Do you pack a what-if item in your bag? You know, the ones that you put in your suitcase or backpack just in case? I’m one of those. My what-if items are photocopies of my passport, birth certificate, and business registration. I also keep a couple of passport-sized photos. You know, just in case.
My what-if packing finally paid off this week, when I had to apply for a Chinese tourist visa in Melbourne. A scheduled trip to Hong Kong in September was suddenly altered to include a side trip to Guangzhou, in the Guandong Province of China. While I can travel visa-free to Hong Kong, the Chinese government requires me to apply for a visa prior to crossing the border. Applying for a visa should be easy enough, as I already have most of the documents on hand, but with only 12 days in Manila, four of which are weekends, I am cutting it way too close if I’m going to wait to apply until I get home.