I’m working on renewing my passport at the moment, and the process has had me thinking a lot about the old one. It’s such a small thing, a passport, mostly paper and plastic, but it lead to so many important moments in my life over the last ten years.
When I was a college student, I worked with two fantastic older men at a public library and we talked a lot about travel. At the time I had terrible wanderlust and not much money or know-how to pull it off. One day, they both brought in the passports they had used as young men to travel the world. While it was fun to see the old photos of them in the 60s and 70s with long hair and longer beards, it was all the passport stamps and visas that I found most fascinating to page through.
Flipping through a well-worn passport is like seeing little snapshots of a decade. Among the pages in mine are stamps from Great Britain, South Africa, Spain, Argentina, Peru, Italy, France, Turkey, Mexico, Canada, the Dominican Republic. So many adventures, so much food, so many friends, stories, and loves. The only connecting threads between them all are me and my passport, so I’m a little sad to start over with a new one. Hopefully the new blank pages will be filled with just as many adventures over the coming ten years.