my favorite bands. I’ll visit Boston for my first time in a few months, looking forward to it!

  7. Truly, meeting a friend is such a blessing where you get to talk about many things and reminiscing great memories. I haven’t been to Boston, but I heard a lot of great things about this place and hopefully I can traipse my feet here. You will surely enjoy New Jersey, New York and Washington. enjoy your tour!

  8. That was a really nice story of how you got there! Looking forward to reading the next chapter! I would love to visit Boston. Some friends of mine say that it is one of the most vibrant and beautiful cities in the US. Isn’t it?

    1. Hope you can visit Boston too. Yes, it’s a vibrant and lovely city. Please see Related Posts above for more Boston posts. Thanks!

  9. Social media is a great tool to keep in touch with family/ friends though they are miles away. I’m glad you took the step and traveled more than thousand miles to meet your friend after 3 decades.Wow! I’m actually planning to meet some friends who live in another city next month and your post has inspired me! Thanks for sharing.

  10. I love this heartwarming story! It is so lovely when you can connect with friends and plan a trip around visiting them, and for them to show you their home. I’ve never visited Boston but I’d very much like to, and your pictures have made me want to do that sooner. Sadly I have no friends there, but I’ll just have to bite the bullet and go!

  11. I love when travel plans work out and we get to meet up with people we haven’t seen in a long time.

    My favorite thing to do in Boston is to walk the Freedom Trail and explore the early stages of the American Revolution.

  12. Your post added to the pictures and the description that my friend who is in MIT has been sharing with us. He mentioned the crazy traffic, the quiet neighbourhoods and the lively univ crowd around. I am glad you were able to enjoy those while at the same time caught up with your own memories with your friends. I hope to be able to visit mine soon! 🙂

  13. I have not been to Boston yet. The sites all look pretty cool. I would love to thoroughly explore when I get there. Very happy for you that your travel plan worked out. You got to travel and meet your loved ones after a long time which must be as exciting as the holiday itself.

  14. It’s so nice when you connect with friends that are locals in the place you’re visiting. Locals also know the best places and can take you off the beaten tourist path. I haven’t ever been to Boston, despite being from the East Coast. Hopefully I’ll visit one of these days.

  15. Such a lovely post, written with genuine thoughts and warmth. Yes, the first step is always difficult and critical, we have to deal with this uncertainty in almost every new venture that we decided to embark upon. Hope to read how your trip went and lovely cover visual for the blog post.

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