Bowing to a powerless situation and turn it into fun

One of your worst nightmares when living abroad is related to paper work. To which you have absolutely no control on nor power. Every country I lived in, including my birth country, has its little favorite weird administration routine. The difference is that when you are an alien and not in your birth country, the mere fact of being an alien adds more hurdles to cross the finish line on time. And this can lead to feeling depleted or angry.

To make it short and not give too many details, I had to deal with one of these situations lately and to feel more in power and not find myself in a situation of a huge gap between expiration of the document and renewal I came with a solution which on the surface could appear boring.

The very good news regarding the annoying situation I came across is that you can input your renewal application anywhere so looking at a map and the website with appointments, I knew where I had control and power: driving to the closest destination which would give me a quicker appointment to launch the renewal process (in 2 phases as an alien) and reduce the potential gap between expiration and renewal.

On the map, appeared the pretty name of a small city, a 2-hour drive from where I live which enabled me to gain 2 months!

On that day of 22.02.22, a magic number?, the weather was freezing cold but stunning.

So that is how I transformed a 2*2h drive for what could be considered a “#$!&” moment on the outside into a fun and adventurous road trip. This is how you regain power in a situation that can be so daunting and make you feel resentful.

It turned out into a great destination as in my adventure a friend came along.

  • We wandered the streets discovering what made the history of its cute downtown.
  • We climbed the attraction of the city.
  • We ate at a local-owner restaurant recommended by a lady who runs a vintage shop.
  • We found my dream come true here; a shop engaged in waste management.
  • And of course, I had my appointment. We could have almost forgotten about this one enjoying the moment!

Results of the day:

Phase 1 of my renewal before expiration: Checked

Fun and Discovery: Checked Checked Super Checked

4-hour drive with a good friend, deep and meaningful conversations: Checked Checked Super Checked

Feeling empowered : absolutely

Hopefully Phase 2 will be completed soon too!

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