I am in Love… with my Passport 101

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I think it is finally time to come clean and talk about my secret love affair in public for the first time. Let the chips fall where they may. I know many of my friends have wondered why I haven’t settled down and I have always been a little evasive about that topic, but it is time to ‘fess up.

I’m in love with my passport.

I’m not sure there is room for anyone else in my heart.

Recently, I had to mail her off to the Syrian Embassy to get a visa for my upcoming trip. While she was gone, I paced the floor constantly. Would she get lost in the mail? Would the Syrian Embassy somehow screw something up and lose her behind a cabinet? Or spill some tea all over it?

After some help from an old friend of mine that lives in DC (thank you, Jeff Trinca — not all lobbyists are heartless souleaters!), I got her back a few days ago. As you read this now, I’m on the 30 or so hour trip to Lebanon as part of my modified plan for 2011 travel. Yes, I am flying there and back. Damn it.

syrian visa

my brand spanking new Syrian visa

One thing I’ve known for quite some time, but hadn’t thought about in a few months, is that I really, really love my passport.

Not to make this into some sort of competition, but my passport is really cool. I hit 44 countries in my round-the-world (RTW) overland trip. There are a number of great visa stamps and full-page visas in there now. I’m sure yours is great — I’m just saying, mine is pretty cool also.

I think the one and only thing that would destroy me if it was stolen is my passport — I think I could handle losing any of my other possessions in my life much easier than that.

While I am out traveling, I regularly just flip through it. Seeing the stamps and pages immediately take my memories back to border crossings, conversations in embassies, meeting strangers in wonderful lands, and so much more.

My passport is like a personal time and memory machine.

Just looking at my Sudan visa brings back dozens of memories. I wrote at least three posts about getting it — here is Part I in Kenya and Part II the next day. And didn’t get the damn thing until after a horrible Ethiopian visa issue that lasted for days and days.

visa somaliland somalia

Somaliland visa on right

visa sudan

Sudan visa on right

Some of the tougher ones I had to get were China and Russia. Russia is a particular pain in the ass. You have to get it from your home country. I was in Europe at the time. It was necessary for my crazy Germany to Vietnam dash (via Norway) that I did in about a month.

china visa for american

the Chinese visa is so elegantly beautiful

I know I’m a weirdo about this, but I can’t be the only traveler than sits and flips through their passport…. regularly. Someone has to back me up in the comment section or I’m going to start questioning my natural oddness even more than I do already.

(Note for those that want close-ups — you can click on any of these photos and get a closer view of the photo)

So tell me…. what are your favorite visas or stamps in your passport??

egyptian revenue stamps on passport

check out the old school revenue stamps (Egypt)

russian visa

Russian visa – I like how my name looks

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About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.

101 thoughts on “I am in Love… with my Passport

  • Chloe

    Love this. My passport isn’t looking quite as interesting as yours just yet, but I am quite proud that I have 2 of them (UK and Australia).

    Looking back at my Swedish visa gives me great memories of my time studying there, and seeing the little stamps from all those side-trips I took is really a great refresher, and an even better reminder that you’re luckier than most of the world to have seen all those places in your lifetime.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Well, its not a competition and frankly I am jealous of your time in Sweden. Everyone I have met from there has been great (and beautiful), but I haven’t gotten to spend hardly any time there… yet.

      • Chloe

        Ohh, they are beautiful people for sure! Men and women alike, it’s crazy.

        Hope you don’t have to wait too long – it’s one of my favourite places in the world 🙂

  • Mike

    Nope. I like to flip through mine. I’ve only been travelling 4 months and only have a few stamps and visas. However, it’s still amazing to go through and look at them while thinking; hey, I’ve been to these places – how cool. Favorite stamp would be my Auckland stamp. Auckland was the first international city I ever visited and it’s my first ever passport stamp.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      New Zealand as your first international country might have been a really good OR really bad thing. You might have hit the best country in the world first. No where to go but down! 😉

      • Mike

        You are definitely correct. What a wonderful country. Although, my first time international and I matched a certain profile they were looking for, so I had to go through about four interviews stating my business in NZ and after. Kinda scary for an intro to international travel, but it was worth it.

