So a Pinoy wants to go around the world eh?
Don’t you need a VISA?
Haha, believe it or not, that was a MAJOR consideration when i decided to take this trip. As many Pinoys know, getting a visa is such a hassle! Filling up those forms, going through those lines, preparing your supportings docs, and don’t forgot the expensive visa application fees… plus, you don’t even know if you’ll get approved!
So when I decided to take the trip around the world, the first thing I looked at was which countries did not require a visa.
You’ll be surprised there’s quite a lot!!!
Did you know there are 43 countries & territories that do not require a visa for Pinoys? Aside from our usual ASEAN partners (like Singapore, Thailand, etc) and nearby countries (HK for example) there are many others all over the world, such as:
- Morocco (home of Casablanca!)
- Peru (Macchu Picchu!)
- Brazil (Rio De Janeiro!)
- Seychelles (for that exotic island getaway)
- and the most interesting one for me… ISRAEL!!
Israel really hit me. I’ve been lucky to actually been to many places around the world, but seeing Israel in that list fascinated me. I’ve never been in a Middle Eastern country, and so I decided I must pass by HERE!
Brazil I already new was Visa free, and was very sure I wanted to make this another stop. So two stops for my list noted down. Where else should I go?
In addition to the 43 visa free countries, I discovered there was an additional 21 more countries & territories that is visa on arrival. This means you get the visa when you arrive in the airport, pay for it and it’s approved! If you’ve been to Shenzhen, you might have experienced something similar when you cross the HK border. It’s simple, it’s fast, and it’s done! There’s a bit of paperwork, but it’s not the same as say, getting a US or Schengen Visa.
So who are the visa on arrival places? They include places such as:
- Madagascar (I like to move it move it)
- Nepal (want to climb Everest?)
- Kenya (Safari!)
- India (thank you very much)
With that on my list, I chose two more: Kenya and India. I’ve never been to Africa and India was another fascinatingly different place.
So I have India, Israel, Kenya, and Brazil. Since it’s also my first time in South America, and that my mission was not to just “travel to many countries” but to “literally travel around the world” I figured I should go to another country in SA.
My original choice was Peru. Go check out the Incans and Macchu Picchu. Quite interesting, until my research showed up another exotic place, which really excited me.
Whoa. In case you don’t know, Galapagos is a very very special place. There are species there never seen anywhere else in the world, due to its remoteness and different environment. Visiting Galapagos inspired Charles Darwin to create his now famous theory of evolution, based on how we saw the flora and fauna developed in such a remote environment. In addition, I discovered that Galapagos was a great outdoor adventure getaway, with some of the best hiking and snorkelling in the world. My wife said she actually didn’t know anyone who’s been to Galapagos.
So where was Galapagos? It was in Ecuador, which, as a check my list again, just so happens to be a visa free country!!!!
Woohoo! So Ecuador replaced Peru and my itinerary was complete!
So why is New York on my list?
Well, it turns out that there’s no direct flight to Galapagos to Manila. I had to pass by the USA. Since I was having a stopover in the USA, I figured I’d stop by and say hi to some family and friends before heading back home. And the last time I had winter in NY I was 3 years old, so I figured the heck why not?
And yes, to go New York, you do need a US visa… which I happened to have. If i I didn’t have that visa though, I can still take that trip around the world, but you just stay in the airport for your transfer. Which isn’t a big deal. After making my flights I actually had stop over with places like Turkey and Ethiopia, but I needed a visa if I wanted to visit those countries.
Never mind. Those countries could wait. The goal for now is to circumnavigate the globe.
For now my itinerary is complete. Manila-India-Israel-Kenya-Brazil-Ecuador-USA-Manila. That’s quite a long trip for 28 days! Ok na yon! 🙂
Countries chosen! Now how do you book those flights? That’s the next post 🙂
P.S. Oh, here’s the complete list of Visa Free and Visa on Arrival Countries: Visa Requirements for Filipino Citizens. Don’t you just love Wikipedia?
Image Credit: Judax0909, from the same Wikipedia page, via Wikipedia Commons