I was delighted to be here in Madrid. It was not an easy decision. I was still concerned about traveling abroad given the resurgence of covid cases in many countries, especially Europe. But I took courage, and once I had decided, I went through all the requirements and started putting together what I needed.
I thought it would be stressful, but I found out that doing the conditions was easy. I had my proof of double vaccination. Spain requires beyond this proof filling up a health form which is available online and easy to do. Just make sure you have all your documents with you. Immediately after you have submitted the completed form, Spain sends a QR Code which you can save on your phone or print.
I took a rapid antigen test to ensure that if the airline required it, I had it, but this was not the case. For my peace of mind, it was necessary. As I was transiting in Lisbon, I had to fill up the Passenger Locator Form, and just like the one in Spain, Portugal sends a QR code that you print or save on your phone. This process proved to be a bit of a hassle as I did not immediately realize that because I was transiting, I needed to put the postal code of the airport. In the end, it didn't look as if it was necessary, but I felt prepared. Someone told me to have it with me just in case someone asks for it.
When I arrived at the Adolfo Suarez Barajas airport, they only looked at the Health Form and nothing more. It was so easy as there were none of the usual lineups for the passport check.
I was pleasantly surprised. The only drawback was the loss of one of my suitcases. It was left in Lisbon during the transfer but having had this experience before, I just went to the Lost luggage and was told it was in Lisbon. I filled up the form and left confident that I would get it the next day, and I did.
The trip was far from stressful, not beyond what we usually experience on trips such as these. Now, I enjoy a different environment, sunny and pleasant with good food and, yes, coffee. I was glad I took the plunge.
This week, many countries added travel restrictions because of the new covid variant found in the southern part of Africa. I'm here now and will stay for a month or two to enjoy nice weather, different culture, a new environment, delicious food, and varied acquaintances.
Taking risks often pays off. It made me worried a bit before my departure, but I did the requirements one at a time and relaxed before my trip. It turned out to be relatively easy.
Before filling up the form required by Spain and Portugal, you need to have your Airline seat number. You can go to your airline website to choose your seat if you don't yet have it. You can do this before you check in.
It is also better for you to go to the airport early. I was at the airport three hours before my flight, so I was the first in line to check my luggage in with the airline. Even at security, there was yet no long line making it very easy to navigate.
The only thing I still haven't learned even after years of travel is the weight of my carry-on. It is within what's required, but it is heavy for me. I constantly reminded myself to bring a suitcase that I could roll, but I tended to fill this up with more things, making it hard to put it in the airline overhead bin because of my height. This time, the airline overhead bin is within my easy reach. I wish I had brought one that I could roll because carrying the bag on a long walk to the gate was a challenge. There are always people willing to help put it up anyway.
I was glad I brought an adapter, so I immediately plugged in my devices when I arrived-without hassle and stress. So, remember to prepare the things you need at your destination. Have a checklist before you pack, and make sure you have these things in your suitcase.
If you want to go somewhere new and you are allowed entry, take the risk and enjoy. It's doable, even easy.