  • PipeDreamJunkie

    I don’t have many stamps in my passport to date, and I already have the habit of flipping through mine.

    My favourite, by far, is my Mexican stamp. The border guy very deliberate stamped over top of the DHS stamp for the States. I’d had a really bad time at customs — did you know opting out of body scanners marks you as a potential terrorist? (Or at least that’s how it felt to me after the TSA guard threatened me after I told him quite politely that I wanted the pat-down.)

    So after that horrid experience, having the Mexican border guard very pointedly slam his stamp over the DHS stamp, it brought a smile to my face.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      I love that you got a great story out of it, but I get so annoyed when they stamp over things (though they are free to stamp over my 15 or so US entry stamps, like yours, true enough).

  • Rachel Peters Photography

    I really love this! I know the deep heartfelt feeling for your passport. I love the stamps, and if they don’t stamp it, I ask with the biggest saddest puppy dog eyes I can conjure up! They are the best souvenirs ever! I <3 my passport!

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      I’ve been to very few places that don’t stamp it, but almost as bad as no stamp is the bad stamp. Where the do it sloppy and you can’t read it. Or if they ink isn’t full. Arrrggggggg.

  • Amanda

    You are definitely not alone! I love flipping through my passport, too, albeit mine isn’t NEARLY as filled-up and pretty looking as yours. I’m having some passport envy here.

    I only have 2 visas in mine — one for China (which looks pretty much exactly like yours), and then my student visa for New Zealand. My NZ visa isn’t very flashy or anything, but it’s definitely my favorite thing in my passport, just because it represents my favorite 4.5 months abroad!

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      I soooooo wish I would have studied abroad like you did. What a great way to start your adulthood. I better start my adulthood sometime soon..,..

  • Allison .liveit.loveit.blogit.

    I am also in love with my passport. It always breaks my heart when they expire (after 5 years in Canada) and I need to start all over again. My favourite passport recorded my first RTW trip, where I had to get pages added in Vietnam. That was pretty awesome.

    My newest (late 2010) passport is sad. It has a couple of US and entry stamps and an Antiguan entry stamp. It needs a little more love.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Oddly, I’m sorta thinking the opposite on mine. I wish it was close to expiring or filling up, so I could retire it and not worry about losing it! And yes, get yours out and exercise it some more. It needs to have its legs stretched!

  • Tia

    Love it! I do the same thing with my own modest passport. Actually, my favorite is my very first stamp, when I was 4 years old, in a very old US passport that looks nothing like they do now.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      that’s really cute. Back when my family did 6 months living in Europe when I was that age, I would have gotten some great stamps. But…. I’m so damn old, that was before kids needed passports.

  • Desi (Indian) Backpacker

    Erm… For me it’s plural. Having to get a visa for almost EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY does eat up a lot of passport pages. I did get one for Syria as well, though 🙂 I’ll be in Syria and Turkey from March end – April 20. I would love to buy you a beer (or sheesha or tea) if our paths cross!

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      I should be in Syria at the end of March, so let’s have a beer for sure! Email me?

  • Justin Morris

    Definitely agree with you here mate. I ALWAYS hastily flip through my passport after a border crossing looking for the page where the fresh new stamp was put in to admire it as another feather in my travel cap.

    My favourite is my Chinese visa, which takes up the whole page like yours but it looks a bit different because it was just for the Shenzhen area. That one, and my UK visa, which signified that there was nothing stopping my trip once I had that.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      I’ve gotten a little old and paranoid now also — I flip through mine a few times after getting a new one…. just to make sure they actually stamped it. Why I have the odd feeling they didn’t…. after I watched them do it, is beyond me.

  • Brandon

    I caught myself looking at my Libyan visas and thought about how my friends there are doing there. I like the Arabic translation that had to get done. The full page visas are the coolest, none of the stamps really stick out in my mind.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      serious stuff there — hope they are all doing OK. Scary place in the world right now.

