I can’t begin to explain how many steps are involved with getting ready to move to China… This one was optional, but yesterday we hopped in the car and drove to Canada. Yes, we drove to Canada so we can, ultimately, fly to China. It was a long car trip because we got there, achieved our goal, and drove back. No fun stops, no Niagara Falls, no time to enjoy weather about ten degrees cooler than western PA. Just there and back.
So why did we drive to Canada? Because we needed to do in-person interviews with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. We enrolled in the Global Entry program, which is for people who travel abroad often. With it, you get a “known traveler number” to use when booking airline tickets. This number indicates that you’re part of the program and you get to bypass a lot of the hullabaloo of immigration and customs when you’re returning to the U.S. It also gets you that glorious TSA Pre-check status for airport security. For me and Andy, the biggest part is not having to take off our shoes in the airport! (Silly, I know, but we are excited about that!)
The process is pretty straightforward–application, conditional approval, interview, approval–but we couldn’t find any local offices with available appointments. Some didn’t have any appointments until next year! I began scanning the list of options for any offices with availabilities. I found the one in Fort Erie, which is within (reasonable) driving distance. I booked the appointments and away we went. The interviews were simple and our officers were helpful and so kind.
We’re excited to see how the program will help us with our travels over the next few years. I can only hope that it makes coming and going easier. 🙂