Vegas No More

Four years ago, I was lucky to get a US visa. No, please don’t ask me how I did it because my office applied it for me. They prepared all my documents and all I had to do was to show up at the embassy where I flashed my googely eyes. When my business trip did not push through, I did not have any reasons to go there, thus, the visa is still unused up till now. I always thought the cost would be too much for me to absorb and I can always use the money to gallivant around Asia for months. I have six more years to burn before it expires.

Then a few months ago, the significant other and I started making plans for our bi-annual vacation. A friend of his is scheduled to get married in Vegas in September and I was curiously happy with the prospect of visiting the US, given that I don’t have the urge to see anything (well, maybe Jack Karouac’s hometown, New York and Broadway, and maybe Louisiana for the blues… ok that’s a lot) at all. We started checking flights and we started to Look for Hotels. Heck, I even started thinking of ways on how to tell my boss that I am filing for yet another month of leave and ways on how to survive when she raises the axe to decapitate me.

The plan was simple. Fly to LAX and see the Universal Studios and Sunset Boulevard, maybe side-step to Music Center. We’ll rent a combi to drive to Vegas where we’ll spend a week with the newly-weds and waste precious hard-earned money on casinos, maybe see can-can girls dancing. After seven days of getting wasted, we’ll drive to San Francisco and visit City Lights bookstore where I’ll drown myself in Beat Poetry. Of course, I’d like to ride the cable cars and play Dr. Godspeed on Alcatraz

It was the perfect plan. Then a few months back, some German friends visited the Philippines and invited us to go to Komodo Island instead. I had to weigh the options. My fare to the US alone is my entire budget if I stay in Asia. Clearly, that’s all the reason I need. In the end, I decided (yes, he did not acknowledge that we both made the decision) to go back to Indonesia. With my money, I can cover Singapore, Bali (again, yey!), Lombok, Komodo, Sulawesi, and Malaysia this coming October. And yes, this will still be a month-long trip.

It is always funny when I get interviewed in Immigration counters. They’d always ask why I do not go to the US even if I can. I’d always smile and say I like maximizing my money. I know that there will come a time when I’d be filthy rich and I can surely spend for a US trip without batting an eyelash. But for now, I’ll stay in Asia. Vegas, you will have to wait…

Have you ever had the chance to visit a country and decided not push through because of costs?


  • http://www.epicpotato.com Lauren Gaile

    Yaay. Quite a practical post Monette! 😀

    No worries, Vegas is and will always be there. 😛 Just enjoy asia– quality and quantity is there! 😀

    Plus the entire capitalist structure of the US is enough to drain even the fattest wallets 😛

  • http://fliptravels.com/ flip’n travels

    lauren, dear… i am normally not practical, haha! but i really had to choose. culture-wise, i like asia. but i know there’s also much to see in the US. soon! dadalawin ka pa namin ni ron sa canada!

  • http://missbackpacker.info Kaiz

    If there’s plan A (Vegas), there’s plan B (Singapore, Bali, Lombok, Komodo, Sulawesi, and Malaysia). But then there’s plan C, D, E, and blah blah blah. There’s still hope for Vegas. <3

  • http://www.married2travel.com Sheila

    Good choice. I would rather stay in Asia. My husband and I are already panicking about going back to New York in October. It’s too expensive, but we miss our family and dog.

  • Upper

    Well, there may be too many misconceptions abt the US being too commercialized or a plain rip-off, but it’s actually fun to travel there. The vibe of the cities, beautiful landscapes, road tripping, and rollercoaster hopping (always a must for me!!!! hahahaha) are just too much fun! Plus, easy sidetrips to Mexico + Alaska = ?! I think it’s still worth a visit (even not yet now) :)

  • http://visa-freeworld.blogspot.com/ Carlo

    Vegas ain’t going no where :) though I must admit doing road trips in the USA is arguably one of the best, or if not riding greyhound buses is a great experience to keep.

  • http://www.senyorita.net Micamyx|Senyorita

    I have a feeling you’d use the US visa in two years… with me in tow 😛 #charaught

    Use the money for Morocco and Mongolia muna 😛

  • http://atufflife.blogspot.com Andy

    oh, the significant other. hehe.

    I have that dilemma to when my project was cancelled though I was given a visa. They suggest me to go there and mag-TNT but the heck, papahirapan ko pa ang buhay ko.

    True enough, instead of spending my money in the US alone, i can travel Asia. :)

  • http://www.travelfillers.com/ killerfillers

    Good choice I’d rather visit places in Asia first. Namulubi din ako dyan sa US kahit sponsored na ng company yung trip.Hehe

  • http://fliptravels.com/ flip’n travels

    @kaiz: true, true! lol!
    @shiela: awesome place, new york!but if your family and dog are there, you forget about the budget and fly the soonest!
    @upper: so true! one of the reasons why i don’t want to travel US is the possibility of getting stuck with a psychopath… i watch too much crime investigation channel… lol!
    @carlo: i love land travel! grayhound may be a good idea, but i’d really like to try renting an rv!
    @mica: i like morocco!!! tara!
    @andy: true! at bakit magt TNT? sarap kaya ng buhay dito sa pinas (well, sometimes) haha!
    @killerfillers: ay totoo, ciempre di naman pwede umalis ka na lang ng wala kang binibili diba? at mamamasyal ka pa, haha!

  • kendrix kyle

    USA is not expensive. i think that’s a misconception. vegas has the cheapest hotels in all the places i’ve been. i stayed in monte carlo for 3 days at 59$ per night. the other hotels like venetian, caesars mgm are also less than $100. mas mahal pa ang hotel 81 sa bencoleen.. hehe. 1st time commenter here

  • http://fliptravels.com/ flip’n travels

    59$ for 3 days?!?!?! talaga?! actually, i have another reason why i’m hesitatnt to visit, and please don’t tell me i’m paranoid. lately, i have been watching CI non-stop. but i know US is a safe place, generally… anyhoo, thanks for droping by, kendrix. come visit and comment often! :)

  • http://LVHelpGro.net rick

    hello from Las Vegas!
    we will welcome you back bahala na … when, and or if, you return :)