My A-type personality wouldn't let me set off for the world without a fallback plan. With my earlier itinerary so contingent on getting 3 travel visas to pull it off, I also thought long and hard about what my trip would look like if I DIDN'T get those visas. After all, getting visas in advance isn't a foregone conclusion and preparing for the worst is extremely typical of me.
Hope For The Best, Plan For The Worst
As promised on my earlier post, here is what my trip will look like if things take a turn for the worst and I don't get the visas I need.
PRESENTING... NICO'S RTW 2016/17 (PLAN B)
Estimated Departure: April 1, 2016
Departing From: Manila, Philippines
- Vietnam (3 weeks, April)
- Indonesia (1 week, April)
- Hong Kong (1 week, May)
- Cambodia (3 weeks, May)
- Thailand (4 weeks, June)
- Myanmar (1 week, July)
- Nepal (2 weeks, July)
- Singapore (1 week, July)
- India (4 weeks, August)
- Tanzania (2 weeks, September)
- Seychelles (2 weeks, September)
- Kenya (3 weeks, October)
- Morocco (2 weeks, October/November)
- Brazil (3 weeks, November)
- Bolivia (3 weeks, December)
- Peru (3 weeks, December/January)
- Colombia (2 weeks, Colombia, January)
- Ecuador (2 weeks, February)
- Nicaragua (3 weeks, February/March)
- Costa Rica (3 weeks, March)
- Fiji (2 weeks, April)
Here's what it looks like on a map.
Again, a full circumnavigation! Note that this is for illustrative purposes only. The actual path taken will vary dramatically based on transportation options at the time of booking.
Plan A vs Plan B
- Hong Kong
Houston, We Have A Problem
Just like a cheesy Hollywood action-flick, I have a problem right at the end of this journey. So close, yet so far?
Here's the problem - I cannot get from Costa Rica to Fiji WITHOUT passing through the USA. After doing some preliminary research it appears that I will require a transit visa (C-1, different to a B1/2 US Visitor's visa) in order to transit (or fly through) any major airports in the United States.
What an absolute bummer.
My options are:
- Backtrack eastward to the Philippines: This will be very expensive.
- Get a United States Transit Visa: More paperwork, another fee and a 2nd trip to the United States Embassy if I get rejected the first time.
This is where I need some luck. If there's one visa that I desperately need, it is one for the USA. It is rather ironic since I just moved back to the Philippines last Fall after living in the States for 9 years. On a postive note, there are numerous documented reports of Filipinos getting their visitor's visa to the US without much of a hitch, but if there's one thing I know about visas, nothing is guaranteed. It would be amazing if I got all the visas I needed and got to execute my Plan A itinerary. Meeting somewhere in the middle would be awesome too. However, if there's one that I need the most, it's the USA visa. If worse came to worst, I would apply for a transit visa but I would really love to avoid doing that. C'mon Uncle Sam!