  • Cam

    Haha… Too funny! I did the EXACT same thing last week!!
    Our passport is full so we need a new one (an accomplishment on its own!) and I was nervous that they would loose it, so I took photos of the pages. Each stamp has its own great story! 😉

  • Roy

    Hehe, good to hear I’m not alone. Everytime a customs official sees my passport and goes “wow, you’ve been to lots of countries” I have a happy chuckle to myself.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      I was checking out of Colombia a few months ago and the passport person checking me out gave up. He flipped through my passport twice. Handed it to me and said “please show me your entry stamp.” Which, by the way, is kind of nerve wracking.

  • Fran

    I flip thru mine all the time. Love it. Although mine might be a little jealous of yours 🙂

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      I’ll have mine buy yours a drink soon and all will be well on the jealousy front.

  • Giulia

    Same here Michael 🙂 Not so many visas as you though… it’s good to be a European coz I can travel without visas to many places, but then nothing stays on my passport and it’s a pity 🙁
    Another thing which is too bad is that I had to renew my passport so some visas (such as the Russian one) are on the old passport 🙁
    My favorite visas on the new one are the Japanese one and the Singaporean one I’d say. Plus the thousands stamps and stickers of Egyptian customs!
    (US entry/departure stamps suck – just saying)
    On the old one the coolest one is Honduras I guess.

  • Christy @ Ordinary Traveler

    Haa! I can completely relate! I sent my passport to the Vietnam Embassy only 10 days before I left on a 6 week trip and I got a little nervous letting it go. Although, it was more about not having a passport in time for my trip than actually losing this particular one. I can honestly say I would be more upset to lose a memory card with photos on it than my passport. 🙂

  • Phil

    You’re not alone. Visas are artful in many ways. I especially appreciate the ones with stamps. Makes it feel like a real privilege to travel there 🙂

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      I only have one with the old-school stamps (and raised/embossed verification stamp). Wish I had more.

  • Priyank

    Hi Michael! I’m glad I’m not the only one – except that I always thought the passport was male, haha. Being Indian citizen, I am forced get to have lots of travel visas, which is painful but quite a rewarding memory!

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      I truly can’t imagine what it is like to be a traveler not from the US or Europe, in terms of how difficult it must be to get visas and such. A true untold story.

  • Randy

    I feel you man. Ironically, I thought the same thing today. Whenever I hold it after periods of non-use (like this afternoon), I really get excited thinking about the past and all the possibilities for the future.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      ahhhhh, possibilities. That is a damn good way to put it (and yes, I’m likely to steal it.) 😉

  • Laura

    This is such a fun post. I love flipping through my passport. In the long customs and immigration lines at the airport it always keeps me amused petting all my pretty stamps and visas. I had to send in for extra pages and they put in two sets, so now the thing is a serious monstrosity! And of course the new ones are the obnoxious pages with the covered wagons and cowboys and crap.

    Let’s see… I have a Chinese visa that looks similar to yours (although it’s a business visa, so there!!). I have two Brazilian visas, one of which has those fun little revenue stamps – they both take up an entire page each. I think the Turkish visa and corresponding stamps are very cute, EU ones are so boring, although it’s funny to have the 747’s flying around in my passport from getting stamped in airports. My Egyptian visa doesn’t look like yours with the pretty stamps 🙁 Totally jealous of your Russian visa. Haha. Michael Scott.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Same as you, I’ve got both extra sets of pages. Luckily, I got them both when they were still free. So mine is a big monstrosity just like yours! And I’m getting more and more annoyed when they stamp it in the front, crowded part, when there are tons of pages left in the back they could use!

  • Odysseus

    I love my passport, but not my passport photo! Someone tried to cheat me just before I had it taken (a weird passport photo scam), so I have a decidedly surly expression on my face in the photo.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      this just means that I need to see a post about you passport photo scam…. and a shot of the photo, of course.

      • Odysseus

        That’s an interesting idea. I never thought about writing a post on it. And while I hate showing anyone that photo, I do love making fun of weird situations.

  • John

    This is obviously another of your humorous posts so.
    Your all a bunch of sad stamp collectors! 😉

    “Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do”

    Then you would have no stamps in your passport, Most Europeans don’t even need a passport to travel to most EU countries. Without this manic desire to notch up countries, travel becomes a more meaningful experience, where the friendships made and memories of people and places replace country counts and Visa Stamps. If you need Visa stamps to jog your memory then there is hope, as there are some exiting new Alzheimer’s Disease drugs on the market, but I can’t remember their name right now.

