So we’re finally off. We’ve stopped for a couple days in Colorado to see Syd’s family and then tomorrow we fly across the pond. I just wanted to take a moment and thank the little document that makes this all possible.
Inside my passport is a visa that allows me to intern in the United Kingdom. You wouldn’t think that such a little piece of paper could cause so much stress. But, yes, so much stress. On May 22nd I sent my passport and a whole bunch of dead trees to the British Consulate. And then we waited. And waited. And waited some more.
We were supposed to leave in a week and a half and still nothing. Randomly one day I was on UPS’s website trying to calculate when the last possible day my visa could be shipped and still make it in time. For kicks and giggles I entered the tracking number I had for my pre-paid envelope and voila! It apparently had been picked up already and was on its way. The consulate had just never emailed to let me know that my visa had been issued (gotta love bureaucracy!). It was set to arrive on June 15th. Two days before we were leaving. Syd and I could breathe easy.
BUT WAIT. There’s more. Halfway through the week I get a notification that delivery had been delayed because of a train derailment. Images of a train tipped off the tracks and packages strewn on the surrounding landscape filled my mind. And then came the realization that my passport (with my visa) was small and in a tiny envelope. It was obviously so small that it was lost behind a bush and would never, ever be found.
I was clearly thinking super rationally.
In a panic I called UPS. While the woman I spoke to was nice, she didn’t know anything and couldn’t do anything. So I went to my internship at the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce and vented my visa woes to my supervisor and fellow interns. Turns out I am not the only one who imagined packages strewn across fields.
Later, I got another notification that delivery of my visa would be rescheduled (praise the heavens it wasn’t lost behind a bush). My visa was set to arrive on June 16th. ONE DAY before we were leaving.
Tuesday the 16th arrived and besides driving Syd to work in the morning I didn’t do anything. I didn’t leave the house. I didn’t shower. I didn’t even go to the bathroom for fear that I would miss the UPS guy. Alas, around 11 a.m. there was a knock on the door and there was my passport with my newly stamped UK visa.
On a side note, besides an email that said they had received my application, the consulate never contacted me. So there was still a nagging fear in the back of my mind that the dates wouldn’t be correct or that for some reason they had denied my application. Luckily, none of those fears became real problems.
Like I said, I never knew just how much stress a little piece of paper could cause. But thankfully, the visa came. Even if it came the day before our departure, it came.