The Agony of Waiting: Eurotrip Travel Plans

I seldom write personal entries here but let me ramble on a bit.

This is finally happening: I’m going to London this April. I may have mentioned this once or twice on my blog, although I never really liked talking about this publicly because I wanted to make sure it’s going to push through. Even if I have several visas stamped on my passport, I like to keep things real. I’m not being a pessimist, I just didn’t want to expect so high and get heartbroken later.

I can finally breathe and celebrate that one of my goals are finally pushing through, however, the constant worrying of this Eurotrip planning is holding me back. Aside from my three-month stay in London, JP and I planned to go on a one-month Eurotrip in August. Since I’m heading to Europe first, I have to apply for a Schengen Visa now. The requirements and its 90/180-day policy for the Schengen Visa is a meticulous one. I had to reserve hotel reservations, plane tickets, and travel insurance.  To make things even more stressful, when I got at the VFS office, the lady processing my application was requesting a ticket to prove that I’m entering from London to Paris. I didn’t have one. Since I’m entering London first, given that I will be living there, it never occurred to me to provide any proof that I’m entering Paris from London. I didn’t think it’d matter as long I provided roundtrip reservations to/from my home country (in my defense, the checklist only requested roundtrip airline reservations). So from 100%, my confidence in getting approved is now at 80%. Lol.

Hopefully, the agony of waiting will end tomorrow. I receive a text that VFS France already gave my application to its partner courier, 2GO Express, this afternoon and that I should receive my passport within 24-48 hours. If things go according to plan, meaning my visa gets approved, then JP and I can finally start working on our itinerary. If not, it’s okay because JP and I already agreed to use the money we’ve saved up to go to elsewhere. :)

Whatever happens, it’s still a win-win situation.

UPDATE: The Eurotrip is happening! YAS!

P.S. Today’s our monthsary. 6 years and 11 months, and still very much in love. Can’t wait to see him next week! #cheese 

How To Apply For a UK Visa

This guide is for applying a U.K. Tourist Visa at the VFS Manila branch for Philippine Passports. This article is based on my visa application experience as of Jan. 20, 2016. :) 

Many Filipinos know that in order for us to travel to every first-world country, we need to apply for a tourist visa. I don’t see visas as a bad thing, because this is a way for the government to keep track of who’s going in and out of their country, but it is ridiculously unfair to third-world country passport holders. We usually end up spending more than we should, just for the sake of being able to travel. Sadly, this is the harsh reality we have to accept.

My 2016 U.K. Visa would be the sixth time I applied for a tourist visa to any country within the past three years and my second time to apply for a U.K. Visa. Given this, applying should be a piece of cake, right? The answer is no. The moment I found out a decision has been made, I got so anxious that I cancelled all of my events and appointments on the day the passport is scheduled to be delivered. That way, if I get denied, I can cry in the comforts of my home. Lol.

Anyway, this is going to be a lengthy post because I received so many visa questions in my previous U.K. Visa post that I want this time to be really thorough. It’s divided into sections: from answering the application form to the day of submission. This article only serves as a guide and I hope you’ll find it helpful when you apply, but please be reminded that whatever is written here does not guarantee visa approval.

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How I Started and Why I Blog + Workshop on 02/20!

Whenever I meet new people and they found out that I’m a blogger, they’re always amazed that I’m able to blog on a regular basis. To be honest, I don’t know what to say whenever others ask me how I do it. I’ve been blogging for so long that I’m already too familiar with my process. If you’re curious where I find the passion and motivation, here’s why:

I was 13 years old when I created my first blog. I created one because I saw these bloggers, from other countries and who are just about my age, create gorgeous anime layouts. Akala ko, if I create a blog, then magiging magaling din ako na artist katulad nila. At ambisyosa pa ako dahil hindi ako nag-signup sa Blogspot or Geocities, nag-apply ako ng subdomain! I signed up for a Freewebs account and made my own theme. The reason I did this is because I wanted to impress a blogger, based in Indonesia, who owns a domain. She was offering free subdomain hosting, which means I’ll get a free web host and a pretty URL. Haha! I got accepted and started setting up my own blog, without any help or whatsoever. I wrote mundane things that were happening in my life. I had no viewers, no followers, and not once did I feel bad for that. I was simply happy for sharing whatever goes in my life.

Over the years, blogging became a popular medium for non-celebrities/non-media people to share their thoughts, opinions, feelings, views, photos, and many more. I’d like to think that blogging became so popular because it started out as an honest and transparent medium for people to write things they like and don’t like. Blogging also allowed people to connect with each other, especially with important topics that are often considered taboo or awkward in everyday conversations. While I may not be as articulate in writing, I consider blogging my medium to help people and maybe inspire them. Cliché, but true. My heart is often filled with joy whenever I receive random emails and comments from people who thanked me for helping them out. <3 I did not create a blog to be popular and famous (that would be a nice, though!). I created a blog because I wanted to share and help people. :)

Better Blogging Workshop

This February 20 (Saturday), from 9AM-12NN, I’m conducting a blog workshop at Heima Brixton, Kapitolyo, Pasig (near Ace Water Spa and Pioneer Supermarket).  This is going to be my first workshop for the year and I’ll be so happy if you join.

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