American passport– I’ll preface this article by saying that I know I will get lots of hate mail after publishing. Let me just squash all of the “You’re so irresponsible” comments now. Take a look at the photo below for a look at what European Social Distancing looks like as of June 18, 2020. Please note, my trip has been spent mostly in lonely alleyways, country roads, and wilderness trails. I mean you no germy threat by traveling. Now, I do have a conscience. So PROMISE me that if you use this information, that you will be 98.8% positive that you do NOT have this plague that could kill people. Get a negative test before leaving; I got tested TWICE. Also promise me that you will stay away from crowds, clubbing, and far away from hotel reception workers. Oh, and keep your hands clean enough to perform surgery at all times. Deal?
I will also add, that most critics don’t know me, or my circumstances. I assure you, I’ve done my part to make sure that I am not spreading germs in my travels. Now that we’ve got that out of the way . . . (haters can stop reading here and just contact me raging). But for the rest of us, the few, who really want to get into the European Union this summer, here’s how I did it:
With a restricted passport, we cannot enter the EU whatsoever without being a citizen. I found a way to circumvent that. It’s a loophole through the red tape. It’s the equivalent of what a child would do to get their way: ask mom, mom said no, then go to dad and get your way. Know what I’m talking about? Croatia was closed except to EU citizens and it’s neighbor, Serbia. The loophole however, is that Croatia would allow transit passage though to other countries based on circumstance. Slovenia was open to EU citizens and the land border was open with Croatia. Traveling by land creates enough of a gray area where the border guards have the discretion to look at where you are coming from as opposed to what passport you hold. This information took months to figure out. Information was convoluted and confusing online. Even the embassies told me that getting into the EU was impossible!
Step 1: Book flight into Serbia (I flew from JFK). Serbia is open without any restrictions. Stay in Serbia long enough to know you aren’t sick. Be responsible.
Step 2: Rent car at Serbia airport. Tell them that you want to take the car to other countries. Make sure you get international paperwork.
Step 3: Ahead of time, print Croatian paperwork. Also ahead of time, book accommodations in Slovenia. Make sure you look physically well and dress classy for best impressions. We wore our nicest clothes.
Step 4: Drive to the boarder crossing with Croatia. I used the Backa Palanka (Serbia side) / Ilok (Croatia side) crossing. Be overly friendly and overly cooperative. Smile! No irregular questions asked. “Where are you going?” Say Lake Bled, In Slovenia. Stamp. Stamp. IN! But friendly boarder police did do a number on my perfectly packed backpack. We got a good laugh at my tampons (TMI) Hey, your girl packed enough for 3 months after not being able to find any in Africa a few months ago. Boarder police also didn’t like my pain medication I packed because even though I’m not taking it, I broke part of my back a few months ago. I promise I’m not an Oxy smuggler dude.
Step 5: Free to enter other EU countries because you have already entered.
Celebrate! You are in the EU and *should* be able to move around in EU countries. I’m here to social distance while country collecting.
Comment below if you want updates on my future border crossings, if I get turned away, or cleared to go in. Or follow me on Instagram. I’m backpacking 80 days around the world. And Corona Virus hasn’t stopped me yet.
Be FREE! When there is a will, there is a way. Happy travels. Light, peace, and wellness,