It had been four weeks, and still no sign of my passport or approved visa. I spent ludicrous amounts of company time scouring immigration forums, reading about various reasons why people’s visas were rejected, and how long it took. Just when I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to be waiting six months only to face rejection, I found a delivery slip inside my front door.
“Sorry we missed you,” it said. “Attempted delivery 10:40a.m.”
It was my passport. I knew it. The next day I went to the post office, where they handed me a brown envelope. I ripped it open and scanned the letter desperately.
“…we are pleased to say that your application has been successful…”
That’s all I needed. Sure enough, inside my passport was a sticker with a picture of me, looking like a convict, confirming that I am eligible to work until January 9th, 2011.
This means that the travel plans, put on hold until the return of the passport, are now underway.
First on the list is Egypt, just over three weeks from now. No, I don’t waste any time. The plan is to start in Cairo, train to Luxor, then get over to the Red Sea for some diving. I’ll be going with my boyfriend, and we’ll be doing it completely on our own. Time for a crash course in Arabic, I think.
In March I’ll be jumping over to Rome and the Amalfi Coast with Anne, my best friend from Indianapolis. Budget travel meets 29-year-old mother of two who has never stayed in a hostel before. We are taking any and all suggestions for a Roman hostel that won’t send her running for the hills. I’m trying to convince her it’s not so bad, but then I remember the snoring, the stench of random people’s feet, newly-made love connections on the bunk above, and sleeping with your valuables tucked under your arm.
If anyone has any advice about Egypt, send it on – as well as anything you’d like to see happen in this blog. But you’ve only got until February 19th.
It’s good to have my passport back.