Let’s be honest. If you move to a new country you will have a lot of firsts. Great ones, like the first time you have an amazing meal in a small place where you were just hoping for a clean glass. Or happening upon a festival you had no idea was going on and you dance and sing and eat and drink like a local.
Then there are the other firsts. Like getting through the maze of paperwork just to get your visa before your move. And struggling with communication because you don’t yet know enough language to do a lot of things. Like finish the paperwork you thought was almost complete when you came. Only to make a couple of phone calls, have a friend call, go with the friend to two different offices, and be told you have to complete paperwork and pay a fee that you already completed and paid before you got your visa.
So that’s where I am now. And it is a little deflating, I’m not going to lie. But I also had a great day yesterday. And I’m living my dream life. I guess that means I can put up with a few snags. And I knew there would be some. I mean, I got this frustrated when I was transferring my car title from one state to another. Every country has their bureaucracy and the state employees that seem to pride themselves on not knowing what they are talking about. But giving you instructions anyway.
To make myself feel better, I went to the kitchen and got out the ingredients for my favorite lunch. Actually, it’s my favorite meal or snack for any time of day, breakfast included. That means, bread, wine, cheese, spicy olives and jamon. Only I was out of wine and bread. Note to self: get groceries after looking for original visa paperwork.
I expected that this might not be as simple as they told me when I applied for my visa in Chicago. I was only supposed to show the two original documents they gave back to me. It sounded easy enough. But now I’m being told that I need to duplicate paperwork and pay the same fee again. And I don’t feel any closer to the document I need than when I got off the airplane with my new visa. <sigh>. Hopefully, I saved receipts and made copies of documents but I don’t think I did because I filled some out in the visa office in Chicago. I’m less concerned about filling out duplicate paperwork and paying the same fee again. It’s more about the time and hassle and finding a place for more passport photos and a time that my friend can meet again at yet another office. Why, oh why can’t Spain do more paperwork online?
So, yes, there will be a few days like this. Maybe several. But compared to the great days, it will be so worth it in the end. I just can’t wait to get there….
Your Takeaway: No place is perfect. Not where I came from or where I am now. But the benefits far outweigh the handful of days of bureaucracy. It is frustrating and part of that is probably my own making. I know I am trying to do many things at once. Maybe too many. So try to finish your visa process as soon as you get here if you speak enough Spanish. Or quickly find a friend that does speak well and can go with you. The sooner you complete this, the sooner you can move on to the rest of your life. I regret not trying to find help earlier and getting this done. I already had other things planned, but I think this would have been easier if I’d started sooner.