Friday, August 12, 2016

Bucket Ride - Begins here...

Kiran is traveling from Mumbai Chatrapati Shivaji international airport to Los Angeles international airport...

I could have done this FB check-in 15-20 times since last year and half. It indeed was busiest time for flying with multiple trips to Bengaluru, Kochi, Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai, Abu Dhabi, Jakarta and even USA. I am once again at the airport for 39th flight (I counted!!).

Its said that, "If you want to have something that you never had, be prepared to do something that you never did". There can't be any other sentence that can describe what I am into right now.

The anxiety cannot be described in few words, the fear of unknown cannot be contained in few lines and excitement cannot be penned down even in few paragraphs now.

This is a teaser of time ahead and looking forward to an exciting, ecstatic euphoria that lies ahead. Last time I felt this was when Momo arrived...but this even bigger (Oh Momo, I will miss you).

I am all set to take "the" journey which I had been daydreaming for years. I am not known best as a planner, nor as the guy who can get things right the first time. This journey however requires commitment and planning. I have been quite secretly working on getting this kickstarted. This is not something that can be done time and again. There is no second chance, "this is 2016" and its now or never.

I am about to board a flight of imagination, dreams and madness. This flight changes everything: money, mind, experience and life will not be same where it is. I might come back broke, or might come back a new me.

There are just few things now between that sense of accomplishment or failure...however there will always be a comfort of trying that can overcome everything. These efforts and pains are needed to keep us alive, afterall, "Failing to try is failure and not the failure itself".

So I am going to take that first step to knock of some items from my bucket list.

I will be riding into the USA and Canada over next two months. Starting from west coast, i will be riding towards east and crossing into Mexican/Canadian border when possible. This is too big a country to see in this short time yet I will try to make most of the time available.

This once in a lifetime RIDE is named "Bucket Ride"!' It's a solo ride but there is truly no solo achievement in life. Everyone around you helps you shape your life in some way. Somewhat like the movie "Slumdog Millionaire". I will need lots of wishes and prayers to make this possible. Please do ☺

The ride updates/report will be available on
Facebook - (warning: too many check-ins ahead)
Instagram - @globe_treader
Blogger -

Subscribe/like/follow the page as I follow my dream on this Bucket Ride!

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Coke studio, travel and friendship day

When I listen to each mesmerizing new song on coke studio and drown into songasm...

When I imagine how Indo-Pak-Afghan via Khyber could have been a "must do before you die" like "getting leh'd" for tourers...

When I imagine the picturesque mountains to keep clicking endlessly...

When I imagine that rich colourful culture of cloths and carpets that could be witnessed...

When I crave for tasty, spicy food that could be had on the way...

When I drool at those beautiful babes in the region...

When I realize that world that we have today owed a lot to travel in this part of world...

Wish people treated religion as underwear - wear, don't show and don't care what others have...

I really wish that we could have a friendship day at higher could be even more beautiful place to live in...


Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Tips for Canada Tourist VISA (TRV) online application from Mumbai, India

I recently applied for Canada Tourist VISA. This is the first time I applied any VISA on my own so mostly relied on internet.

I applied to consulate directly and did not go through VFS or any agent. While the detailed procedure can be found on and other websites, I would like to mention some tips here which might help you.

Note that these steps were followed by me and they do not represent steps required by you. Each case is different and refer to the official website for current information. This is not legal information.
  • Apply online on This will save fees on agencies like VFS
  • The process is smooth if you have USA B1/B2 VISA. The form will ask you if you have one. If you don't have, you may be asked for more documentation
  • When you answer questionnaire to determine eligibility, you will be given a reference number. Save that
  • Have your scanned copy of passport ready.
  • Use lower resolution while scanning the passport, however the passport must be clearly readable on a computer screen. You can skip blank passport pages from scan
  • If you have expired passports, scan them together
  • Use PDF format to scan so that all pages are in one document. If the PDF file resolution is not supported, the website will reject your upload. In this case, use Microsoft Word DOC format. You can paste all scans in DOC file and upload it.
  • You need a valid VISA photo as per specifications. Scan this with higher resolution.
  • Create an account on CIC website. I chose "Continue to GCKey" sign on option.
  • Use the reference number saved earlier and create new application for VISA request
  • You need to download two forms in PDF format IMM5257E and IMM5707E. These files do not open well in browser. Save them to your computer and open with Acrobat Reader application.
  • Save changes to the files and make sure you click on "Validate" button in file at the end. Without validation the file wont be uploaded
  • I had trouble at uploading these files again. So used DOC format here too.
  • Upload passport again for travel history
  • Submit application and pay online. You don't need to submit any physical document or passport yet.
  • Be prepared to wait! After this, there is no response from website except to let you know that VISA application has been accepted. There is no "helpful" helpline. A nested menu choice and voice prompt will merely redirect you to website.
  • The website has a selection to find out what is current wait period. This is pretty accurate. When I applied, the expected wait time was 22 calendar days. However it soon increased to 31 days. I was notified about next step exactly on 30th calendar day!
  • If there are no issues with the application, you would receive notification asking you to submit your passport.
  • You don't need to obtain an appointment.
  • VFS is their partner and you will be asked to go and submit your passport to nearest VFS collection center.
  • You need to carry the intimation letter, passport and money. VFS is merely an collection center. VFS will collect passport and provide you a payment receipt.
  • This receipt is important to collect your passport back.
  • At VFS, you have choice between collecting passport yourself or have it delivered to your home. If your house is under Blue Dart delivery network, choose to be delivered at home.
  • If you choose to pickup from VFS office, there could be delay in getting notified, going there and pickup. This can delay more if there is a weekend in between.
  • Now again wait! The passport is sent to Bengaluru and you would be asked to wait for 5-7 "working" days to get it back.
  • Even though the intimation letter says, "we have made a decision", no one would confirm that VISA is granted till it is stamped. All this while, the online account will tell you that interview or additional documentation may be required
  • The VISA will be stamped and delivered to your house. In my case I submitted on Thursday and it got delivered on next Wednesday.
  • The receipt has a tracking number which you can use to track your application on "VFS" website. However, this tracking is not fully in sync with your actual status. It might tell you that application has been accepted and passport submitted to embassy. In my case, the passport got delivered first and then updates started flowing my mail after 2 days of delivery!

It took almost 40 days for entire process after form submission. But without interview and biometric or any additional documentation the VISA was granted.

Lets see how the actual travel goes. All the best for your application!