I’m going to Europe! I’m going to Europe! It has really been a dream for me to set my foot on European soil and I still can’t believe that a time will come when I would be writing about my travels to Europe in this blog. It makes me kinda emotional thinking about how this blog and my travels has brought me to places I once dreamed of as a child, seeing each dream destinations one by one. Surreal! Dream after dream fulfilled before my very eyes, my world getting bigger and bigger.
Last week, I got two European visas. The E-VISA from the Republic of Armenia and more importantly the Schengen visa which allows me to visit 26 countries in Europe or what is known as the Schengen states (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark,Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland). I applied at the Embassy of Switzerland in Manila for a tourist visa with the generous help of meine Freundin who lives and works in Switzerland.
You can read about the process of my application here: How I Got my Schengen Visa from Switzerland Embassy
I prepared all the requirements and paperworks for about 3 weeks and scheduled a visit at TLS center (the third party agency that makes sure your requirements are complete before they send it to the embassy for approval). After a week, I got my passport back with an approved maximum stay of 88days in the Schengen area.
I was at home in Palawan cooking lunch when my mom called me from Laguna and told me that my passport just arrived. I told her to open the package and check the Schengen visa right away (while on the phone, it was hard to contain myself and was jumping for joy like crazy and crying at the same time). It was a fulfillment of a dream not to mention that I’m gonna see my girlfriend again and this time in her country. Sehr schön!
88 days (what a lucky number) in Schengen area and since this is my dream journey after #isangdaanjourney Philippines and #100DaysSEA, I thought of adding another 12 days to make it….
[drum roll and clanging Zildjian cymbals please]
2016: #100DaysEurope soon…
So when I get my Georgia visa approval this week, I’ll be spending 6 days in Armenia, 6 days in Georgia then fly to Zurich on July and explore some Schengen states for 88 days.
Nothing is fixed yet but we are planning to visit France (I wanna surf in Biaritz/Anglet), Italy (Milan, Tuscany and Rome), Germany (Munich, Berlin), Netherlands (Amsterdam), Liechtenstein (a small country north of Switzerland), Hungary and who knows where else. We’ll be spending most of our time in Zurich this July and do some hikes during the weekends. So #100DaysEurope it is. Imagine that? When I started traveling 2009, all I can afford was Php250/day (US$5) for everything (that’s why I have to use hammock to save on accommodation) and now we are booking flights for $150 (Cebu Pacific to Dubai) and $190 (flydubai to Yerevan, Armenia). More and more I believe that when I follow my passion and listen to my heart’s desire, the whole universe will conspire in helping me achieve it. And now traveling is soooo much more exciting because I’ll be with the love of my life.
I experienced being broke, jobless, houseless, and poorer than the mice exactly 7 years ago. And now in less than 3 weeks, I’ll be in Europe. Not only that come July, I’ll be living in one of the most expensive cities in the world- Zürich (pangalan pa lang yamanin na). How funny life is noh? How amazing really when you say YES to adventure and adventure surprises you BIGTIME?!!!
I’m still selling hammocks/duyan, organize Palawan tours and operate a guesthouse/tourist accommodation called Palawan Homestays in Puerto Princesa to add to my travel funds. This is how fund my lifestyle and it would be super awesome if you can spread the word to your friends going to Palawan and promote the hammocks too.
Keep posted for more updates and follow me on Instagram (@journeyingjames) for real-time photos and travel snippets.
If you are anywhere in the countries I mentioned, let’s meet?
Before ending this, I just want to say Danke schön to meine Freundin for all the help and encouragement she gave me before, during and after my Visa application. She did a lot for me to get approved for a Sponsor by a friend visa. I’m so thankful to have you in my life schatzeeee! Ich Liebe dich! Prost für fernweh!