It’s crazy to me that I left Boston yesterday. I don’t know if it has set in yet. Now I am home with a whole apartment’s load of crap that I need to unpack and an impending flight in 11 days. I literally stopped to bite my nails after I wrote that (lol). The truth is I am SO excited to leave for Thailand, but I have all of this shit to do before I leave! But anyway, I wanted to stop and take a minute to share how I went about getting a Thai visa.
So initially I was only staying for two months, that’s how long I’ll be working with elephants, but I decided that I might as well spend another month in South East Asia to travel! SEA is pretty cheap. Generally, you can live on about $20 a day or a little more. Being as all my meals and expenses are covered for the first two months, I’m able to spend an extra month in the region without it costing an arm and a leg. Just for comparison, it’s about $50 a day to live in Australia. So yes I decided to stay an extra month.
Thailand, as it turns out, offers 30-day visits to American’s visiting for tourist reasons, which is very similar to most countries and you have to apply for a visa if you intend to stay any longer. So now that my trip duration was up to three months, I had to ask for a Non-Immigrant Category “O” visa, this would allow me to stay in Thailand for up to three months. I also found out you cannot apply online for the visa. I had to go to a Thai consulate to get it. I also had to wait to ask for the visa until the month before I was intending to be there.
So after a summer of a lot of Netflix, bartending and spending time with friends when August rolled around I was all stressed and anxious about getting my Thai visa. I had to get a bunch of things together. I needed a recommendation letter from Globalteer, a Thai visa application, proof of a US bank account, my passport, an extra passport photo, itinerary, and $80 to pay for the visa. What stressed me out most was when I looked up the Thai consulate in Boston what came up was the Union Oyster House, the oldest oyster house in Boston. So I’m thinking, this can’t be right, this is so weird because I expected it to look like all official office building, but it didn’t!
Once I finally had my papers in order, I needed to get the Visa. I figured I could just show up at the consulate and they would begin the process. Turns out you need an appointment. How did I find this out, you ask? Well, while I was wandering around the Union Oyster House aimlessly looking for any signs of an official consulate I finally decided to call them and ask where the hell their office is. A lady answered the phone, and the first question I ask is, sorry where are you located?? I can’t find your building for the life of me. The lovely lady on the phone asks, do you have an appointment? We’re by appointment only. I answered no, and she booked me an appointment for the next week. So my date was set for 10:30 am August 8th.
Considering I’m queen of fuck-ups I forgot to put the time of the appointment on my phone! So that day I made sure to wake up early and call the consulate just to check what time my appointment was. Turns out the consulate opens at 10 am (who knew considering it was anywhere on the internet!!), but now I was almost certain my appointment was at 10. The was the first appointment of the day. This time I knew exactly where I was going and proceeded to enter the door that was in between the Union Oyster House and the Green Dragon Tavern. What I saw was what seemed like never-ending stairs. After first entering the wrong office the nice lady inside directed me upstairs to the consulate.
This was DEFINITELY the Thai Consulate. We’re talking photos of the royal family, countless statues of Buddha and a big oval shaped carving in gold, black and red saying “Royal Thai Consulate.” I said who I was to the little American lady at the desk who informed me that I was early but to have a seat and she’d be right with me. The process took about 20 minutes. I was in and out. She asked me a few questions about my intentions in the country why I decided to go, and bing-bang-boom I have a beautiful Thai visa sticker in my passport. Once you have everything you need for the visa, it’s truly painless. I’m not sure why I was ever nervous.