Thursday, July 25, 2013

From tacos to turkey in 48 pages

This week, I said goodbye to an old companion.

For the past 10 years, this stalwart had traveled all over the world with me. Planes, trains, automobiles, camels--we saw it all. We never got turned away, no matter what country we went to.

I am speaking, of course, about my passport, which just expired.

The first one I got was in the early '90s, for a high school trip to Spain. I think that was the only time I used it. Ten years ago, I got the one I have used the most. The first stamp was a trip to Paraguay to visit some friends in the Peace Corps:

Era un turista.

And things kind of snowballed from there. In the end, I used it in 18 countries, most of which were with the incomparable Mrs. Blog. Some of our favorite places didn't have amazing stamps:

Turkey, come on! You're better than this.

Other memorable spots had stamps that were, perhaps, excessively large:

India: big, blingy and the place where I proposed to Mrs. Blog.

And then there's the hallmark of the expat, the residency visa:

That's right. The "Reviser." Like a comic book villain.

Ten years is a long time. If you're really lucky, it's 10 percent of your life. When I got the old passport back in 2003, I had no idea, and couldn't even have guessed, where I was going to be now. So when I look at my new passport and see that it expires in 2023, I am incredibly aware of how much can--and will--change in the intervening decade. It's impossible to speculate about.

But if it's anything like the last 10 years, it's going to be quite a ride. Check this space in July 2023 to see what happens.

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