JenSop: The Singing Traveler!

Idealist. Dreamer. Singer. Explorer.

Why I had to come back to the States for a bit…

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I’m going to try to make this post brief, but I did want to address something that I’m realizing not everyone is aware of… that I’m currently back in the USA.  I touched on this in my last blog entry, but not everyone saw it.


Long story short…  Americans can only be in Europe (European Union to be specific, or “EU”) for 90 days in a 6 month period.  They call it a “tourist visa” but it’s just an implied visa.  You DO NOT need to get a visa to go to Europe if you are an American citizen.  (They just call it a tourist visa.)  If you want to stay longer than three months, well, then you start running into difficulties.  You either need to get some kind of work visa and/or a residency permit.   In some countries this is darn near impossible.  (As I found out in Austria.)  You can also get a student visa, but that’s a whole other can of worms…


HOWEVER, all the countries in the EU have different requirements for citizenship, and depending on your family’s ancestry, this can work in your favor.  I already mentioned in another entry how Austria is super strict, and it didn’t matter that my dad was born there and spent the first 5 years of his life there.  Nope.  No dual citizenship for me!  BUT, his parents were born in Hungary, and Hungary allows for descendants to apply for citizenship.  (Their town eventually became part of Romania, but it was Hungary at the time of their birth.)  I didn’t find out about all of this until later in my stay in Europe, but I DID find out about it in time, and I got the application in before I left to come back to the USA.  So now I’m just waiting for my application to go through.  Should be a few months.  In the meantime, I have to keep working on my Hungarian, as that’s part of the deal of citizenship.  (It’s an incredibly difficult language.)  But eventually this all means that I will be a dual citizen of both the US and Hungary.  Hungary is in the EU.  So it means I will be allowed to live and work anywhere in the EU without time limits or needing a visa.


As you all know, I’ve been wanting to make the move to Europe for quite some time, but now it’s doubly important, as I want to be closer to Miloš.  It’s not just about the singing anymore.  I’ve realized there can be things in life more important than singing.  (Non-singers might not really get that statement, but singers KNOW what I’m talking about.  Many singers never find anything more important than singing in their lives.  It’s kind of a big deal to feel that way.)   So even if Miloš is on the ship working for the season, I’ll at least be on the same continent and can feasibly visit him, instead of having to go months at a time without seeing each other.  (Like I was able to visit him in Cologne and Paris while I was still over there.)  I just can’t stand having this ocean between us.  Hopefully this will be the last season that we’ll have to go months on end without being together.


Anyway, in the meantime, I’m home in PA trying to find more work (currently substitute teaching while doing the travel agent thing) and will be happy to visit with family and friends while I am here.   I’m looking to find some voice students again while I’m here, so let me know if you’re interested.  And it’s all a part of counting down now until I’m back in Europe – river cruise on the Rhine with my family, then straight to Croatia for Miloš’ vacation, then back to Vienna to visit friends before heading back to the USA for awhile.  Hopefully it won’t be long after that, that I’ll be able to pick up my citizenship certificate and apply for my foreign passport!




Author: JenSop

One of my favorite quotes is, "If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough." I guess I've been a dreamer all my life - I set my sights high and then I try to reach the sky. Some might call me a naive idealist, but that's just the way I am. I believe in always taking the high road, I believe in true love, and I believe in treating people the way you want to be treated. If you put good out into the world, good will come back to you! Being the dreamer that I am, I pursued singing as my primary life's calling - I've got two degrees in classical voice under my belt, and I sing just about anything under the sun. I also love a good adventure. Over the past few years, I've done quite a bit of world traveling, and have even lived abroad for stretches at a time: mostly in Vienna (Austria) and Croatia. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, and I became a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. (Seriously, I KNOW Disney - I've been going regularly since I was a little girl - and I LOVE it!) And with all my experience traveling and living in Europe, I'm becoming quite the specialist in that travel category as well. (And last year, I started working as a Tour Director in Central Europe!) As to the other juicy details of my life - I'm originally from Pennsylvania, I'm married to an awesome Croatian man named Miloš who is the BEST adventure partner a girl could ask for. (He's also an expert on knowing how to make me smile.) He's truly the love of my life! I've also had all kinds of other jobs along the way, besides singer and travel pro. (Which is pretty standard for those of us who went to school for music.) I've worked part time weekends as a Disney Princess look-alike for children's parties. I've been teaching for almost 20 years, and have lots of experience in retail and customer service. Oh, and I should also probably mention that I'm a huge Lord of the Rings/Star Trek nerd! :-) Let's all go along for an adventure, shall we?

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