Passports and visas: two things that stand between a person and the rest of the world. My passport is one of my most prized possessions. I know it’s replaceable, but it contains fond memories of my travels in the form of passport stamps. It is also home to coveted visas that were rather pricey, including my visas for Chile, Brazil and India.
I had to fork over my passport to the Spanish consulate in New York to process a visa for Spain that would allow me to be considered a “student” although I’ll be a language assistant. Tourist visas for Americans are available on arrival. Needless to say I was pretty nervous about putting my “golden ticket” allowing me entrance to the world outside of America in the hands of others. The consulate told me it would take approximately two weeks to get my passport back, and although I surely thought they were telling me this just to shut me up, I chose to believe them.
In fact I believed them so much that just a few hours after my visa appointment, I purchased a nonrefundable flight to Turkey departing exactly 4 weeks later. I’m not sure if that sounds risky or not, but going through the hassle of changing my ticket would not have been ideal, especially because I’m meeting two friends over there. Moreover, I’m what you would call…a bit accident-prone. If anything absurd is going to happen to someone, rest assured it’s going to be me. Part of me was certain that my passport, which was supposed to be mailed back to me, would somehow get kicked under a desk at UPS or fall through a subway grate and be lost and forgotten forever.
Lo and behold, that charming Spanish fella (aren’t they all?) at the consulate was true to his word! My passport arrived just over two weeks after my consulate appointment with a shiny new Spanish visa glued to one of the pages. It even came with a nice little note from the Spanish consulate! I’d better start practicing my Spanish skills. Umm..donde esta la biblioteca?
Now I’m beyond excited. I really am moving to Spain in September. And I’m leaving for Turkey in a week! After two weeks in Turkey, I’m thinking of possibly moving on to Greece and Croatia. Where do you think I should go next?