Dear girls of the world: Never let visa applications stop you from traveling

Dear girls of the world,

Long before Pinterest and Instagram, I’ve flipped travel magazines for hours, studied books and encyclopedias carving know more about all those amazing places around the world. When I was 6, I already knew I want to travel. Yet, growing up made me realize that world’s not as simple as it seems. Yes, you can travel! But no. Not everywhere. I can’t go to London next weekend even if I have enough money for that.

Four letters and a daunting procedure stands on my way: visa application.

You see, I come from Ukraine. Geographically, it is Europe. In reality, oh well…I don’t mean to offend anyone from Papua New Guinea, but my country hasn’t gone too far from it in economic and political development.

My passport doesn’t allow me to travel as freely as I’d like to…but it never stopped me.

Dear girls, there’s always more opportunities than you think! If it doesn’t work one way, it may work another! Give it a try and you never know how it turns out! Maybe I won’t go to the UK or Europe this time….but I can travel around South-East Asia instead with visas easy to get.

That trip turned out to be one of the most amazing in my life! I met someone very special that year. We had a lot of crazy adventures together – hiked volcanoes, dived at spectacular reefs, spent a night on a deserted island and even got lost in the jungles, together…Anyways, it wasn’t till the last day of the trip, till I got to know – he’s got a 3 year work-contracted secured in France and will not stay with me for long in Kyiv.

My heart fallen deep-deep down and crashed with a huge “bam”! How can I get a long-term Schengen visa? It seemed impossible. There’s a long-long list of visa requirements to meet right in front of me if I plan to stay for at least 2 weeks. Never give up on what you crave for!

When I was 19, I came to a tourist agency and asked if they can help me plan a Eurotrip. After bluntly staring at me for 10 min the employee asked if I someone would sponsor my trip.Nope.

Do you own an apartment or a car?


Do you have a lot of money at your bank account?

Some, yes. To fully cover my trip.

You will never get a visa….

That was the first and the last time I went to a tourist agency. Not much changed in my situation three years from that. I didn’t win a lottery or inherit anything. Yet you know what? I did got my visa. First a short stay one, than a longer. Yes, during the last year I’ve made mote visa runs than ever before in my life. I had to think of creative ways to spend more time in France – from language courses to volunteer and cultural exchange programs. It’s been tough ‘cause I still needed to pay the bills. But hey, working online today is easier than you think! I’ve managed to keep my old job and do it out of office. Being location independent l is not equally easy for everyone, but you can do it! No matter how many steps you’ll have to take, how many papers to compile and statements to make of your pure intentions. Yes, I envy that US backpacker who shows up at Passport control, gets his stamp for 3 month and walks freely. And there’s me. Standing a long line examined suspiciously and asked a bunch of questions like: Where will you stay? Where’s your ticket home? How much money do you have with you? Show it! Once I nearly cried in front of the official because it seemed she was treating me like a potential illegal immigrant, or worse…a whore. Or Embassy employers losing my documents. Or unfriendly security checks…

But all that never made me give up my dreams to travel the world.

With love,
currently on her way to France. Again.

Elena is a twenty-something girl, currently living her life between two countries: Ukraine and France. She’s a travel planning ninja, knows how to have awesome adventures on a tight budget and what to do when you got lost in the jungles. You can read more about her life and travels at her travel blog


  • September 28, 2014

    So awesome to see Elena here, she’s such a super awesome travel blogger. I’m really grateful to have a British passport and can’t imagine how horrible it must be to have so many VISA restrictions, but there are so many incredible places to see in the world and it’s awesome that you guys aren’t letting it hold you back 🙂

    • October 13, 2014

      I also love the beautiful women of our travel blogging community. I feel so blessed to be a part of this league!

  • October 1, 2014

    Great inspiration! Thank you!

  • Lena
    June 11, 2017

    Elena, from tomorrow on you can! Visa free regime with Europe comes into effect, yey! So having a Ukrainian passport is not that bad after all 😉


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P.S. I'm On My Way is a blog by Trisha Velarmino. She didn't
quit her job to travel the world. She made a job out of traveling and you can do it, too.

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