Friday, August 07, 2015

Ambivalence and resolution: The journey to the United States, 20 Jun - 5 Jul 2015

The flight to Dubai.

Is it a common human experience to encounter ambivalence? Was there a time in your life you had the thought of travelling to some place on Earth, yet there were concerns that have made you think twice before travelling?

I have had the ambivalent experience whether to travel to Boston, Massachusetts to attend a music seminar which I know will be enriching. The decision to travel to the United States, specifically Massachusetts, began with ambivalence. To go or not to.

The process of resolving the ambivalence involve asking myself the following questions:
1) What is the best possible outcome?
2) What is the worst possible outcome?
3) What is the most likely outcome?
4) How can I make this travel plan a reasonably favourable experience?
5) How do I manage the potential risks and costs involved in going for the trip?
6) What will be my opportunity cost if I do not go?

In the end, the outcome was clearly stated in the title of this post. I decided to make a trip across the miles to Boston, Massachusetts to attend the music seminar.

Along the way, one of my friends learnt about my visit to Boston, Massachusetts. She was aware of my interests in viewing fine arts and urged me to consider making a visit to New York City. The proposal she gave was for me to visit some of the best fine arts galleries in the wold, that are located in New York City. New York City was about five hours bus journey from Boston. It will be cost-effective to include a trip to New York City together with the trip to Massachusetts than to travel specially to New York City on another separate trip some time in the future. I was eventually convinced by her suggestions and I am thankful she gave me the suggestions.

So on the night of 20 Jun 2015, I arrived at Changi International Airport to wait for the past midnight flight to Boston. While I was not expecting any friend or family to see me off at the airport, I was nevertheless touched by one of my friends, SH, who came to the airport to pass me thoughtful gifts and to see me off for the trip. We caught up over tea and snacks at the airport. Many thanks to SH for her thoughtfulness and kindness.

At the airport, I was advised by Emirates' staff that the flight I had booked was rather full and I have the option of changing to another flight that will stop by Colombo before heading to Dubai for a connection flight to Boston. Ordinarily, I would prefer not to have unnecessary stop-over. I prefer to reduce the frequency of unnecessary plane take-offs and landings. Out of the ordinary, I decided to go with the flow that night.

Setting off for Dubai before taking a connection flight to Boston.

On the plane, the usually introverted me showed my more sociable self. I started a conversations with the two gentlemen seated at the same row. I learnt that they had used to work in Singapore and they loved living in Singapore. Their compliments reminded me to appreciate the positive aspects of Singapore. Before we parted ways at Dubai International Airport, these two gentlemen (who were colleagues to each other) pointed me to the general directions where I could catch the connection flight.

So it seemed, my journey to the United States started on a positive note, with a theme revolving around friendship and kindness. While it was my very first time travelling to the United States and I was doing so alone, I felt thankful that there were people who looked out for me. Travelling solo, I was reminded, was an adventure to embrace uncertainties yet learn to trust ourselves and the kindness in humanity.

If you are curious to find out more, please stay tune.

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