Sunday, October 6, 2013

UK and the Schengen Zone.. Long-term Travellers Need to Be Mathematicians!

I swear, this journey has so far had the BIGGEST learning curve! And of course, the REAL learning doesn't begin until i step off that plane in the spring! But...

Until last night, i thought that i had 3 months for EACH of the countries in the Schengen Zone (Google is your friend)! Talk about naive and misinformed! I have 3 months TOTAL for the WHOLE AREA!

I HAD planned on using my 6 months allowed in the UK for spring and summer, then in the fall, heading into the Schengen Area and spending anywhere from a month or three in every country, indefinitely! Hehehe.. oh man.. *shakes head* *sigh* So yeah, this new info CHANGES EVERYTHING!!

So.. here's the NEW IMPROVED low-down.

Once i step off the plane in London, my 12 Month UK Time-clock begins, with 6 months allowed to stay. Then, ASAP, the next day or so, take a small trip to Paris, which will start my 6 Month Schengen Time-clock, with 3 months allowed to stay. In/out privileges, as long as i don't go over the amount allotted.

THAT way, i can take a bunch of side trips into Europe during my 6 months in the UK, and when that time is up and i MUST leave the UK, my 6 Month Schengen Time-clock will be finished, and i can start a NEW 6 Month Schengen Time-clock.

Then i'll do a few countries... starting in Iceland for the aurora?... Germany for Oktoberfest?... Italy to Greece, ending up in Barcelona, Spain for xmas. It's all timed for xmas in Barcelona because, well, where ELSE in the world are there not one, but (count-em) TWO POO-related christmas traditions?? I just can't miss out on that bizarre cultural experience!

Which leaves me 3 months left in BOTH my UK Time-clock and my Schengen Time-clock, and i can't step foot in ANY of the countries!

So... i'll have to head elsewhere.. outside of the area for 3 months. Morocco? India? Macedonia?  And then.. we'll see from there whether i go BACK and start my Time-clocks again to travel around the countries i missed, or something totally different. I guess i'll find out when the time comes. IF it comes and i haven't chickened out long before then!

And.. if i think about it.. my little trips into Europe while i'm in the UK, means those weeks will not be clocked, so.. i can add them to my 6 months allowed! IE: I spend 1 week in Paris, 1 week in Amsterdam and 1 week in Berlin. That's 3 weeks that i didn't spend in the UK, so.. i can stay 3 weeks longer than the end of the summer! IF i wanted to. OR after my 3 months are up from my 2nd Schengen Time-clock, because i'll still have 3 months left in my UK Time-clock.

Does it all sound complicated? It IS! (OR, maybe i'm just not explaining it well).  But anyway.. like i said.. long-term travellers need to be mathematicians!