Monday, June 20, 2016

Hampas Lupa Adventures

The beginning of our epic adventure of shoestring budget adventures across 8 countries in Europe. Keep on dreaming. As Alice said-- nothing is impossible. As in every trip the planning and challenges abound. But these were the moments that the kindness and love of God proved to us how blessed we are indeed. At the moment when I least expected it, the invitation to visit Sweden came in an email. Yes, we were talking and dreaming about visiting Sweden one day, next year then next year again. But when the email arrived in April this year, then I thought, this is really happening. It is not just me but Amats took the time to make the communications happen. In the past, it was always me who would plan this trip and that and make arduous research about everything. But this time, it was Amats who started the ball rolling to make this epic dream trip a reality. Our window of time for planning and making the trip is less than 3 months. Amats and I were all busy with work as well. At that time, we cannot lodge our Schengen visa application due to a business travel he has for Thailand wherein he had to keep his passport at hand. It was only last week of April that we lodged our application for Schengen. We prepared many many documents. First miracle of the trip, we got our Schengen visa approved within one week. It sounds easy but it took hours and many sleepless nights to prepare the online application and proper documents ready. We have scouted for tickets and visited travel fairs for promo fares and bargains. We chanced upon NAITAS and got the information on the anniversary sale of Turkish Airlines. It was only after we go our visa that we really bought our tickets. Since we are visiting relatives, we also decided to take our chance in applying for a UK visa. Many people would tell us this is one of the more difficult visas to apply for and given the limited time we have, people just wished us luck. Many friends and family also prayed for us. It was just 16 days before we leave and the chances to get it on time was slim as I did not apply for express processing (which cost more than the application for visa itself). But God is good indeed! We got our visas just in time, it was the night before our flight... a last minute photo finish. It was indeed a great blessing. We were granted multiple entry visa as a family good for the next six months. Unbelievable but true! It was by the prayers and the goodness of the angels of people who helped us along the way.

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