Anil Kesari Shah and his family embarked on an academic reconnaissance tour in the land of the Stars and Stripes.
Anil Kesari Shah, chief executive officer of Nabil Bank Limited, is an ardent traveller. He mentions travelling is a means to rejoice, make beautiful memories and pursue happiness. Shah informs he habitually utilises his holidays to explore the world with his family. He prefers to visit beaches to enjoy the sun, sand and the relaxing atmosphere.
Describing Pokhara as heaven on earth, Shah says the city of lakes is his all-time favourite destination. Tamish Giri of New Business Age caught up Shah in Durbarmarg to note down his wonderful trip to the United States with his family.
The Importance of Travel
My family and I believe that our most significant investments in life are the memories we make together. Because of the kind of work I do, I have minimal time to spend with my family during the normal course of my life. However, analysing my time constraint, we have made a point to make at least one or probably two trips together every year. The trips allow us the opportunity to make memories that last for a lifetime and to energise ourselves for the year. Usually, we go to beaches abroad or for trekking or we visit Pokhara. We made a different trip last summer. Our daughter, Arya, had just graduated from high school in Nepal, and she wanted to join a college in the United States, as my parents and I had done.
The College Hunt
Fortunately, for us, Arya had only one country she wanted to study in, America. She wanted to do her earlier education (ED) to study liberal arts there. Our college tour started in California. We covered Pitzer College, Scripps College and Occidental College there and then after a few days; we flew to Boston. In Boston, we came down searching for colleges from Brown to Emerson, Wellesley, and Smith, and then we travelled to New York. In New York, we visited New York University and Bernard College in Columbia University. Bernard College is a small liberal arts college for girls that is a part of Columbia University. Arya liked the college very much. She admires her grandmother, and she knew that my mother completed her under-graduation and graduation from Bernard. Therefore, Arya decided to complete her ED in Bernard College, following in the footsteps of her grandmother. She was fortunate to get into Bernard; this way, the whole thing turned out very well.
The college tour wasn’t a relaxing holiday; the logistics were the most challenging part. Covering 14 colleges in 18 days from the west coast to the east coast of America was a logistical nightmare. Other than a boat, we travelled in every conceivable form of transportation - car, train, bus and aeroplane. The logistics of the tour had to be planned very well because America is a big country. One night we were in one city and the next day in a new college in a new city. The trip was taxing, as it was a long journey. I don’t think we could have done it without my wife Ruthy and her meticulous planning. She prepared the budgets for airfare, bus tickets, train tickets, lodging, food and also the timing for college interviews and student meetings by herself while I was working away in the bank and our daughter was busy at school. Her plan worked like clockwork.
From my point of view, it doesn’t matter to me where I am if I am with my family. The part of the trip that I enjoy the most, including the trip to the USA, is the fact that I get to spend time with my family.
This trip was even more rewarding because I was there with my daughter and looking at her experience the colleges. Her expressions of apprehension, anxiety, excitement and aspiration while meeting the faculty members, students, and walking around the campus brought me immense joy. Looking at her face and her reaction was the happiest part of my trip. It was the same for my wife too. Although we kept on moving continuously, we enjoyed the trip.
Travelling on an American train was a new experience for me. I thought train travel would be similar to a plane journey, but the reality was different from what I had perceived. Since Nepal has train only in Janakpur, it was a new experience for us. The best part of the train travel was that it enabled us to observe the American topography comfortably. It was a different experience.
In America, the hospitality is very professional, even in the smallest town everything is there - the best food, service, and tidiness. The only thing they lack at times is the human touch. However, in some of the college towns, we stayed in small Inns and there was the same level of human connection like in our part of the world.
However, in most of the big American cities, the hotels lack this human connection. Additionally, I had a new experience in American hotels, which was carrying our luggage on our own rather than it being carted by an employee. In all the Asian hotels, you don’t carry your luggage, but in America, people have to carry their luggage themselves inside the hotel. Frankly speaking, the hospitality of resorts and hotels in Asia cannot be surpassed. Our hospitality is on a different level.
Suggestions and Prerequisites
First, you should consider your health, which most Nepalis don’t. Assurance of good health and health insurance is a very crucial thing to secure for a trip. Secondly, you should be clear about the purpose of the trip. You should determine a trip based on your needs. Lastly, I suggest people take time for planning and to do research on the destination they are travelling to. Use Google, Trip Advisor, hotels sites, city sites and decide what to do at the destination. Planning months before the trip will keep the excitement alive. Since travelling takes a lot of time and money, planning and research will help you make the most of a trip.