I am probably among the last participants at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Santo Domingo this summer, to scan my sketches from the event, but here goes.
I´m starting out with these sketches from the journey between Stockholm and JFK. I was very close to not getting on that plane at all. Surprisingly, I found out at the check-in counter, that you had to have a visa to even change planes in the US. I thought I was just going to walk through a transit terminal there, but nope. I can´t believe I had not seen that info anywhere, or heard it from someone!
I got the advice from the check-in personnel to try to do a quick visa application online in the nearest internet café – with a bit of luck it might be approved quickly. So I did. In that process, that took much too long, my credit card was denied to pay for the visa application – same credit card that I had just bought time in the internet café with – and I almost lost my voice because my mouth went too dry. (The first time I have ever had a real physical reaction to stress! Very weird.)
Anyway, to make this long and stressful story a little shorter and more harmonious, I got hold of my brother on the phone, and he was able to log in and pay for my visa application. I had already given up and started thinking that “huh, who would have thought that after all this preparation and anticipation, I´m actually not going to go on this trip!”, but as soon as he had paid, we got the message that my application was approved. Don´t you just love when little miracles like that happen? : )
I dashed off to the check-in counter again, was almost stopped because it was really too late to check in, but in the end they let me through (they probably saw that I was just about to start crying or something…). My gate was at the other end of the airport (of course), so I had to run to get there, but I did get on the plane. Phew.
Once at JFK, I got a glimpse of New York City from a café window. I have never been to New York before, but it is my next big must-go on my travel wish list, so I was happy to at least get the opportunity to sketch it from afar.