Thursday, December 13, 2007

Schengen Sucks

Why am I pissed at a small wine-making town in Luxembourg? Because that is where the Schengen Agreement was signed. For a while now, we have been planning extended (i.e. a year or so) travel in Europe, and this particular agreement is throwing a big wrench into our plans.

The agreement allows open borders between most of the European Union and essentially makes them seem like one big country to foreign travelers. That doesn't seem bad, until you look into visa issues. The problem is that now that the EU countries are all nice and friendly with each other, they limit your travel visa time in the region as a whole. You can only spend 3 months in Schengen countries before you need to leave. And you need to leave for at least another 3 months before you can come back.

This, of course, makes it very difficult to do extended travel in Europe. There are special visas that you can get, but the process seems very difficult, potentially expensive, and not guaranteed to end successfully.

So, screw Schengen (at least for now). We're off to D.F.

1 comment:

  1. We are living this unfortunate circumstance right now : I thought as a person working hard to earn a living throughout my life bringing my resources to these nations would be welcomed with open arms!!! THINK AGAIN... before you attempt this today : this is not the "Good Old Days" anymore! This type of travel is over for us! If any European person wants to be in my country they are given 6 months and then can hop over to US/Canada. For us it is 3 months in all 21 countries!!! And the rules are so vague, unprescribed it is really hard to no the little rules and regulations. For example if you travel to China for vacation you get 6 months! You know when you have overstayed! Its simple mark the date on the calender. But when you are doing what me and wife are HAVE FUN.... No one talks of it, mentions it or can even reiterate the rules to you! This way as you move from country to country with all your various stamps (or no stamps) its like you are playing a game. Even couple months a new country signs on and no one ever tells you what countries are or are not with any degree of formality! This leaves it to a guessing game. With the maximum penalty of imprisonment!!!! I am peaceful person I love these countries and I always follow rules and policies but this is a real gamble today and no one from north america / Australia, nz seems to know anything about this.

    It not only Sucks it doesn't make sense for their economies. It seems illogical and it makes peaceful people feel like a refugee when traveling!!!

    Presently I am enjoying beautiful Croatia outside the Schengen region. But not next year ! So the old idea about getting a camper and traveling Europe is out folks !!! For real because the only country you can buy a vehicle in and actually own it is England so when you go out on your trip DONT go NORTH !!! Are you crazy no one can communicate when your time is almost up so as the clock ticks you better pray you didn't bring a vehicle from home or buy something nice in England because you might get booted out and have to deal with whatever someone is going to give you for you vehicle This can be the biggest expense of your life when you factor HUGE fines, shipping the vehicle through a third party or even imprisonment!!!!

    So think twice before making travel plans in Europe those days are over than to this agreement. And as time passes our children will be forced flee to countries we have not been conditioned to travel ie, middle east/africa. Especially with an expensive camper that can't take underdeveloped roads!!!!!

    Bottom line is I never actually though it was real and now I am stuck in the middle of it. Waiting for the day that some border agents says

    "Welcome to _______, you may have never been here before but you have already overstayed you welcome. And to turn back is not an option either!!!" This is not a circumstance anyone from North America/Australia NZ has ever prepared for !!!

    So good luck to you all but the free world is an oxymoron to me!


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