International Sleep

As of today it’s less than 30 days until we leave for India. In fact, as this blog post goes live I am 30 days and a few of hours from landing in Delhi.

I still do not yet have my individual project related meeting lined up in Chennai, but I’m closer than I was a week ago.

Tuesday night, after turning in my technology assignments, I stayed up a little later until it was past opening of business in India (they’re 10 ½ hours ahead of us). I had sent 15-20 emails and Facebook private messages to various contacts in the medical tourism industry in Chennai and got zero responses (insert crickets sound here). So it was time to use the old-fashioned telephone. Or sort o

I found out that I could use the Skype phone and call India for only 1.5 cents per minute. My Verizon cell phone would have been $2.49 per minute. Even though the calls were short I’m glad I didn’t try that. Skype isn’t the best way to connect with a foreign country, especially since my iPad has been finicky with the Wifi lately, but I’m imagining that even a landline would have its issues with an emerging economy like India.

It was successful, at least I think so. Up to that point I’d had no success and I was able to get two email exchanges started within an hour after the phone calls. I’ve heard nothing since then (30 hours ago now) but it’s a start. I still have a week or so before I need to have everything settled, and I’ll work on a better internet connection next time and I at least have names now at two organizations.

It cost me some sleep, though, and it’s got me wondering how much I’ll sleep in India at all. I normally don’t sleep well when I’m travelling. Something about the empty space in the bed where my wife is supposed to be I’d guess is most of the issue. However I’ve never traveled near this long. I’ll be gone from my wife for 12 nights. I know I won’t survive on the usual 3-4 hours per night I get when I’m travelling domestically and gone 1-3 nights.

To put the 12 nights in perspective, we’ve been married over 19 years. In that 19 years we have been apart more often than I’d like but the longest period we were apart lasted 4 nights. This is 12. When we investigated the EMBA program at Bradley (if you click the link the new picture on that page has yours truly in it) the international trip was the part we talked the most about whether we could handle it. And we decided, as a one-time thing, the value of the program was worth the pain and suffering of my being away from my family that long. But that was over a year ago and now I’m kind of dreading it.

Once I have my appointment for the individual assignment set I’ll feel a lot better. And I’m sure I’m making it worse in my head than it will actually be since that’s what I do. And I know I’m going to look back at the trip and think that it was life changing. But that doesn’t change the emotions right now and the fear of not being able to sleep well while I’m gone.

So I’m a bit short on sleep this week but I’m making progress. And I really am looking forward to what we have left and even the trip. We’re 13 months in and I’m getting tired, but I think this is “the wall” and once I push through the home stretch will start to look a tiny bit easier and therefore doable.

93 days to go. 3 classes. 11 class days, plus 12 days abroad.

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