I saw a few posts on Facebook and elsewhere about visa-free travel and decided to investigate. Visa-free travel means you can enter certain countries with only your passport.
Don’t confuse the word “visa” with “VISA”, the latter being a type of bank card. Passports cost money, so visa-free doesn’t mean completely free.
The best places to look today are two different Wikipedia articles. The first is “Visa requirements for United States citizens” and the second is “Visa requirements for Philippine citizens”. Americans can travel to 186 countries without a visa or with a visa obtained on arrival. Filipinos can only travel to 63 countries without a visa or with a visa obtained on arrival.
For my purposes, I only need to look at the second list. As far as I can tell, Americans can travel to any visa-free country Filipinos can travel to. Even then, there are very few countries that I’d even consider traveling to. And those include countries I’ve already visited for one reason or another.
I talked to Josie (my wife) about her or both of us traveling to other countries with one or more of her siblings or in-laws after we return from the United States. That would probably take place in five or six years, after we both start drawing our social security pensions.
Only two or three our relatives have Filipino passports. None of her brothers or sisters have one. It’s impossible to get one without a PSA (formerly NSO) certified birth certificate. Josie has at least two sisters with invalid birth certificates that have to be corrected in Tacloban City, where they were born. That’s on a different island.
Passports aren’t too expensive but we would have to pay for them. I’d probably have to fill out the applications and make the appointments for them. I’m sure I’d have to pay for the trip, for all parties involved.
I’m considering a trip to Hong Kong, Singapore or Thailand, but only for a week or two. I’ve never been to Thailand. It may just be fanciful thinking, a pipe dream. Something always seems to come up when we want to get out of this place, even if only for a few days.