The Global Mobile Worker Project is about crossing borders, both real and imaginary. While the world has become more expansive and connected through technology, countries defend their borders ever more fiercely. While walls are torn down in one part of the world, fences are being built in others.
Part of my journey is learning to cross borders respectfully and legally. Sometimes that process will take longer than we hope, and that has to be factored in. My journey from the United States has been delayed by the unfamiliarity for many of a lifestyle that is fluid and mobile, namely the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic, Regional Immigration Police. They are highly suspicious of someone who wants to just hangout in their country for a year, especially an American, who they view as coming from paradise. The fact that the beauty of Prague is unrivaled in Europe, and the Charles Bridge, its construction began in 1357, is an engineering marvel is not enough, in their minds, for someone to put up with the fate of a tiny country that has been disrespected throughout history.
So, even though I met all of the initial requirements for documentation, and have already purchased the required year of health coverage (at a fraction of the cost in the US) more Czech citizens must agree to take care of me before they will welcome me in the country.
As this process will take weeks, and involves a visit to the Regional Immigration Police station by someone in the Czech Republic, we are still in a holding pattern. And then it will be on to the Brazilian Embassy for the Visa I am required to get (my Czech partner requires no visas on our planned journey).
The difference between how I will move through our journey – An American- and how my Czech partner will be treated – a Central European – will be interesting, and layered with invaluable insights.
As this is all an important part of global travel I am taking it all in with good humor and tenacity. The Countdown will begin when I am officially welcomed in the Czech Republic. Thirty days after I have my Czech Long-stay Visa we will be on the road to South America (if the Brazilians are cooperative).