Mar 03

Home at last!

by in North America, United States

I am back in my apartment in Arlington. Immigration in Charlotte pulled me aside for “special” questioning and searching for the 3rd time in the 3 trips I’ve taken this past year. The 1.5 hour delay almost made us miss our connection from Charlotte to DC. Even at the Guatemala City airport, where I was supposedly among fellow brown men, I was searched 3 times, twice more than regular passengers. All this does make me a little depressed.

Originally, I had wanted to do a 3 month trip and include Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and maybe Antarctica. Based on what I read in guidebooks and saw on travel shows, this seemed a simple and easy trip to make. However, Chile and Argentina wanted 1 month EACH to process my visa and Belize wanted $350 for a visa. As a result I couldn’t visit Chile or Argentina and did my diving in Honduras (with a little trouble at the border) instead of Belize. If I held almost any other passport, the fees and processing times would have been much more reasonable and if I held a US/Can/UK/Aus/EU origin or even an Israeli passport, I wouldn’t even need a visa for any of these countries.

But the trip I ended up making was fun, relaxing, exciting, rewarding and educational. Having to spend more time doing things and less time travelling may have even benefitted me. I will save South America for a future trip (possibly after obtaining a US passport). I learned a good amount of Spanish, got my open water diver certification, put up the walls for a new school in rural Guatemala with others, climbed 2 volcanoes, read a few good books and got to spend some quality down time with Colleen. No complaints here.

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