Maps rock.  They tell you so much about where you are, how to get where you need to be, what to expect along the way.  I love them.  This post is dedicated to maps.



Here you see THE WORLD.  It’s color coded to show where visas are necessary for US passport holders before arrival (RED), where you can get a visa upon arrival (light GREEN) and where you don’t need a visa AT ALL (dark GREEN).  Oh, and then they didn’t want the US to feel left out so they made us BLUE.  See RUSSIA?  You know, the largest blob on earth?  That huge RED mass?  Yeah, I have to get a visa prior to departure, so it’s going to be a while (the process will be explained in a later post), probably 4-8 weeks.

If you could count up all of the dark and light green countries, there are 187 of them.  So basically, A LOT of them.  South Korea?  Dark Green.  That’s why they expected me to up and leave so quickly!  I get it!

Next let’s zoom in on that pretty blue.  Only, upon further inspection, it’s not just blue!  It’s many colors now, to show the jurisdictional territories of the Russian Federation Consulates.

If you can ignore the colors of the stars, each color group is under the jurisdiction of the consulate in the city with the star in each color (mouthfull!).  As you can see in this map, Wisconsin is under the jurisdiction of the consulate in Seattle.  So, if I elect to present my documents in person I have to go to Seattle.  And that would be just amazingpleaseletmedoit awful, expensive and time consuming.

If you want to mail in your documents, you must send them to Washington, D.C., through a third party company.  I don’t really want to do this because ilovepatsybrianmaddyandfriendsandseattle I don’t trust my passport and other important documents in the mail, I didn’t even trust it when I thought I was sending them directly to the consulate, much less now when I have to send them through a third party.

Finally, here is a map of St. Petersburg.  You can see how the city might be called ‘The Venice of the North’, with all of it’s canals and western European style buildings.

I am all map happy and excited, can you tell?