19 years ago I was living in Seattle. So, to get to Mt. Kilimanjaro I had to fly to Amsterdam and then take a KLM flight from there to Moshi in the United Republic of Tanzania. This was way before COVID-19, and well, it was almost 20 years ago. So, I can’t really say how I was able to obtain a visa to enter the country. I do remember that it was $100 for single. That meant visiting neighboring Kenya a little richer than I was willing to pay for just a day jaunt.

These days, getting a visa is easier. It’s all online. All I had to do was to fill out an application, submit it, and I was done. A multiple-entry visit is the same price as it was back then, $100. So in theory I could go to Kenya, though I would have to apply and pay for a visa for that country. I don’t think it is worth it.

In the past, we used to have to send our passports—you know, those official documents that should never leave our person, to the foreign embassy in Washington, DC, or nearest consulate (sometimes LA or New York). Along with the application, payment (in the form of a cashier’s check), and return priority postage, we often wondered if this was some sort of scam. No wonder passport services have been a thing. They’re one-stop-shop. But they take care of all the hassle—for a fee.

Within 1 day I received acknowledgement and issuance of my visa. How cool is that? Yes, sometimes technology does work. Now, I just have to fulfill all the COVID-19 entry requirements.

Categories: Travel


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