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.
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.
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.
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??