A mentor from Beirut was coming to give a crash training in Dubai and I was tasked to book her in a hotel and secure her entry to UAE. She’s a Spanish national so I knew she’d be granted visa upon arrival at Dubai Airport (free of charge). I inquired at UAE’s Spanish Embassy and they confirmed that she doesn’t need a visa prior to entry. She, indeed, entered without worry.

In one of our small talks, I expressed how I envied Europeans for the privilege to go around the world without a care on visas- the internationally recognized gate pass. As I continued searching about the visa requirements for different nationalities to EU, the Schengen visa appealed more than any other visa types.

Why not? It’s a gate to one and an entry to multiple schengen countries (Austria, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands). Planning a backpack tour? Maria, my mentor, joined one of these tours, visiting Rome in Italy, Paris in  France yet spending a great amount of time and money in Greece.

The more I talked to Maria, the more I found her colorful. She’s caring but wouldn’t give a rat (sh**) asserting her rights. She’s very observant and she loves teasing me (as I seem to believe everything). On the second night I walked her home, she called me ‘my friend’… music to my ears.

I’m pretty sure I’ll miss her.

For more info on Schengen visa, pls. click here.


By Issa

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