The great travel document debacle of 2015…and why I might be a little too laid back

As I’m sure you are all aware, travel takes a lot of planning. And as you may or may not be aware, I’m not much of a planner. At all. My move to Philly was decided on a whim when friend Kate suggested that it would be fun to live near her. I had been planning to move back to Illinois after my stint in Americorps ended, but living with friends sounded more fun so I did that instead.

My move to Hawaii and then Seattle was decided much the same way. Kate said hey lets go on an adventure and I said sure! And here we are.

Deciding to go to Thailand had a little bit more forethought, but there wasn’t a lot more to the plan than “I think I’ll move to Thailand.” Thinking about the logistical aspects of the trip didn’t really occur to me until a few weeks ago when I remembered I needed to renew my passport. So I began the process of filling out my application, getting the photos taken, etc. and finally got the application sent in.

According to the information on their website, my expedited passport renewal would take 3 weeks to process, getting it back to me a few days before I was to leave. No problem!

Oh wait. I need a visa. And that takes 15 business days to process. Time to start preparing for my time in a Thai prison…

But while I am not a good planner, I am a good problem solver. I discovered if you bring the visa application in person, it only takes 2-5 days to process. And lucky for me, my passport came back to me early. And also very lucky for me, my old roommate Margaret recently moved to DC. So I filled out my visa application, had more photos taken, and sent it all to Margaret, who took it to the Thai consulate. And with any luck, both my passport and visa will come back to me before I leave in ten days. My fingers are crossed.

While it’s good to be flexible and easy going, I discovered that it’s also good to be a responsible adult on occasion and make some actual plans before just leaving on a whim. Let’s hope I don’t run into many more logistical issues abroad. (But I’m betting I probably will!) and if I do ever end up in a Thai jail, you can bet there will be a great blog entry about it.

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