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Thankful Thursdays: Travel

I am bursting with gratitude and excitement because in 20 sleeps, I’ll be heading overseas. It’s part of our official honeymoon and I’ll get to that now, but I’m also getting to visit my sister, who moved to London.

My travel dream has always been to go to New York. I have never been to America and while I’d love to explore it, it’s New York that has pulled at my heart strings. I can’t explain it – it’s just a yearning.

In fact, when I turned 30, my parents gave me an envelope. Inside was a letter with the Statue of Liberty and the words saying: We know it’s your dream, and we want you to fulfil it. We will pay for your air ticket to New York! I couldn’t believe it. I sat there wide-eyed and then burst into tears because it’s just so incredibly special. At that time though, I was due to move to Cape Town, which was an expensive exercise, and (you’ll have a laugh now), the Dollar had just gone from R8 to R10, making it too expensive. So I decided to put the trip on hold, make my move and wait for the dollar to go back to the R8 mark. HA!

It’s now R14, 28 to the Dollar. *Cough*

Anyway… I met Sox, told him my dream of New York and he said he was glad I had never gone, so that we could go together. It was a very romantic conversation.

When we got engaged and started planning our wedding, he said that he would love to take me to New York for our honeymoon. I melted on the spot.

He also confided that when I had told him my dream of New York, in the beginning of our relationship, he actually pictured proposing to me in Grand Central Park, but that didn’t work out with our schedules and then decided we would do New York for our honeymoon.

Life happens when you make other plans and when Sox’s Dad passed away in April, we knew it would be amazing for Sox’s Mom, Dimitra to travel to Greece for a few months, see her family there and heal. She hasn’t travelled in over 8 years and was very anxious about it. We decided to travel to Greece with her on the 3rd of August, “drop her off”, then travel to London to visit my sister and brother in law for a few days and from there, travel to New York.

WHAT. A. TRIP!

I am also extremely thankful that I have a Swiss passport and as such, I’ve never needed any Visas.

Insert record scratch.

I do not know what made me double check my access into America. All I can think is it’s thanks to the Travel Angels.

I discovered that since 1 March 2016, you need a Biometric Passport to gain access into the USA. I don’t have a Biometric passport.

No problem, I called the Swiss Consulate and thought: Let me kill 2 birds with 1 stone. While I apply, I might as well register my marriage so the new passport can have my new married surname.

Problem 1: We need an Unabridged certificate, which we have applied for, but it could take months before we get it.

Problem 2: If we had the certificate, it needs to registered at the Swiss Consulate in Greece, as well as here in SA and that takes 14 weeks. I only had 4 weeks, when I discovered all of this.

So I said, forget about registering my marriage then and I would do it once I returned. Instead, I’d like to just apply for a Biometric passport with my Schneider surname, which I still use professionally.

Problem 3: Now that I have alerted them to my marriage, it’s now on my file and as such they can no longer issue me a passport.

The Swiss are nothing but efficient. I burst into tears. The dream of New York seemed to be slipping.

See that little symbol at the bottom… It’s that lack of symbol on my passport that is forbidding my access. Swiss.pngI then spent 4 hours applying for a US Visa in my South African passport, paid the money, and spent another 2 hours trying to get an appointment. I finally got through to a person, not a robot and was told the next available appointment is the 10 August. We leave on the 3rd.

My other option is to fly to JHB or Durban and get an appointment there, but I’d need to fill out another form, which took me 4 hours last time, thanks to the system having errors and kicking me out, so I had to start over again (5x!) Plus I’d have to take another day off work, pay for air fare to Durban/ JHB, and accommodation if it’s Durban. I cannot justify that extra cost.

I phone every single day to see if there is a cancellation so that I can try and get a VISA, but there has been nothing so far and it looks like we aren’t able to go to New York.

Disappointed, is an understatement.

I’ve had a good cry, because I have been dreaming of this for so long, I have been so damn excited and it’s just not going to happen now.

Sox and I had a long chat, he wiped away my tears and reminded me that “everything is as it should be and what’s meant to be will be.”

I also felt like a brat, I mean, there are bigger problems in the world, and I realise that, but I had built myself up so much, had so many plans and well…

Perhaps, for whatever the reason, we are just not meant to be in New York right now.

New York isn’t going anywhere, and we will go when we are meant to.

The silver lining is this… We are now going to travel to Greece to drop Dimitra off, visit my sister and brother in law in London, which I am beside myself for.