    “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”

  • Erica

    I too have a love affair with my passport. My favorite has to be my Japan stamps, regardless of the fact they were put on a bit crookedly. Stamps are the one thing I ask to see with travelers. I’m always amazed at the design or unruliness in which they stamp it.

  • Katie

    I just wrote a post about my passport as I was getting ready to send it away to get renewed! Great memories flipping through it. My favorite visa so far is my Egyptian visa (the only visa I’ve needed to date). The first visa in my new passport will be a Russian visa for a trip in September – definitely looking forward to that!

  • Adam Daigle

    I’m which ya, man. I love flippin’ through the ‘ol passport. But I wish the damn Immigration Officials would at least attempt to be a little more organized. Ever since I had pages inserted into my passport in Vietnam, leaving a major gap between my visas and stamps, the Immigration Officials randomly stamp my passport. I wish they would stamp from front to back, or back to front. It’s so annoying having those pages that are nearly completed! I’m just stayin’ 🙂

  • Jason

    I’m hearing ya Michael. I’ve also been having quite an affair with my passports over the years as well. My advice is, Just don’t get to attached. There will come a day when she will fill up, get a little torn or worn out, or just basically expire.

    Then it’s of with the head, and trade her in for a new one! Was it Henry the Eighth who last said that?

  • Stephen Whale

    I think one of my saddest returns to my home country was when I had to accept that my previous passport was full and I could no longer look back at all the entries in the idle moments waiting for an immigration officer to stamp in the middle of a fresh new page. Thankfully the new one is looking better already.

    My favourite visa would have to be the Cyrillic Russian one, but the stamp with the happiest memories is that given for exiting Turkmenistan by boat.

  • Jordan

    Ha.. I do this as well. I recognized several visas that I have in my passport as well (Somaliland, Russia, China). I’ve had to have pages added three times to my passport. Sadly it will be expiring next year.

  • Abby

    I once paid an extra few hundred bucks just so I’d be without my passport for a shorter amount of time. This post was hilarious — and very you. And since I’ve met you, I can even vouch for your passport being extra-cool! Have a safe trip!

  • Jeremy

    Love it. I have tons of passport stamps and visas. Most of North America and Europe just pisses me off for being lame. My Egypt one is pretty cool, because it is one of the few visas that are only a half page unlike everyone else. The stamp from Jordan was alright as well.

    I like the Chinese visa because it has the great wall on it, but dislike it because it is so big.

  • Wandering Aramean

    You are most definitely not alone.

    I’ve paid the rush fee to get my additional pages added in person rather than mailing it in and I often find myself sitting on an airplane, flipping through the pages and reminiscing about the trips.

    On one entry back to the USA an agent started to interrogate me about my travels (2x to MEX via PTY for <24 hours in a 6 week span is apparently a red flag) and he demanded to know the story behind a Japan entry stamp. He was quite surprised when I requested to see which of the Japan stamps he was talking about because I knew there were two and the stories were very different.

    I need a Brazil visa in the next couple days and I have a trip coming up to Asia. The timing for the visas is going to be tight, but I'm sure it'll work out in the end. Still, that time without it in my hands will be painful.

  • Jaime

    I had my passport for a few years before I ever got a stamp. I got my 1st stamps at the start of my RTW trip and I love it. It is so exciting and such an awesome feeling when you look at the stamps. Oh I love this post, I am sure mine will fill up with this trip… should be nice!

  • Mica

    Passports are cool….unless you’re a chick and get married and divorced- and then you loose your old ‘cool’ passport and have to start over with a naked one.
    I had taken my Europe trip and my first SA trip in my ‘old’ passport….then I had to start all over. You guys got it so easy. Not fair.
    SE Asia is going to be a fun, visa filled affair. Passport, I heart you.

  • Ken Kaminesky

    They don’t even stamp your passport when going between France, Spain and Italy. So mine is a bit bare. I need to do a road trip in Europe and get my passport filled up. Lichtenstein here I come!

