Today there was a travel milestone… I handed over my first passport to International Visa Services because it is time for renewal. I can’t believe it has been 10 years since the real adventuring began. In a few short weeks my passport will be within six months of expiring and for some reason many countries require that it be valid for at least that long. (Seriously, what is the point of an expiration date if it is really before then…)
I was very nervous to hand this puppy over. While it is just a ‘thing’, for me it represents so many wonderful memories. And forget the plane ticket, having a passport is the real ‘ticket’ required to access some of the most awe-inspiring places on the planet. I’m pretty sure I asked the woman helping me no less than five times if she was certain it would be returned.
I think back to the visa that really started it all – Italy. I headed abroad with my friends and classmates for a trip that changed the way I looked at the world and affirmed that in my heart I had always been an explorer. The stamp that commemorates Danimal and my first international trip together –honeymoon in Greece. The stamp that challenged me to yet again redefine what I was capable of when I moved to Hong Kong. The stamp that I have a soft spot for because I thought I would never get it – Mauritius.
The great thing about a new passport – a clean slate with nothing but opportunity. Not to mention the fact that it is a chance for a new passport photo. (Tips for a good passport photo here.) I definitely brushed my hair and put on some lipstick before heading over… I mean this picture will be with me for ten years. The woman told me I looked better than in my last photo. We’re best friends now.
I can’t wait to see what stamps the next 10 years bring!