samedi 21 juillet 2007

finally finally

My passport came in the mail today. Yes! It came by Fedex. I actually paid for the USPS express mail envelope for when it comes back to me, but they sent it Fedex. So that $16.25 is gone. Maybe I can get a refund.
The one on the left is my old one, and the one on the right is the new one. That little square on the bottom of the new one is the new microchip logo that makes processing in the airports easier. Supposedly. We'll see.

Anyway, I'm just so happy it came, and I can leave this country. I immediately went online and made an appointment with the French consulate to get my visa. Usually you can get your visa the same day. Mine will be in the first week of August. I'm really happy that I'm getting mine here in LA. I heard that it's pretty bad in SF. Appointments start after the day I leave, which is the 23rd.

Yay!!! It's finally coming together. I was looking through my new passport, and it has all these great quotes whenever I turn the top of the visa pages where I'll get stamped whenever I visit a new country:

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty." -- John F. Kennedy.

I saw quotes like this with every turn of the page, and it made me want to cry. Because I thought it ironic that these quotes are in my passport, the one thing that ables me to leave my country that I honestly love and explore new ones.

And for the second time in my life, I felt so happy, so proud to be an American. So lucky to be born in this great nation to amazing parents who are willing to let their daughter go and explore and find herself in a place far from home. Thanks Mom and Dad. Thank you Kuya. This is the best gift I'll ever receive.

mardi 17 juillet 2007


I absolutely detest the whole passport process.

Really, it's my fault. I turned in the wrong form, the DS 82, which is for renewals. I thought I'd be able to renew. But it's really the DS 11 that I needed to do. I called the passport people, and they told me that they were sorry for not letting me know that I did the wrong form, but that as soon as I send in the new one, they'll get my passport out to me. Argh!

I can't make an appointment with the French consulate for my visa without my passport. So until then, I'm still in passport visa limbo.

I'm in LA right now, just getting loads of stuff done and hanging out with family and friends. Tomorrow, I'm going to REI with Kuya (my older brother) so that I can check out their backpacks. I plan to travel with a suitcase and a backpack. It's weird that I'm packing or a year. I don't plan on bringing a lot anyway. Bare essentials.

I found my old packing list for when I went to Cambridge University for their study abroad program. Brings back old memories. I took a class on Alfred Hitchhock and one for War and Chivalry. It was lots of fun, and I prefer Cambridge over Oxford. I didn't pack that much for that trip either.

Here are the packs I like so far and fit my budget:
The North Face Woman's Terra 40:

The North Face Woman's Akila 40: