Vis-á-vis Visa

I could not choose which country to be born in, and by some divine intervention it was decided to be Indonesia.

Marvelous country with (literally) thousands of islands with superb food options and wonderful people all around.

Also a country with Passport Power rank of 60 (out of 80). For comparison, holders of United Kingdom passport have Passport Power of 1 and are able to enter 147 countries visa-free or with visa-on-arrival.

Ranks and numbers aside, it just means that most of the time I find myself having to apply for an entry visa for my destination.

That also means a lot of application forms, photocopies, and me remembering passport numbers and expiry dates. Recently, for my UK visa application, I had to comb through my two previous passports to build a 10-year travel history. (Of course the irony was insufficient space on the form for my whole 10-year travel history)

Just the thought of one extra visa application was enough to deter me from planning to travel to Germany before / after my impending UK trip. Hopping through Europe before / after UK sounds like fun, I thought. Plus my sister would be there! I excitedly thought. And then I met up with my globe-trotting, always-applying-for-visa friend. “Are you sure you want to apply for two different visas?” was all she said.

“Uhhhh… No,”

All complaints aside, I can say with confidence that there really is nothing like receiving your passport with a freshly approved visa on it. One step closer to the adventure. One less day of worrying whether you can even make it for your travel.

Besides, I am lucky enough not to have a nationality that is banned to visit certain countries. And I am already very lucky to even have a passport. And to even have the opportunity to travel.

As long as the country has a visa available to me, I will gladly go through the forms and photocopies. I did not remember my passport number and expiry date for nothing!

I just hope they don’t ask for 10-year travel history. Again.

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