  • Nicole

    I love flipping through my passport too. Very fun to relive those memories, good, bad and questionable. Mine is about to expire so I’ll have to start all over again. Hmm, where to go first….

  • Chris @CAroundTheWorld

    I love my passport. I got a bright shiny new one last year that coincided with a new decade in my life. So there aren’t that many stamps in it yet. I am fond of the special Easter Island one that I picked up in January, however.

    I wrote a post last year about passport photos…it’s scary to see the aging process, as documented by the federal government – https://caroundtheworld.com/2010/04/09/passport-photos-through-the-ages/

  • Kit Whelan

    So how did you get the Russian visa from Norway? I can’t wait to get that one & a Chinese one in my shiny new passport. I’m thinking of turning all the pages from my old one into a collage, some visas really are gorgeous!

  • Lisa @chickybus

    You’re not the only weirdo….I do it, too! I also clicked on all of the photos you posted here.

    As for my faves in my own passport: Syria, China and South Africa (in that order). I love the Syrian one the most because I really held my breath waiting for it and I loved flashing it when I got to that border (with Jordan) and was able to walk right through!

    I’m looking forward to hearing what you do in Lebanon. I know we share the barber connection (in Syria), but will we share the hermit connection (in Lebanon) too? 🙂

  • Amanda

    Haha, glad to see I’m not the only having a love affair with my passport. I to regularly take it out and flip through it to admire the art within. But what I really admire is the story behind each stamp, visa and work permit, even the story when I had to get pages added in Bangkok. And I love the Chinese visa as well. While I admire all visas, the chinese one is aesthetically special.

  • lara dunston

    So cool to hear you’re going to Syria! It’s one of our second homes and Damascus is one of my most favourite cities in the world. (Terry and I wrote the first edition LP guide to Syria & Lebanon many years ago (when we *worked* for LP; note past tense) and have written dozens of stories on the country ever since, so do let us know if you need any tips/contacts etc.)

    I’m surprised you needed to get a visa in advance though – they changed the rule in 2009 so that many nationalities can now get a visa on arrival at the airport, just as you can in Lebanon, Jordan, and many Gulf countries. Can’t wait to hear more about what you have planned. We’ll be back there later in the year to work on a book project, but still I’m jealous!

  • pam || @nerdseyeview

    Guilty as charged.

    I had to get a new one recently, mine was expiring too soon to use for my trip south. When my new one arrived, but my old one did not return with it, I freaked out. I really freaked out. I didn’t know it would arrive two or three days later under separate cover.

    My favorite was the Cairo issued passport, complete with washed out street corner photos, that I got so I could go to Pakistan. I couldn’t use my covered with Israeli visa stamps one. I loved it so much that I used it for YEARS, even after I realized that a Cairo issued passport with shockingly sketchy photos was a liability in any airport. I finally gave in and got a new one, but it wasn’t easy to do.

  • Erin

    Now into my 5th passport (yes, I’m that old), I understand your love affair, as mine has been going on for decades. Who else could jet you around the world, introduce you to so many fascinating people, wine and dine you in so many languages or create havoc at a US border crossing (the Moroccan stamp, all in Arabic that doesn’t indicate the actual country in English). Truly a love made to last.

  • Camels & Chocolate

    My favorites were my visas for living in Denmark and the Netherlands. I had been to more than 80 countries in the past decade and had had pages added more than once and was absolutely gutted to have to surrender my old passport for a new one when mine expired last year.

  • Sarah

    As all these commenters have testified, you are definitely not alone. I’m definitely in the stamp- admiring party. My favourite in mine would have to be from Finland. It says Santa welcomes you to Finland!

  • LeslieTravel

    I’m the same way! I save my old passports and enjoy looking at them and remembering my trips 🙂

  • Ayngelina

    Too funny I was looking at my passport today lamenting there is only 8 pages left. Do I have to get a new one or can I just add pages?

  • Ehalvey

    I love to flip through both of mine (maiden name and married name versions)!! It’s a book of memories like an infographic. My favorites are Italy fir our honeymoon and Ireland since I’ve been 6 times. Lots of great stories.

