I officially had to get a new passport because mine was on the verge of expiring right before my trip later this year. Due to my upcoming plans, I needed to renew my passport now rather than waiting until later this year.
It’s weird because, renewing my passport has been an interesting process for me because I’m incredibly nostalgic about my passport. Having to send off this document across the country and having the feeling of being stranded really made me panic these last couple of weeks. It’s not like I had any trips planned right now, but it was knowing that I couldn’t leave if I wanted to that really made me uncomfortable. But outside of that, what really affected me was wondering if I would get my old passport back and the fact that I have to start over with my stamps.
You see, my passport is 10 years old. It’s been to Asia a few times, Europe, Canada, and Mexico. I have my visas from the first time I went to Indonesia in there. And my visa from the time I stayed in Taiwan for 8 weeks and taught English. Each stamp and visa in my passport has a specific memory tied to it and I love going through it. I have my stamp from Heathrow from the time I accidentally went through customs because I had stayed up all night in the Zurich airport and was completely loopy. I have my stamp from passing through Beijing on my way home from Thailand and almost freezing there because I was not prepared for the cold.
As excited as I am to have a new passport to start stamping and exploring with, I’m sad that I can’t bring these old stamps and memories with me. They’re souvenirs of my travels, they’re reminders that i actually have been places. Sometimes I think that I’ve imagined the traveling, but then I see the stamp and remember that yes, that was real. I have those experiences under my belt.
Who knew that stamps in a passport meant so much to me?
Until next time, here’s to prepping for that first stamp in my new passport!