London-1_tcm233-2111842Now that we aren’t doing NY, we’re going to Switzerland for a few days. Sox can now meet my grandmother. He has never been to Switzerland and I’d love to show him a place that means the world to me. This is the village my Gran lives in.Balgach_kath._Kirche_SchulhausWe are going to finish in Greece and visit an island, soak up the Greek sunshine and come back rejuvenated.Sox in AmorgosSox and Bailey in AmorogsBailey in Amorgos

I am so thankful that we are even able to take this trip. We have been working so hard, saving up and I cannot wait for this break – we both really need it.

I actually think everything has worked out exactly the way it’s supposed to.

I am thankful to be able to travel to 3 amazing countries, get to visit my family and enjoy a honeymoon. I’m just so thankful to feel the emotion, but not allow the disappointment to ruin what is still going to be a trip of a lifetime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 Comments

  • Reply Megan Keith

    I’m so sorry you can’t make it to New York…yet! Your turn will come one day! Have an awesome honeymoon! It’s one of the best holidays ever…there’s just something so special about it! Megan xx

    July 14, 2016 at 11:50 am
    • Reply BaileySchneider

      Thanks Megan! I still can’t believe we’re making this trip! #pinchme

      July 14, 2016 at 12:25 pm
  • Reply Natasha Viljoen

    Oh no Bailey, such a disappointment for you! But as you say, maybe it’s not meant to be (right now), New York is going nowhere. I hope you guys enjoy your honeymoon, and come back supercharged for the rest of the year!

    July 14, 2016 at 12:31 pm
  • Reply Kate Ferguson

    Ah man what a crazy time you’ve had!! And the disappointment is completely understandable.

    Hopefully an opportunity to go to New York will show it’s self very very soon.

    Have a super fantastic honeymoon!!!

    July 14, 2016 at 12:36 pm
  • Reply Jayne Ann Sim

    Ah Bailey sorry to hear. But I know what you went thru trying to get the Visa to the USA. My boss had the same problem. Eventually they didn’t get to go to the USA as we are still waiting for an appointment again with the Consulate. The holidays will in fact be over tomorrow as they go back to school on Monday. I know how you feel. But hey u get to go to 3 countries and see your sister again. Enjoy and everything is as it should be. Maybe you will win a trip ?? Enjoy.

    July 14, 2016 at 12:58 pm
    • Reply BaileySchneider

      We always complain about our Home Affairs, but goodness this has been quite a process too! Thanks for the lovely message – I am very excited! Oooh, now I just need to enter every competition 😉

      July 14, 2016 at 1:01 pm
  • Reply Caley

    Aw Bails – this post had me feel all the emotions!! I was sad, angry, excited, happy, disappointed and all over again! BUT you are so right – you are going to have an incredible holiday together and New York will be bigger and better and for longer when you do eventually go – it is my absolute best too!! x

    July 14, 2016 at 1:29 pm
    • Reply BaileySchneider

      You’re so right… we would have only gone for a few days and the travel might have had us exhausted, instead of recharged! Thanks Caley – you’ve made me feel better xxx

      July 14, 2016 at 1:30 pm
  • Reply Tanya

    It wasn’t meant to be for now but the time will come when you will go on your New York adventure. Enjoy your upcoming holiday and spending time with your sister. To travel is to live! I look forward to reading all about your travels xx

    July 14, 2016 at 2:52 pm
    • Reply BaileySchneider

      Thanks Tanya! You’re so right! Oh yes… I can’t wait to share the travel diaries 🙂 xxx

      July 14, 2016 at 3:51 pm
  • Reply Maveshree

    Hi Bailey, you will definitely go to NY so soon. My suggestion is to not wait anyway with the admin, try to get your new passport and apply for the visa. You might even get a 10 year visa to the States. Enjoy your vaykay, please Snap!

    July 17, 2016 at 3:49 pm
  • Reply Camilla || Jane Wonder Blog

    Sorry about your disappointment, Bails! But as you say, it is perhaps not the right time. It’ll be absolutely amazing in Europe, I can’t wait to see it all in pictures and on Snapchat

    xxx

    July 18, 2016 at 12:30 pm
  • Reply A Daft Scots Lass

    Enjoy every second and plan for NY for your 1st anniversary xxxx

    July 19, 2016 at 10:13 am
    • Reply BaileySchneider

      You are brilliant! What a clever idea! Thank you!

      July 19, 2016 at 10:15 am
  • Reply Vanilla Blonde - Out of Office - Vanilla Blonde

    […] You can read about where we are and the lead up to our trip here. […]

    August 7, 2016 at 9:14 pm
  • Leave a Reply to Maveshree Cancel Reply