The Trip from Hell and it Hasn’t Even Started.


This year’s trip – let me tell you have been one bugger to plan. I choose to do a tour again for the specific purpose I had no real time to plan a trip due to school. My originally plan was to go to Egypt for 9 days and then Greece for 2.  This was fine and dandy until the riots happen.

Photo borrowed without permission from http://redriverpak.wordpress.com/

I waited for a while before I had decided that Egypt may not be all that safe to visit come July. So I made the decision to cancel my trip to Egypt and go somewhere else. I decided on India.  India is one of those places I didn’t have a burning desire to go to, but would go just to check off the list. Even now a month away, I still can’t really get into the destination. Sure I’ll be standing in front of the Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and a testament to love, on my birthday. However I just can’t get excited about it. I haven’t even planned my packing list or booked my hostel for my extra night. I haven’t even booked my hostel for my layover in Finland.

I made the decision in late October/November to make the switch. By March the restaurant I had been working at closed down suddenly. I was transferred to another location that didn’t have any hours for me. I bought my $1300 non-refundable, non-exchangeable ticket and picked it up from the travel agent on Wednesday and was out of work on Sunday.

Now the plane ticket it self was a hassle.  I wanted to get the best fare that was only offered online. I attempted to book it through Finnair and then Expedia. Neither one would accept my credit card.

I spent 2 hours on the phone with my card company and Expedia trying to fix the problem.  My card company needed to know where Expedia was billing from in order to approve the charges. Expedia refused to tell me, the woman I talked to insisted it wasn’t required to know where they were billing from. The women cut me off repeatedly and eventually I hung up on her. I tried to book the fare through Finnair’s website, and had the same issue.

If Expedia or Finnair didn’t want my money, my local Marlin Travel agent would. With them I booked my slightly more expensive plane ticket to India. With a layover in New York City and Finland – and then waited for three weeks before they would give me my ticket.

Since the store closing down and the one shift a week I was getting at the new location (as well as failing a course and having to fork out 420$ for the repeat course) I had been putting off getting my visa. I knew I couldn’t cancel the trip. I would lose the $1300 I paid for my plane ticket, and $200 of the $650 I paid for my tour. I finally had enough money to go get my visa for India from the company that the Indian consulate in Toronto out sources their Visas too. I dropped my internship papers off at my professor’s office in Hamilton before taking the Go Train to Toronto. After some confusion I arrived at the Eglinton location at 2:10. 20 minutes to spare before they stop taking applications for the day. I signed in took my number and waited. It wasn’t long before I was at the counter having my visa application handed back to me because my picture didn’t show enough of my shoulders. That right denied on the account of shoulders.

Normally I get my passport photos and the likes done at Black’s photography. However trying to be cheap and save myself $10 I got them done at Shopper’s Drug Mart. So on Monday I got my photos redone at Black like I should have done in the first place paying 1.5X more for pictures had I done it there in the first place and made my way to Toronto again on  Friday for take 2. I arrived at the office, took my number again and waited.

Finally I got to the counter, handed my application and sweated nervously waiting for her to go over my application and hopefully not hand it back to me. Thankfully she accepted it after making a few corrections to the application.

Now Wednesday my application status says it has been processed and has been sent to me via UPS or Canada Post.  Hopefully I won’t have any more surprises (like my visa application has been processed but ultimately declined.).

Less than 30 days away now.

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