A waiting game and two quite different plans.

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Victoria walking on Isla del Sol

In four weeks time I plan to be in one of two radically different situations.

I may be in Austin, getting ready for the premiere of Steve’s film at SXSW. It’ll be the first week of a five-week tour of the States. We’ll go to New York, Washington, LA, San Francisco and Chicago. It’s a dream trip – the realisation and glitzy pudding after many years’ work and hope. It’s where I should be and where I want to be – there by Steve’s side.

But there’s a glitch standing in my way: I may not get a visa. Due to a various set of frustrating and complex reasons I have had to apply for a special type of visa that takes 4-6 months to process. I applied in October so four months since then is this week and six months is the middle of April, after the tour is done. The average wait time is 26 weeks, which would be the day after Steve comes home. I can’t go via the visa waiver programme. All I can do is wait.

I’m doing that waiting with hope. Even if it comes through at the last minute, or some way into the tour, I’ll book my flight and go. Being self-employed grants that freedom. But I know there’s a chance the visa won’t show. My waiting may be in vain – and in that case I need an alternative…

Once Steve goes, I don’t want to sit and wait, driving myself crazy as I imagine and wish I was where I should be. I need something to take my mind of it – something a little extraordinary that might help with the disappointment. I need an exciting alternative.

Plan B

So I came up with a Plan B. If, by 11 March, my visa has not shown up, I have decided I will take a flight to Northern Spain and embark on a 490-mile walk. I will attempt the Camino de Santiago.

This is a somewhat ludicrous plan. I am not a hiker, I recently broke my little toe and if at any point my visa comes through, I’ll jump on a flight to the States. I also only have four weeks to prepare.

But the thought of it makes me smile. It makes sense in its absurdity. It excites me and dulls the fear and sadness that goes with the visa situation. It’s something I want to do, and while I’d prefer to be in the USA at that particular moment, I think it’s what I need if Plan A doesn’t come through.

So right now I’m in the rather unusual situation of mentally planning for both a film tour and a pilgrimage. I’ll likely be doing that for the next four weeks. I won’t know which path I’m taking until the last minute. And if I do go to Spain, I’ll leave a packed bag back in London, ready to pick up and fly with if the visa comes through. It’s a grand exercise in uncertainty.

I’ll update you as I go along and I’ll write more soon about why I want to walk the Camino, but for now you’re up to speed.

Wish me luck with whatever comes next…

18 thoughts on “A waiting game and two quite different plans.”

  1. Wow, what a weird situation to be in. I hope you do get to go to the US with Steve, but your plan of walking the a amino also sounds exciting! I know some people might thing you’re crazy, but this seems very sensible to me actually; creating an exciting alternative in case the original (and equally exciting) plan isn’t possible. Fingers crossed!

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  2. This sounds pretty sucky to have to wait! I’m in a similar position but instead of waiting on visas (but I am, kind of… complicated!), I’m waiting on a verdict on whether my boyfriend can transfer through his job elsewhere. Although I hadn’t got as far as having a Plan B for myself if it doesn’t work out, so that’s given me something to think about 🙂

    Hope the visa comes through for you as soon as possible!

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  3. Before I embarked on a 14 month trip at the ripe age of 30 I had NEVER hiked. In fact, I disliked the idea. Guess what: turns out I am kind of awesome at it. And I really, really like it. And I would love to read about Camino de Santiago, as one day I would like to follow in your footsteps 🙂

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  4. Such two wildly divergent paths for your spring! I am crossing my fingers that the U.S. visa comes through, but if not, the pilgrimage will also bring so much to your life. Uncertainty is hard to come to terms with, it’s definitely not my own favorite part about life, but both plans sound uniquely wonderful. Sending love as you play the waiting game. 🙂

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  5. Sorry for the US’ sucky visa policies. It’s ridiculous that you have to wait that long. I hope it comes through for you!

    If you do end up in Spain, I know a nice couple who will be walking the camino for the second time then. If you want a contact, let me know.

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  6. Obviously I want you to be able to go to the States with Steve, but I’m also really fascinated to see your take on the Camino – especially if you walked it just a few months before me 🙂

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  7. As everyone else has already said, I have my fingers crossed that the U.S. visa situation sorts itself out and you’re able to take on Plan A. BUT on the off chance that it shouldn’t work out, your back-up sounds very good indeed and I think you’ll have an equally rewarding (albeit very different) experience tackling the Camino. Have you watched the film “The Way” starring Martin Sheen? It’s perfect preparation for your hike, I think… or, at least, excellent inspiration!

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    • Oh yes, I definitely want to watch that. Not least because I’m a huge fan of the West Wing! I an pretend it’ Bartlett doing the walk 🙂

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  8. I know you will make the absolute most of either situation anyway! 🙂 It’s a bit of a crappy choice to be forced into making…but at the same time, WOW! An amazing experience awaits no matter what! Big love to you & Steve. xxx

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  9. I really hope you get the visa but in case you don’t, you are free to contact me for Camino tips =) I’m Spanish and though I haven’t done it yet I can help you get some things done!

    ¡Suerte! (good luck!)

    Reply

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