  • Kelly Harmon, HipTraveler

    I’ve stamped my way through 5 passports and cherish them all. Like badges of honor, these little blue books are filled with a myriad of travel memories. But I must confess… whenever, I mail my passport to an embassy for a visa I feel uneasy… as if somehow relinquishing my passport has clipped my wings.

  • Claire

    I’m in love with mine as well. I had to get a new one before I left Australia and slowly getting some cool stamps in it. In this passport my favourites are Iran and Turkmenistan… probably because of the headaches involved in getting them. In fact when I arrived in Canada and the guy was processing my work permit, he showed my passport to the guy next to him – he said it was probably the first and last time he’d see a visa for Turkmenistan! I also love the stamp from Kosovo.

    In my old passport my favourite was the Russian visa. Like you… just because my name is in Cyrillic!

  • Aaron @ Aaron's Worldwide Adventures

    Haha! I love flipping through my passport too! And those visas take up so much room that I needed more pages! Aside from those and bundles of entrance/exit stamps (6 from Thailand alone), it’s even been adorned by a security sticker from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, granting me clearance for a flight to the U.S.

    I think my favorite pair of stamps is Malaysia, simply because of the fact that the entry stamp is entirely in English while the exit stamp is mostly in English but replaces exit with Kelular, the Malay version.

    I hear those Russian visas are a HUGE pain to get. I guess I’ll find out sooner or later!

  • Grace Lewis

    I’m right there with you. I didn’t get a passport until I was 19, but by the time I was 24 I had been to at least 17 countries and lived in Europe for a while. After I moved home, I started working as a flight attendant and my bag was stolen. Six years later I still grieve for my passport.

    I went to South Africa three times – 2000, 2001, and 2002 (I dated a guy from there) – and on my last visit the man who put the sticker in my passport and signed it pointed out to me that he had been the same person to sign the stickers all three times. I went back a fourth time but had no way of knowing if it was the same man that time. Thinking about those lost stickers still breaks my heart.

    I also argued with the guards on the train passing through Slovakia to make sure they stamped me.

    After getting married last year, I’m on my third passport now and love it just as much as the first one. I also like to take other people’s passports and look through all the stamps and visas.

  • Ali

    I’m in love with mine too & I also flip through it regularly. I hated having to mail my old one in at renewal time even though I was assured I’d get the old one back. Big sigh of relief when it arrived. I wrote a post called Ode to my Passport a few months ago. My favorite stamp is my Antarctica penguin stamp. I think I need more pages soon & I was so excited to find out I can get that done at an embassy while on the road & just wait there for an hour or so instead of having to mail it off. To me that passport holds so many memories & possibilities.

  • Lauren Rains @ The mad To Live

    Haha my passport is so my trophy wife … I check it out all the time… show it off when I can haha. It even has my name tattoos on it, it loves me right back.
    Favorite Stamp is Indonesia…one of the Visas that’s an entire page (which I love!) – since I had to bribe the customs officials to give it to me with Chinese currency… long story haha.

  • david

    What a great post!

    I loved reading all of the comments too. It’s safe to say that most people that have done a bit of traveling wind up falling in love with their passports just like you Micheal. My latest one expires in two years and I still have way too many blank spots, I need to get moving!

    My favorite right now is my visa for Laos! For such a poor country, they have a kick-ass, full page sticker. Can’t read anything it says but I like playing with the shiney hologram.

    I can out-Geek most of you though, I actually did the super touristy thing and stamped my passport at Machu Picchu last year!

  • Sophie

    Oooh, fun post.

    I’ve a Syrian visa as well – issued at their embassy in Amman about 20 years ago. Damascus was a very cool city then – and I’m sure it still is. My favourite stamps are from countries that no longer exist – like East Germany and Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Sadly, passports aren’t stamped in Europe anymore – doesn’t even help to ask nicely, because there’s no one to ask 🙁

  • Andrea

    I’m proud to have two passports as well (US and Australia). Unfortunately mine is pretty empty at the moment after having to exchange them both when I changed my name after marriage. I think I’ll always hold my first passport dear – I still have it tucked away in our time capsule (shoebox full of personal memorabilia)…seeing yours really tempts me to visit more big visa label countries =)

