Do you ever find yourself just staring at your passport? It’s not like it’s an award winning novel or anything, but do you ever find yourself flipping through the pages and staring at
each stamp so carefully it is almost as if you’re trying to memorize every line? I could be the only one, but there is something about my passport that I become mesmerized by. I am not looking at each stamp and thinking to myself “Hmm…what do I remember about that
place?” or purposely trying to pull a specific memory out of my stock in my head for that place. I just catch myself getting lost in it and really, really loving the amount of stamps I have collected.
I am preparing to go to Ecuador to visit my cousin Danielle in September. When I got the confirmation for my tickets, I happened to glance through the rules and restrictions/handy tips from the booking agency. Then, it caught my eye right away.
“Make sure your passport does not expire up to 6 months after coming back to the U.S. from overseas.”
Who would’ve thought that you would need to a passport renewal prior to it being expired??? What’s the point of having an expiration date then, right? I was totally crushed. This was to be my passport’s final journey. I still have 2 pages with no ink on the them! I have had this passport since 2004….horrendous picture and all. I am not sure if I really appreciate how picture depicts me out to be, but I love the passport all the same.
When flipping through it, I have every stamp from my travels when I was studying in England with my great friend, Elise….my visa’s to enter Ghana and Ethiopia when I joined
my mom on a “Round the World” business trip where I discovered what I would really love to do….Mexico where I met my first love, Byron…..my Australia stamps from my self adventure of my own “Round the World’ trip on my own….and the Immigration Permission in Toyko with my greatest friend, my boo, and life partner Wayne. Each stamp marks such a crucial moment in my life as it has ridden out. These significant events that make me the exact person I am in presently today. It breaks my heart that I have to say good-bye to this passport….it’s like an old friend.
I know the next ten years on my new passport will be filled with many more moments and adventures with Wayne and a new family, and hopefully with business as well! (fingers crossed) But sometimes it is hard to let go….and sometimes it is ok to admit that it is hard entering into the next chapter.
The new passport is a clean slate and I can load it up as best I can with each new place, but for now (still have a few more world wonders to get to)….I still love to graze through my almost perfect, not expired, stamped up, passport.