I’m seriously into the “What’s in my bag?” posts. Call it nosy, call it a way to discover someone else’s much-loved products, call it what you will… I love it. I’ve never done it in the past because I’m frankly not that interesting and my bag usually resembles an explosion more than a curated collection.

But tomorrow’s my visa interview for what feels like the 10,000th time and I thought it might be interesting for you guys to see what’s in my bag for that. Luckily for you all, I switched out to a larger bag so you can miss out on all the receipts and various detritus that’s usually in there.

The Non-Essentials
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Lipstick
Mascara
Sunglasses
Wallet

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Sony tablet (highly recommended!) for those boring down times.

The Visa Essentials
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Passport
Letter of invitation from my new employer
Visa application (available here since it’s kind of hidden in the Russian Embassy’s website)
Criminal-looking passport photo
Cashier’s check ($250 for a 3-day rush)

So that’s my bag! The visa process is kind of tedious but really not that difficult once you get the hang of it. It’s mostly just a time suck if anything. I’m interested to know about all of you other expats working abroad — what’s the difficulty level of the whole process? I’ve only ever worked in Russia, but I’m thinking of new places to go in the upcoming year and I really have no concept of how other countries’ processes work.