Thursday, April 11, 2013

When the Embassy Said Yes


Some time ago, I blogged on the process of applying for a tourist visa to Pakistan. Since then, I thought it prudent to keep my Pakistan trip on the down-low until after I returned safely to American. I mean, I’m sure none of the ten people who actually read this blog are forwarding my information to the Taliban, but I suppose you can’t be too careful.

Well, at this time I want to briefly relive the joyous moment when the embassy said yes.

My visa was approved in an unexpectedly short amount of time, ONE DAY  – to be exact, and then I could finally say the phrase “I’m going to Pakistan” without the awkward preface of, “well my visa hasn’t been approved but…”
Although, my declaration was soon replaced by another awkward preface. 
"Holy shit. I am really going to Pakistan."

Surprisingly (or perhaps, not surprisingly), once everything was  finalized I no longer had ay doubts about the trip. Somehow, having to go through this formal process alleviated my concerns about safety.

I had not been able to find any information about Pakistan through travel bloggers. All of the usual blogs I follow do not cover Pakistan, and after must Google searching, I have come across only a handful of thorough and candid accounts.

One such portrait of Pakistan, by journalist Amy Heardy, made me want to turn around and run the other way. Security guards, food poisoning, anti-American slanders at what is supposed to be a multicultural party. And she was on a business trip for crying out loud. I’m not sure what to think about all that. For someone who teaches her journalism students not to interject their own bias into reporting, her blog is sure riddled with bias. But on the other hand, this is her personal memoir, (how can it not be biased?) and I appreciate her honesty in sharing her experiences. After all, she is one of the only Western women blogging her travels about Pakistan.

Recently women have come under a lot of heat for travelingalone, so I want my journey to inspire readers. I hope one day that my modest presence on candidanimal becomes a resource for someone looking to go where relatively few young, American females have gone.

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