Time Off with No Passport

My employment on a series I’ve been on since June 13 came to an abrupt end yesterday afternoon when we kept hitting legal walls with our talent and locations. It became apparent that nothing would materialize before Monday, the day we were scheduled to shoot, and so, I cleaned off my desk and left, with no employment on the books until I return from my trip to South America on January 11th.

A few weeks ago, I would’ve lept at the opportunity to have a full 2 months off — hello, more travel time! — but as it became apparent that I’d only have 3 weeks off around Christmas, I focused solely on my South America trip and finally began obtaining the dreaded Brazilian visa, and was grateful for the work at a time of year that traditionally has been dead.

The Brazilian Visa

There are several Brazilian consulates scattered across the United States – probably 6 or 8 in total – and they each cover a jurisdiction consisting of the surrounding 4-5 states. It takes 10-12 business days on average to process a Brazilian visa, with the exception of Atlanta, which takes a whopping 20-22 business days. I realized with horror that Tennessee falls under Atlanta’s jurisdiction. I’m joined at the hip to my passport — the thought of being without it for one month was terrifying to me. I pleaded with the folks at Travisa to allow me to send my application to Texas, which had a much quicker turnaround time, but was denied. Due to my work schedule, I knew I couldn’t pop down to Atlanta and try to get it done faster, so I conceded and mailed off the requirements to Travisa’s Atlanta office with a pleasant “Thank You!” note in hopes it would brighten the spirits of the consulate and they’d process my visa a bit faster.

No luck. Travisa sent me an e-mail on November 1st letting me know my documents had been received and dropped off at the Brazilian consulate, and they would be picked up on November 28th.

Well, whatever. I was to be in Nashville working, anyway, what would I need a passport for?…

The Brazilian consulate in Atlanta, where my passport is being held captive for the next 3 weeks.         (Thanks, Google street view!)


Hello, Free Time

With the legal debacles at work, I find myself sitting at home on the couch on a Friday already bored out of my mind. I’ve told myself all year that whenever I would be presented with a solid 2 weeks off, I was going to dart off to Costa Rica and hang out and get my Latin bearings. Now, I finally am given the opportunity to take off for 12-16 days without having to provide anyone with an explanation, and I have no friggin passport!

Fortunately, I live in a huge country and not in Liechtenstein, so I’m exploring domestic options. For some inexplicable reason, plane tickets to the West Coast are $500+. Gunner is very busy for the next week in Hattiesburg. I’m thinkin’ about going on a road trip to Texas and exploring Austin and San Antonio, then on to spending four days in Hattiesburg and then Atlanta for Thanksgiving. It’s 2,300 miles, my car is a gas guzzler, and my budget would be less than $1k.

Planning a “Thanksgiving” Road Trip

As for today, I’ll breathe.

Before I commit to darting off, I’m going to spend today off. Just thinking, hanging out, plotting. If nothing in Nashville happens by the weekend, I may hop in the car and be gone for a bit. Freedom, I’ve missed you, but after steady employment for 22 weeks, I’m a bit intimidated by you!

Author: Laryssa

Laryssa has spent 6+ years working on an assortment of film and television projects. She writes about her experiences to help (and amuse) others. If she's not working, she's either traveling, reading or writing about travel, or planning travel. Follow , Twitter, or Facebook.

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