I was born in Bangladesh in the mid 80s. Back then there was no facebook, no YouTube or Twitter. We had to totally rely on Bangladesh Television (BTV) for entertainment. Ittadi was one of the most popular TV magazine shows back then. The host Hanif Shanket used to telecast varieties of program in the show. One of the program was on about the foreign countries. In that clip Hanif Shanket used to physically visit and vlog about those places. I strongly remember he showed Eiffel tower from France, Madurodam from the Netherlands, Diamond cutting centers and chocolate factory from Belgium, Pisa tower from Italy. That was the only window for us to know about the outside world. It inspired me extremely to travel and visit those places physically one day.
My mother was obsessed of collecting postcards and photos. She had an uncle who was living in the UK back then. He wrote my mother few letters and sent some postcards. My mother collected those photos carefully. She showed me the pictures of Buckingham palace, London tower bridge, Westminster abbey and Blackpool beach. My mother also had a SLR camera in the early 90s. She loved to visit new places and took beautiful pictures. Together with my mother we travelled many places around Bangladesh. We also travelled to India and Nepal few times. For obvious reason the obsession of travelling was integrated in my DNA from the childhood.
Since my mother’s uncle or my grandfather was living in the UK from the 60s, quite a few of my relatives travelled to the UK for various purpose. Inside my mind also made a master plan to move to the UK for higher studies. I had an ambition of studying aeronautical engineering in the UK. Though, after the secondary school I got a chance to study in Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). However, as I planned to travel to the UK to study aeronautics so I didn’t continue to study there. Instead I left BUET and went to the UK on the 27th September, 2005. It ‘was’ and it still ‘is’ a life changing date in my life. The memories of those moments are still fresh in my neural system. I was only 19 years of old back then. I strongly remember how in few hours the soil underneath my feet changed. When the aircraft landed in Manchester, I was a bit nervous. My English was ok but not so good. It was difficult for me to understand what other people are saying. I started to live in Manchester but my university was in Huddersfield which was around 30 miles north of Manchester. Initially, first 9 months of my life was struggling. I had no close relatives or friends near to me. My grandfather used to live at the different parts of Greater Manchester. I didn’t know how to cook, I had little money to survive and I needed a part time job badly.
Luckily in one month I found a part time job in Manchester. It was not easy for me to travel everyday by public transport to Huddersfield and come back to Manchester as soon as I finish the classes and then go to work. I didn’t have a driving license nether I could afford a car. Sometimes, I was so late to work that I didn’t even have time to eat. In the workplace not all the co-worker was nice to me. At the beginning I didn’t even understand the accent of their English. It took me few months to settle down. After one year I decided to change my university from Huddersfield and move to the University of Salford which was very close from where I used lived. That made my life slight easier as I had a part time job and I was becoming independent slowly.
It took me 4 years to graduate as an Aeronautical engineer from the University of Salford. During these student life, I struggled to survive and worked very hard to make myself independent. I went to visit Scotland, London, Cambridge and few other places around the UK but I didn’t have the luxury to travel anywhere outside of Manchester. Financial crisis became a daily process of my life. These are the authentic scenario of most of the middle class family students those who come to the UK to study at higher degree.
After the graduation I decided to do a master’s in Aerospace engineering from the same University of Salford. I finished my MSc in 2011. I was looking for a job after my master’s but in the meantime I applied to the Rolls-Royce for a PhD funding opportunity in the University of Southampton. I was called for an interview in Southampton. I travelled to Rolls-Royce UTC in Southampton for the PhD research interview. When I came back to Manchester I was truly praying to my God to receive the funding opportunity. These were very intense moment of my life. Because if I couldn’t get a job neither a PhD funding opportunity I would have to go back to Bangladesh. Oneday, I was coming back from work in Manchester. Suddenly, my phone rang and from the other side I was told my PhD funding application was accepted by the Rolls-Royce. I felt so happy that my heart literally jumped to the moon.
I relocated myself to Southampton in December, 2011 and started working in Rolls-Royce UTC to conduct research on aircraft engine noise. In March, 2012 I was sent to Spain to attend training program from the Rolls-Royce. This were the dream time of my life as until 2011 my student life was so much in misery that I didn’t even have the opportunity to think to travel outside of the UK. I always dreamt to travel to the mainland to Europe and now it is the time to do so. Moreover, it cannot be better when it is free. Many times I went to the Europe from work and after the work I made a detour to travel other European countries. Anyway, Let’s start the world tour.