My Return To India – Part 1: Visa, Flights And Tech
Tonight, I will flying out to India. This is the second time I’ve been there, but it will be different. I will be doing some work for a company that I’ve worked for before. However, they will be opening their new offices in Gurgaon India, as well as attending an event at the Canadian High Commissioner’s home in New Delhi. That will be a once in a lifetime opportunity and I can’t wait for it.
Now to get into India, I needed a visa. And just like the last time, it was an incredibly Byzantine process. Rather than list it all below, I will simply send you to this link [Warning: PDF] so that you can see what they want from you. You fill out a form online and then you print everything out, get a photo, and go to the Indian Consulate. And then you wait. I’ve been told that 4 hour waits are not unusual. But this time it took me 35 minutes from start to finish as this isn’t a typical time for people to travel to India. The heat (40 degrees celsius or higher is not atypical) or the fact that this is monsoon season might have something to do with it (Ironically, the forecast is for rain the entire time I’m there… Great). In any case, you then fork over all the documentation, your passport, $224.10 which includes a courier fee to ship your visa and your passport to your home. Then you’re cleared to get into the country.
Now over to the flights. I’m flying Air Canada to get there. This time I am flying direct to New Delhi on their 787 Dreamliner. It’s 14 hours point to point. Not the longest flight I’ve been on (my fight from Melbourne Australia last year was 15 hours), but grueling nonetheless. My return flight a week from now will be on Air India from Delhi to London Heathrow Airport. Then after a layover I catch a flight back to Toronto on Air Canada and land in Toronto on Saturday afternoon. That’s going to be about 20 hours factoring in the layover.
As for the tech I am carrying, I will be carrying my trusty MacBook Pro With Retina Display. One thing that I really like about this computer is the fact that it is light and easy to carry. This is important when you’re carrying it through airports. Besides the computer, here’s some pictures of what I’m taking with me:
Most people don’t think about backing up their computer when they travel. But you should as losing your data thousands of miles from home is not a good thig to say the least. I protect myself by having a 1TB Western Digital Elements portable hard drive. I will pack it separately to ensure that if I lose the computer or I lose the hard drive, I still have something with my data on it. I also have some USB sticks in there which has utilities on them for both PC and Mac. To the right is the bag that have my RHA MA450 headsets which I will use on the flight.
This Tucano Figura Medium case is something that I’ve relied upon for years. It provides a good amount of protection as well as easily accessible pockets for things like airline tickets and other documents. Not to mention the ability to hold my MacBook related items. Plus I can slide the case through the handle of my carry on bag so that I have nothing on my shoulder. It’s also easy to pull out the notebook at TSA checkpoints. Given how much I travel, that’s important to me.
Now this case by Case Logic has a whole lot of stuff in it. Here’s a list of what I am taking starting from the left:
Bytecc 4 port USB hub
- Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet adapter from Apple
- Thunderbolt, Lightning, Mini USB and Micro USB cables.
- Two USB sticks. One has a bootable DiskWarrior 5.0 image, the other has a bootable OS X Yosemite image. That way I can fix minor problems and reinstall my OS if I have to.
- A USB to SD card and Micro SD card adapter.
Two USB extenders to allow me to plug in bulky USB devices side by side to the two USB ports on my MacBook Pro.
Here’s all the power related items that are packed in this Herchel case. There’s the Apple World Travel Adapter Kit my MacBook Pro and plug adapters for the Olixar Travel Adapter With 4 USB Ports which is at the bottom right. To the left is the Kensington International Travel Plug Adapter which allows you to plug in a device that is capable of 110V – 240V into any plug. You should note that this doesn’t covert the power for you. It simply allows a multi-voltage device to plug into any plug.
To keep my iPhone charged, I’m taking this Asus ZenPower battery pack. It will have more than enough power to last through layovers or tours. But it is light enough to carry around without feeling it.
Nikon has provided me this D3300 camera with Nikkor 55-200 and I will be posting a review on it when I return. I’m hoping to get at least one day to see some sights. But with the weather forecast, that may not happen. We’ll see.
The next time I post a story, I’ll be talking about the trip to the airport and getting on my flight to New Delhi. Not to mention arriving in New Delhi and getting to the airport. Stay tuned!