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!