For a traveler like me, who measures his life not by the number of years i live, but by the count of countries i visit, this may have been adverse. Being such a beautiful and pristine country, who would want to miss Scotland, just because visa regimes became strict, if it were. Currently, anyone who has United Kingdom (UK) visa can enter Scotland. And few fortunate ones do not even require a UK visa. When you are traveling from Britain to Scotland by road or rail, you do not have an immigration checkpoint at the border (Actually, there is nothing called Border between Britain and Scotland!).
You may touch down upon Heathrow Airport or Edinburgh airport, immigration checks are similar. Your UK visa is valid, everywhere. (Read how my USA visa on my Indian passport allowed me entry into Mexico)
But as things existed till yesterday, fate of my Scotland visa was hanging by a razor-thin margin. What if after independence and becoming a sovereign country, Scots had imposed a strict visa norms? What if for some nationalities, you had to take visa before landing on Scotland airports? Your UK visa were not sufficient to enter the land of bagpipers? More hassles, more preparations, more waiting time before you embark on your trip, more Google search for visa norms. Whether Scots will allow visa-on-arrival or free visa regime or a stay of 30-days or 90-days, would have occupied another extra and unwelcoming ‘row’ in your excel sheet of bucket-list countries. Plan for Scottish currency, rather than just relax with the thought that you have sufficient Pounds left after roaming around Britain. Were i to miss those splendid castles, or seeing the Scottish pride – unicorns- or play on the cradle of golf at St. Andrews or sit quietly perched on that cobbled and derelict bridges, set against a picturesque countryside. Oh my God! Mere thought of all these obvious manifestations in my mind had me jittery, only till yesterday. Like every other Brit and Scot, i also had my own fear and anxiety.
Result: I was awake late yesterday night, just to witness LIVE if Scots had voted for a visa regime or a world free of visas.
A traveler and explorer like me, would love to see a tomorrow where every country opens up its doors and windows – no boundaries – with no visas required, and wings to fly. Till then, i will sit on my couch with Scotch whisky in my hand, and watch the seasons change its colors, with ease and tranquility.
Photo courtesy: Google
This post is purely from the perspective of an individual’s travel and does not attempt to degrade or demean anyone’s rights and hence, should not be misconstrued or viewed in any other form.
Do let me know your thoughts on this. Do you support a visa-free travel? Have you ever envisioned a world where visa will be a thing of the past?