Passport Thoughts: I and II

 Part I: The Quest

passport.jpgMy passport expired and I needed to go to Canada. I knew about the trip 4 weeks in advance but in case you are unaware, the passport office is backed up. You used to be able to expedite the process through the mail in a week but now even expedited service is taking 4-6 weeks. Mail was no longer an option.

Fortunately, I live in one of the cities with a regional office.  Once I was within 2 weeks of my international departure I could schedule a date to go to the office and, I thought, get a passport in one day. The appointment is for a specific date and time. For some reason, I went temporarily insane and I forgot that I was dealing with a government agency. I had this idea that I would show up, be taken to a private office, give them my forms and money and soon be on my way. Instead I show up to a large room with about 60 people and am given a number. Most of the people ahead of me come in various stages of unpreparedness. The time drags on. 90 minutes later I get my turn in line and, since I am prepared,  the process then takes less than five minutes. One problem, I do not get my passport until the next day. Minor inconvenience since I no longer work downtown but not a bad process overall.

Part II : The Revelation

The passport leads to a revelation. In the 10 years I had this passport, I did not use it up. I left blank space where the stamps of the countries I should have visited should have been. A work associate mentioned that he has twice needed to get extra pages.

I resolve to travel outside the U.S. frequently enough to need extra pages before my next ten years are up. There are a lot of places I still have yet to see and a few I would like to see again. Rest of the world, here I come.

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