America is giving me the cold shoulder – again.

Obviously, I couldn’t get the Pacific Crest Trail off my mind just like that. After my visa application got rejected I decided to do research. Clearly, and I must confess here with red cheeks, I wasn’t prepared for the interview at all. I totally underestimated the importance, thought it was just a formality, answering a few questions and voila, done, visa in the pocket. Boy was I wrong. The United States of America holds every visa applicant for a potential immigrant. So I had to prove their wrong and my right.

I thought immigrants were desperate Cubans and Mexicans, floating on a raft in the ocean, making their way to the land of milk and honey.

So this potential immigrant decided to apply again. And pay the fee of $200 again. And going over a lot of effort this time. I started to assemble all the documents that were necessary to prove my (economic) bonds with the Netherlands. First, I met Apple Pie, a Dutch woman who lives in the US but happened to be in the Netherlands for family matters, and thru-hiked the PCT a few years back. She wanted to help me by giving me tips for the interview. I got help from another Dutch friend who lives in the US, who works as a lawyer, consultant and politician and who supported me with providing feedback on the documents.

On the day of the interview I was well prepared, on time and nicely dressed. I had signed recommendation letters of all my clients with me, stating they expected me back in October, brought bank statements, an excerpt of the Chamber of Commerce, a house certificate, itinerary, budget and a very detailed re-supply strategy plan for the PCT. They were not in the least interested in any of the documents I had with me and within 90 seconds I was standing outside again. An empty passport in my hands.

My dream got stuck, somewhere between the gutter and the stars.





  1. Hello Viola.

    I feel so pitty for you, and at the same, so angry for what happened to you. My first reaction is a negative (and an agressive one), but I quickly turn it to a positive one: why don´t you try another trail in the world? In fact, the personal experience and physical challenge would be comparative.

    Big kiss.

    1. Hi Jon! Thank you for your kind words. Yes, a lot of people suggest that I should hike another trail. It’s very interesting that I only have one trail on my mind, the PCT. For so long, maybe for 15 years now? And very coincidentally, this trail runs through the United States. And now that the US is giving me a very hard time to do this, makes me want to work for it even harder. To be continued :-) Big kiss back!

  2. This is terrible, I knew it was hard to get a US visa, but this was the first time I heard someone’s personal story. It seems like you will need to find some sort of silly “Full Time” job for the officials to give you the time of day. I hope you get to hit the PCT someday soon, best wishes!

    1. Thanks for your friendly message Denise! Yes US customs are very strict when it comes to granting visas. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I will hit the PCT one day! All my best.

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