It was in 2014 that my former Canadian client told everyone on the team that we were invited to go to Montreal, Canada to meet the whole team. I was shocked with the news and got excited because I’ve never been to Canada. I was the only Filipino on the team, and the rest were Canadian, American, British and Romanian. Meeting time was at 10 AM Canadian. Everyone was so chatty except me because I was the silent one in the group although they encouraged me to speak and talk about my day and the Philippines.
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The planned travel date was in January 2015. It should have been my first winter trip. Somehow I was hesitant to go alone out of the country, far away from the Philippines. I was also anxious about getting a visa because it is so expensive to get one. I had to prepare $160 for the permit.
It should be an all-expense paid trip. The former client made all the documents needed for getting a visa: letter of invitation, business certificate, income tax and other legal documents. I was planning to get a tourist visa since I should be there not to work, but to meet all the team spending time in a chateau, skiing, snowboarding, and building a snowman and other activities to do like a team building. I even searched for a flight from the Philippines to Canada, and I found out that it was expensive. The ticket cost like P100, 000 round trip, unbelievable!
On my part, I only provided a bank certificate with P50, 000 and Transcript of Records. That’s all. I wasn’t sure if I would be granted a visa since it was a sponsored trip. Even though I was excited about the winter journey, physically and mentally I wasn’t prepared for that long haul trip to travel solo. I don’t have any winter clothes and shoes.
I submitted all my requirements at VFS Global near Ayala Center Cebu. It was after a month I got a package containing my passport and some papers. No visa on my passport but there was a letter of rejection.
Reason My Visa Got Denied
I don’t have any strong indication or proof going back to the Philippines because I don’t have any ITR, no business registration, not employed in the Philippines and no affiliation with any organizations. I am single, young and don’t have kids yet.
The good thing was my former client reimbursed the visa fee I paid. I told them that I also needed the money for the medication I had after the surgery.
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Even though I got denied for a Canada visa, I still had plan B in mind which was to go to Japan – another country which I also needed to get a tourist visa. I learned a lot from the rejection of a Canada visa that’s why I prepared myself by getting a Japan visa. So scrapped Canada in January 2015 and went to Japan in May 2015.
So scrapped Canada in January 2015 and went to Japan in May 2015.
After I had booked a flight to Japan, I came with an idea to travel solo to different countries in 2015. I booked a flight to Malaysia and Singapore for July and September 2015.
What Really Happened in 2015?
In January 2015, well, I was invited to Camotes Island and Manila. In Manila, we went to ABS-CBN for The Voice Combo Sing Off Season 2 as my friend won the contest. For one week we were treated like VIP. We got interviewed by Robi Domingo and shook hands with Coach Bamboo. I will blog more of this soon so here’s the photo for a sneak preview.
After my Japan trip in May 2015, I unexpectedly flew to Hong Kong in June from Tokyo since my original flight to Cebu left me. I pursued Malaysia in July and traveled to Thailand (only for a few days), I was back in Malaysia, and suddenly I got sad news back home (death of my father) that I had to go back to Cebu. My Southeast Asia solo backpacking trip was cut off short. I decided to fly back in September 2015, went to Penang, Malaysia, and Singapore. Guess what? I was able to go back to Japan to experience the autumn season.
In 2015, I was able to travel to five countries and the best thing was I was able to visit to Japan twice in a year because I love Japan.
Yes, I will blog individual travel experiences soon.
Related Article: Travel Summary in 2015
I wasn’t bitter when I got my Canada visa application denied because I prepared that it was going to happen knowing that I don’t have any proof to come back to the Philippines although I know for myself that I need not overstay in Canada. Somehow, I wasn’t ready emotionally and physically to travel after my surgery and to go on a long haul flight. I wasn’t willing to go alone because I still had no idea how to fly solo.
My solo travels to five countries in 2015 helped me to face my fear and got out of the comfort zone. Yes, I went solo to those countries that are very near the Philippines. I was able to work on a budget and enjoyed visiting some tourist attractions that are for free. I learned how to find cheap tickets. Through my solo trips, I am ready for new adventures. But first, I need to save money and work hard for it again.
So Canada, I’ll see you next time. 🙂
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Roxanne is an aspiring digital nomad. A virtual assistant since October 2009. She is a hobbyist blogger, photographer and travels a lot.