I have held off announcing anything here until the last minute to minimize awkwardness and confusion and embarassment just in case there were delays. I prefer to avoid disappointment rather than brew high hopes, so when good fortune falls into my lap I will refrain from counting my chicks until they have hatched. And I was right, my departure date was delayed three times. But now that it is less than 24 hours away, I can be reasonably confident that, withholding any catastrophic disasters, I shall be departing at around noon tomorrow.
The Company is sending me over to Atlanta for three months. Three months. I shall be undertaking an epic 34 hour voyage to get there, passing some of the world's busiest airports and most awesome places. Though it would be more short-term convenient to take a more direct flight, I'm actually pleased that my travel itinerary is so convoluted and weird. 1) In the long run I can brag forever about the cities and places I've been to. 2) Airports and airplanes, despite the popular perception, are some of the nicest places in the world. 3) Plus, maybe I could probably get something extra out of the additional airline miles.
At around noon tomorrow my flight shall leave Cebu for Hong Kong. After an hour I shall be lifting off again for the long cross-Pacific trip to San Francisco. There I will hang around and wallow in boredom for ten hours. The next flight will bring me to Chicago. After an hour there I shall be taking off once more for the final trip to Atlanta, finally touching down at the final destination on Thursday at 10:10am (that's 10:10pm Philippine Time). Total travel time, by my reckoning: 33 hours, 40 minutes.
It will be my third time out of the Philippines since 1995, and by far the longest. In 2004 Ateneo sent me on a four-day trip to China to represent the school in the ACM programming contest; In 2005 I went on a month-long family vacation to the US.
So, if all goes according to plan, the my next post shall be from the Estados Unidos. I will return home to the Philippines in December.