  • Mike

    Ya! I love my Passport, too. I, like many others, will never forget my first… stamp that is. Sydney, Australia. I got pulled from the queue and directed into a little room where they took my passport, as well as some others, behind a locked door without informing us of what was going on. Apparently, those of us travelling from Toronto, Canada didn’t come with middle names on our itineraries, and that was a discrepancy to what our passports said. After a 15 minute nail-biting ‘oh no what if I get sent back home?!’ fret, we were set free 😀

  • Natalie

    I have not looked at mine lately as done all my traveling within Turkey. With my old passport though, when I used to enter Turkey they would take one look at the photo and burst out laughing. It was taken in the 80;s when quiffs were the in thing. Thankfully I have changed it now.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Awwww, shucks (kicking the dirt and pretending to be humble on behave of her…)

  • JoAnna

    I can definitely appreciate that you love your passport. I love mine too. I think we all love our passports not just because the stamps are so great but because those trips evoke memories from our travels.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      it is like a memory time machine for me as well… I might need to get it back out now…

  • Run Fast Travel Slow

    Oh I really love this post! I’ve done some sailing in and out of ports in Estonia, Finland, and Sweden and I have some pretty cool stamps as a result.

    Like a lot of other commenters, I love my Russian visa too (and it was a rush job — I was in the States for only a week). On the same trip, I wanted to go for a run and I had to go through St. Petersburg’s passport control at the harbor… I was just a tiny bit nervous to carry my passport as I ran….

  • Manoj Radhakrishnan

    Oh no… you are not alone. I am absolutely enamoured by my passport. I also have an unfair advantage over most of you guys. I am from India which means I need a visa to enter every other country on the planet. Which means not having to live with just an entry stamp. I get a full page stick-on visa wherever I go 🙂

  • Amy

    Ok, I’m relieved that I’m not the only one who flips through their passport looking at all the pretty, full pages and estimating with the empty ones how many more countries I can visit based on who stamps. I just renewed my passport (extra pages, please! FYI, Americans: if you request extra pages when you apply or reapply, they’re free, otherwise you have to pay an extra $82 + shipping charges later on) and my new passport’s complete and utter emptiness makes me feel naked and untraveled. I almost want to bring my old one with just to show other travelers that’s I’m cool and have traveled, too. I like my Egypt stamp and their are two neighboring pages that are chock-full of stamps. Then there’s two identical entry stamps for Montenegro (I only entered once) and Albania stamped my ‘amendments and endorsements’ page… ahhh…. I love my old passport. I’m glad I’m not the only one. 🙂

  • Maria Alexandra

    Haha awesome post and HEY! Don’t feel alone 😉 my favorite visa is of my Egyptian residency =)

  • Charu

    I actually love my visa to the UK! Way back when…I was working in Canary Wharf as a banker and I really loved it. And then I returned back to the U.S. and had sad memories of leaving a fine fine Pims drinking city. Not strange to love your passport. It’s a good obsession for a traveler.

  • Felecia Owens

    I’ve had to have pages added three times to my passport. Back when my family did 6 months living in Europe when I was that age, I would have gotten some great stamps.

  • Nicole

    I definitely love flipping through my passport. Since I entered Laos twice in the last three months I was super excited to see that the person who issued my first visa-on-arrival was the same person to issue it the second time. (I matched the writing first and then noticed the signature) The girl I was traveling with at the time didn’t find it too exciting, but I loved it.
    The thing about traveling through Southeast Asia that I absolutely love is that most countries (so far) have the full page visa’s. So much easier to read than a smudgy stamp, but I’m scared that my passports going to fill up too soon!

  • Ed Graham

    My favorite is def the Russian one – you can see your name in cyrillic which is too cool! Other favorites include Mongolia – at first glance it’s a boring stamp but upon closer inspection it’s a Ger with some smoke coming out of the stovepipe, and Sri Lanka – because it actually IS a boring stamp despite all the exoticism of getting there and being in such a foreign, far away place (for me).

  • Jeanette

    I adore my passports, too. In Canada, the tradition has been 5-year passports, so I am on #4!!

    I lost my very first passport in a move a couple of years ago, still praying it will turn up!

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