MY COLORFUL PASSPORT

It’s been a while since my last post… again.

Why the title? Well, incase anybody has been wondering why I haven’t made it to Europe yet (since the title of my blog is Aditi Takes Europe, after all), it boils down to one mega important document – my passport.

If anybody has an Indian passport, I need not explain. You know the perils of traveling with one. Spontaneous weekend trip to London? Nope. Most Americans or Europeans wouldn’t realize this but I need a visa to enter almost every country. Sounds simple? Nope. I waited 8 weeks for a visa to study in Ireland, only for me to be granted just a single entry. 2 months into my time here in Ireland, I was finally issued a multiple entry visa, which means I can legally leave and re-enter Ireland, woohoo! But now, I need a visa to actually enter another country or zone aka UK or mainland Europe. I need bank statements, flight bookings, itineraries, hotel reservations, travel insurance – you name it! If a summer in NYC didn’t make me feel adult enough, handling visas has surely done it.

On the bright side, my passport looks like a coloring book – from colorful visas to stamp galore, its quite a pretty document now. It’s easy to get deterred from traveling with the bureaucracy of it all but it’s never stopped me. Wanderlust always wins. It just comes down to a little more planning and patience, really.

Also, you know, living in Ireland makes it easier. We love making trips to the West Coast – it’s impossible to get tired of the breathtaking scenery of the Irish coastline. Last weekend, I even conquered my first mountain. It’s always been on my bucket list to climb a mountain. Check! Well, a baby one at least (we died, but Mangerton Mountain is actually quite small compared to world standards). UCC has a mountaineering club that does mountain hikes every weekend and though I really should’ve started with the first one, I finally got myself up at 6am on a Sunday mid way through the semester, on a hike that really shouldn’t have been my first. 2,800ft higher, 3 hours of by far the most grueling work out I’ve ever done, we eventually made it to the top! I don’t think I’m ready for Mt. Kilimanjaro yet, but I’d love to continue doing these hikes and one day, I’ll reach the top of Kilimanjaro too.

Tomorrow, I’m off to Dublin for my Schengen visa appointment and we decided to make a weekend trip out of it so my friends will be meeting me there Friday. I’m stoked to get a hotel room to myself for the night after dorm living. I hope to have my Schengen (mainland Europe) visa in the next 2 weeks and then hopefully my blog title will be more apt! If anybody ever needs help with the whole visa situation, I’m your girl!

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