The US Government shared some bold travel encouragement with me today.
“With Your U.S. Passport, the World is Yours!”
…the brochure that came with my new passport claimed. Even the US Government wants me to travel! It wants me to experience the freedom that possessing a US passport brings. The words were even followed by an exclamation point! I felt the enthusiasm – the world is mine!This new passport signaled a final transition point from my old married-vacation-only-life to this new Big Trip one. The trade in model was 10 years old – it was about to expire in February and displayed my married name. My hair was longer, my face slightly younger – or is that less marked by wisdom? Plus, I’m in a turtleneck. That was Midwest-Kristin, where the cold and silent wishing for another life required lots of layers. In California (and in the new picture) I don’t wear turtlenecks.
The old pages are marked with scattered Euro-zone entrance stickers in modern font. The Rome stamp is barely visible and was the suspect of immigration officials in Frankfurt last year. There’s the scrawly Jordan visa that took an hour and a visit to the Aqaba back office after a 14-hour day of traveling from Egypt.
There’s the Frankfurt stamp from my honeymoon and the Indian visa from my first post-marriage big trip. The Southeast Asia visas take a whole page each and are interrupted with three Thailand entrance stamps because I used my cousin’s home in Bangkok as a base for trips to Angkor Wat, Laos, and Vietnam. There are two from Egypt – one for a five week trip in 2009 and one for a 13 hour layover where I still regret I didn’t visit the Pyramids a second time.
It’s a photo album, a scrapbook and a history.
After one marriage, 10 years and 30 country visits, it was time to send in the new one. The one that arrived today had extra pages – I’m hopeful for the big trips of the future – and a new identity with which to blog, write, and experience the world. The encouragement from the US Government sealed the deal, the world is mine and another Big Trip is on the horizon to fill up these pages.
The new passport brings a travel-filled future.
What stories are in your current passport and what stamps do you want to fill up your new one?