5 weeks in India

The next part of my travels is Russia for 15 days, Europe for 3 months, and Canada for another 3.

To make this possible with my Indian passport I had to come back to India and apply for visas for all 3 of those. I chose a rough figure of 5 weeks and hoped it works out.

As of this moment in the last week of those 5, I have all my visas. I was afraid something or the other might get ruined and I might end up wasting a lot of my flight ticket money. I had already booked flights to all the 3 places as well as a couple of intra Europe flights. Schengen visa is also quite notorious for third world countries.

I made a surprise visit to my parents in Mumbai when I came to India. They thought I was headed Bangalore where I stayed before leaving.

I got the Russian visa in a single day in 30 mins. Thanks to my friend who stays in Russia this was a private visa type and I paid double to get it the same day. Since I had other visas to apply, I didn’t want to risk anything even though it was cheaper to get back after 2 days. The visa was issued for 90 days.

I applied for the Canadian visa online seeing that they did not want flight ticket bookings by this means. The other way was to apply on paper where they wanted me to submit return tickets. I was hoping the application after submission online would ask me to go to an application centre with the filled in form. Instead all it said was that I had to wait now for their reply.

Meanwhile I headed to Bangalore to catch up with friends and my cats and to apply for the Schengen visa from there.

My cats were able to recognise me even after this long break of 3 months. Here are the two cuties whose pics I share like a cat lady.

The brown one (Chutku) had grown so much that he was barely recognisable.

I applied for the visa to Czech Republic since my entry point is Prague. They took 2 working weeks to process the visa and gave me a single entry one even though I had requested for a multiple entry. I had to show hotel bookings and car rentals in Europe to get my visa. I was pretty pissed with the whole process and felt like being in SE Asia again. The single entry visa also means that I can’t attend a friend’s wedding in India, which is in the middle of my trip.

3 weeks down, the Canadian embassy had replied with a request for passport submission. I went back to Mumbai after submitting my passport in Bangalore and requesting it to be delivered in Mumbai. 4 weeks, 1 day is when I received it back from the Canadian embassy. They gave me a 5 year multi entry visa (passport validity). There’s a reason I love Canada way more than Europe 🙂

I spent most of my time here catching up with friends, playing with my cats, spending time with my parents, and eating lots of good and tasty food.

Going to Russia on the 15th and there’s only a couple of days left for me here in Mumbai.

I migrated my blog from the WordPress.com domain to a new one today. I bought the new domain name and hosting from go daddy. Hopefully subscribers were migrated correctly 🙂

I’ve been doing other travel prep like arranging currency, buying essentials, loading up kindle with books I want to read in the next 6 months, buying a tent, SIM card, foam pad etc. Last few days have been quite busy doing this.

If I didn’t want to attend all the metal festivals in Europe so badly I would have seriously continued being in SE Asia and gone to Malaysia, Philippines and all.

Long stretch of travels coming up. Pumped!

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