After a decade with my passport it was time to file for a replacement. Reflecting on what has transpired since my very first stamp to the point in which I find myself now has been therapeutic and nostalgic.
My Passport Story Is a Little Unique
It was almost exactly ten years ago that my (now) husband took me on our second date. During our first date, I mentioned that I had never left the country before and that I didn’t even have a passport. For date number two he felt it would only be right to take me out to get my passport photos taken. Shortly after we were planning our first trip abroad together that would take us to six cities in five countries in just nine days.
Quite a Lot Has Changed
It’s wild how much has changed in the span of only ten years. At age 22 I had never left the country to then traveling abroad as much as possible. At age 23 I was married and four days after the wedding we moved our lives to England. After the initial expatriation, we moved continents four more times, spending time in Asia and South America.
In just the past few years our daughter arrived and at eight weeks old had her own passport and made her first international trip which would turn into 23 countries visited in three years including spending a summer abroad in Thailand.
Never Letting My Passport Out Of My Sight
As the ten years has passed it has come time to renew my expiring passport and the thought of sending it off in the mail was causing me anxiety. This little blue book holds so much value to me. Though it is actually replaceable, the pages full of stamps collected, visas and nostalgia of it all are irreplaceable.
Like most tasks, I procrastinated the simple process and ended up paying extra for expedited services and overnight shipping. Once all was said and done it took just under a week from when I sent my passport off to the time I had my new book in hand (and a few days after that until my expiring passport arrived). With the expedited fees and Overnight shipping services, I paid $185.45.
- Passport Book $110
- Expedited Processing $60
- Overnight Delivery $15.45
It’s important to note that if you have an old passport with long-term visas attached inside (Russia, China 10-year, etc.) you should carry both books with you abroad. Some countries may require the visa to be replaced or transferred into a new passport book, however most honor the valid visa in an expired passport when accompanied by a valid passport.
This past decade has been full of great adventures and hundreds of stamps. Here’s to new passports, new stamps, new adventures and new memories.
Do you remember your first passport stamp? Where was it? Where have you been that you wouldn’t return?