In a bit of a bind. Have mentioned before my ludicrous and totally unrealistic goal of trying to get to as many of the world's 196 countries before I die.
Have been to 42. (If you include Wales, 43. But not sure if that's included, jury is out still on whether it's a real country.)
This weekend I head to Norway. The Brit is there for work, so is flying me out for the weekend to join him. Isn't that nice?
Shall pack my Eskimo trousers and my fjord-finding binoculars.
Anyway, this is the last time I'll be going to Europe for a while. From 1 April I will be trapped. TRAPPED I TELL YOU..
No need to get into all the sordid details, but my Schengen visa runs out. I can't apply for a new one until I renew my UK work visa. Which can only happen in May. And even if I got a new Schengen, getting a long one is not guaranteed, even if it's through work.
Now maybe this means nothing to you, or you think I've done quite enough countries as it is. Well here's the thing: fuck you.
I have a goal to reach, travel is my life's work. I live to see new places. And my fucking ridiculous passport doesn't allow me to cross most of the world's borders without hours of unspontaneous admin beforehand.
From April, it'll be easier for me to go to freaking Florida than to go to Paris for a weekend. (I have a ten year American visa. The yanks are nice like that.)
Then there are those who have European passports and never bother to use them. But let me not start the downward spiral this rant is clearly destined for; I'll save that for the pub. Or a dinner party.
I have been lucky to have the use of a two year Schengen visa. I have used it wisely, and I am forever grateful that it found its way onto the pages of my passport. I've used the fuck out of it, and with moments to spare, shall go to Oslo mere hours before it expires.
Then, well, these are my options until about June:
Side note to Saffas: These are your options too FYI. If you don't have a Schengen, you're also fucked.
This is where Saffas can go in Europe:
Turkey (Yay! But been. Doesn't help goal.)
Ireland (Yay! If you love rain and being inside! But been. Doesn't help goal.)
Kosovo (That's right! The war-torn Balkan state that is still fucked! Pack your bags, let's go.) <---To be deadly honest, am considering it. I just need a willing person to come with me.
Places where Saffas can go in the rest of the world: (In blue)
So. Dear Schengen people
I'm not even going to try and make this funny or take the piss. Please could you grant me another long-term Schengen visa. I know your biggest concern is the risk in having immigrants come over to your European Union and staying there.
I assure you I will leave when I'm done. Your euro is fucked as it is.
I have a job in the UK. I pay tax there. I have savings there. I have a boyfriend there, a home there.
All I want (for now, before I actually become an EU citizen), is to see as many places as I can before I die. As you'll see, I still have a bit of Europe to go:
Most people think these are shit places, by the way. All eastern European and fucked up, which, to be fair, they are. But I want to see them. Can you help? Will pay.
I didn't even look at a map to write those down. That's how much I know and research Europe on an almost constant basis. I am a fan. Do you get what I'm trying to say here?
Also kind of need to have access to Europe for work. Ironically, a lot of the work I do is around helping businesses thrive in a shit economy. Turns out you might even need me, so how about that?
I may, actually, end up just staying in Oslo. If I feel rebellious and bolshy.