Step Four: Insurance, Visas and Splitting Tasks
As much as I love the carefree notion of simply grabbing my passport and some clean underwear and heading off wherever the wind takes me, in reality even the most open-ended trips require some planning. And as we both despise planning, Adam and I decided the logical thing to do was to split the burden and divide jobs between us. Somehow he ended up with insurance and I ended up with visas. As it turns out, not a fair split!
Once we’d finally decided on an itinerary and booked our flights, the next step was to start working on our individual planning tasks. Turns out Adam’s task was completed before we even left the STA branch. Our advisor, having just confirmed our flights, handed us an insurance flyer. Giving it a quick once over, Adam chose one that suited us, and we paid for it on the spot. And that was it.
A few days later, and feeling a bit put out, I began working on the far more arduous task of sorting out our visas. Thankfully, our first step, Turkey, requires an easily purchased online visa, and our second, Nepal, allows visas to be bought on arrival at the airport. We decided to buy our Indian visas in Nepal, thus removing some of the visa-buying burden in our rapidly decreasing time before we leave.
Our first hurdle was China. We both needed visas, but we couldn’t apply for them until three months before we planned to enter. Which meant we had to wait until our last month in the UK before going to the embassy. As stressful as planning is, leaving things to the last minute stresses me out far more!
In the meantime, I searched online for information about Mongolian visas. Turns out this would be a mission too. To enter Mongolia, we would need an invitation from a resident. Having no clue how to get this, we decided to go to the embassy for more information. As Adam had a weekday off, and my work hours are completely inflexible, he ended up being the one to visit the embassy. He returned with good, if slightly confusing news. It turns out neither Irish nor UK passport holders need visas to enter Mongolia, and the information I had found online was either out of date or completely made up.
So I gave Adam my apologies, and promised that from here on out, visas were once again my responsibility. Until I found out that an application for a Chinese visa requires weekday appointments for both submission and collection. So, once again, it fell to Adam to fulfil these tasks.
And so, our decision to evenly and easily divide up responsibilities between us turned out to be completely uneven and definitely not easy! Maybe muddling through together is the way to go after all.