Estimated Departure Time – 22 days!
Departure is less than a month from now and things are getting busy now! The last couple of weeks I’ve been busy finish the extra projects and finishing the (last) preparations.
Destinations and the necessary visa
Since I have most of my destinations set in stone, I could start taking care of the needed administrative form (hassle) for each country I’m visiting. HOWEVER! Luckily, I have European citizenship, meaning for a lot of countries I don’t need a visa. Well mainly the South-American countries. For the countries I’m visiting in Asia, I could just apply on arrival. Or the next days leading up to my visit to the country. There are 3 exceptions though.
Since the whole 9/11 case, the security in and out of the United States has become much more strict. I’m not sure how it was before, but apparently you need to register for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). It’s some kind of document that allows you to travel within the United States without having to apply for a visa. So it’s like a visa, but it’s not…. right…….. Anyway you need to apply for one on their site (https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta), I paid €14 for it and you get an electronic receipt and number. You’ll need to print it out and then take it to customs with you probably. Oh also, the document is valid for 2 years.
You’ll need to apply for a visa for China way before you enter China. You’ll need to fill in the address you’ll be staying at when you’re in China and other contact info of friends or relatives that you’re visiting. Just one though. I did have a problem with my situation, seeing how a single-entry visa is only valid for 3 months and I won’t be visiting China for 4 months or so. So in my case I was kind of forced to get a double-entry visa which is valid for 6 months. Single-entry was around €80 and double-entry was around €110, my application is going to take about 1 week.
You’ll need a visa and you can apply for a visa on arrival, but you can only appy for a visa on arrival when you have a letter of approval. Also you can only apply for a visa on arrival when in the major airports. So if you’re coming into Vietnam by land, in my case, you’ll need to get your visa before you arrive in Vietnam. Good thing about the Vietnamese visa is that you can set your date on which you want the visa to be “active”, since the visa is also only valid for 3 months. Oh and if you’re living in Belgium, this site is quite complete on what you need to enter a country. http://diplomatie.belgium.be/nl/Diensten/Op_reis_in_het_buitenland/reisdocumenten/
The last couple of weeks I managed to get some help from a good friend of mine who could get me access to discounted clothes and shoes. She works at a major company with several clothing brands in their portfolio and they were having a stock sale. So I released my inner-shopaholic and went on a shopping frenzy.Managed to get:
- Hiking boots
- 1 windbreaker
- 3 shirts
- 1 hoodie
- 1 short
- 2 zip-off pants
Prolly won’t really need all the stuff, but hey if they’re 50% off then you wouldn’t mind getting some extra stuff. Also went and got my backpack for the trip. After some intensive research I decided to get the Deuter ACT Lite 50+10. I’ll post some more information on it in a seperate blogpost.
I still need to get my daypack and netbook next week. Once that’s been bought, all that’s left are the small things like medicins, first-aid kit, toiletries, towels, etc. But I can start making my backpack and decide if I need to limit my packing even more. Other than getting my equipment, I’ll need to start printing out some guides and tips for the first couple of cities I’m going to visit. Was planning to meet up with some Couchsurfing people too along the way, so i’ll need to follow up on that too. Exciting times ahead!