From 100k merchants to 10k miles in 30 days
Well most of you don’t know me, hence explaining the title of the post, first. I’m from India and currently on a sabbatical in New York City. In my last assignment, I lead Freecharge’s digital payments initiatives. As a part of my profile, I lead (amongst other things) merchant acquisitions for the mobile wallet product. In less than a year, with the help of an awesome team, we onboarded over 100K merchants to accept Freecharge both online and offline.
That up there is the past and what comes next is the exciting part (at least for me). During the last week my wife and I thought of doing a trip to Peru in the third / fourth week of March. We realised that the flight tickets were expensive & we might not get the visa on time hence put the travel on hold.
Over the weekend, a huge thanks to my wife, we put together a plan for my first ever solo trip across USA. It was a thrill trying to research routes and putting together budget options given renting a car (I dont have valid DL for USA + left hand drive) and flying everywhere was not an option. In the last 48 hours we made the following plan:
10,000 miles around east, south, west, north and midwest corridors of US via 5 train routes, 2 bus trips, 1 to & fro flight and 12 stop-overs. All this with a 30 day rail pass. Starting from New York and completing the trip in San Francisco.
Like I mentioned, I am on a sabbatical and want to save as much as I can. I am writing to anyone and everyone who can help me with the following:
1. Couchsurf at your place (promise to keep your room / house clean), please sign up as host and accept it.
2. Show me around the city by day / night (schedule is here)
3. Meet and buy a meal :) Mainly bfast / dinner. I will be spending the afternoons discovering the city and dont know my whereabouts.
4. Introduce me to interesting people I can meet at each of the stopovers or if you know of fellow travellers
5. Allow me to come check my emails and use the office space (if required)
I know, I know, so what’s in it for you ( I’ve been a partnerships guy) ? Here is what I think I can do for you, let me know if this works:
0. Get you Good Karmas :)
1. If I am couch surfing I can cook a meal for you.
2. If you are buying me a meal / allowing me to use office space / showing me around the city — Happy to discuss topics where you need help. e.g. career, startup, test your product, fundraising, growth hacks, planning your trip to India, yada, yada, yada.
3.Share some tales from Indian mythology :)
4. While travelling I can wear your startup t-shirt / even tweet about your product
5. Share my content on your product (not exclusively though)
6. If you come to NYC, a coffee @ Brooklyn Roasting Company
If you are interested, I will be posting occasional updates on the way things shape up and stories from my journey. Follow #US10k30days