Yes it’s four weeks to the day that I fly out to Quito to begin my two month South American adventure. It sounds like a fair whack of time, but honestly for an entire continent with so much to see and do I’ve been a bit exasperated by the fact there’s so much I won’t get to see.
Travel for me in my early forties is far more planned than it used to be. I’ve a route planned, I’ve some of my accommodation booked (and for my first couple of trips I hadn’t booked a single night) and with 4 weeks to go I’ve got my shots and most of the things I will need to take with me have been bought.
And today – which by the time this is published is yesterday, I went to the post office to pick up my Brazillian visa and passport. I had freaked out last week when I looked at the information provided by a company that organises visas that said it needed 20 working days – 4 weeks essentially, taking it to a couple of days before I left. Then I went to the consulate site for Australia and it said 15 working days. Much better but still if there was an issue I would only have a short time to fix it up. The consulate is in Sydney so it had to be done by registered express mail.
The process was as time consuming as any visa doing it online. I had to complete the form online and upload documents and a photo that I had to re-crop so many times to meet the specifications. I had to provide proof of funds and that I’m a citizen of Australia. It took around 2 hours and then I got a receipt. I had to post that with the same photo affixed and a money order for $216. Well, that is I think the highest visa fee I’ve ever paid as a tourist.
On a positive note it was received morning Thursday, and sent back done from the embassy/consulate at 4.48pm or so the same day. If I’d been home on Friday I would have had it then but missed the delivery.
So it’s been hard to shake that feeling that we’re getting close now. It’s been six months or maybe more since I booked the flights. So it’s been a while, and from the planning it’s well over a year and dreaming about it well, that’s a long time. So. There’s excitement. That has followed a bout of fear I must admit.
Fear yes, I have reservations about where I’m going and yes that is about personal safety. I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to handle myself whilst over there and how not to make myself a target. And that’s one issue with planning and preparing over a long period – you tend to have too much of a chance to imagine what might go wrong.
Quito and Rio, the start and the end of my trip, are my biggest worries. Still. I’ve gone from worry to anticipation which is a much more mentally healthy I suppose.
So that’s a little update for everyone. Hope you’re well, take care, and May the Journey Never End!