A week ago, I was heading home from a weekend trip to Rarotonga, the Cook Islands. As I left, the Customs agent flipped through my pages, landing on the last one. Her stamp was clear and blue.
“You’re going to need to get a new passport.”
Yes, I nodded, and I headed into the air conditioning.
When I landed in Auckland, the Customs Agent flipped page after page. landing on the last page. A Stamp and an initial, and the comment, “Your Passport is full!”
“Yeah, I have been around!”
“It’s time to replace it before your next trip.”
“Yeah, I was told that earlier today”
The takeaway from this is obvious; I need a new passport. But I sit here and look back at the last 8 years, and think about where I was then and where I am now.
Growing up, I always looked outward into the world, into space. I devoured maps and poured over geography. I was that quintessential Space geek who wanted to go into space well later than typical young kids dreams. In High School, I found ways to see the country. I went to two Church mission trips, one to Tennessee, and one to Wyoming. It was when I fell in love with the Mountains.
In college, I was in a choir, and we traveled across huge swaths of the country. I would stare out, watching the country side, thinking how it was like to live here. After college, I moved to the East Coast, and there I found jobs that let me travel. First around the country, until I have been to 46 states, and then internationally. My drive lead me to seek out living outside the US, and what ultimately brought me here. 8 years ago, I got that Passport during one of the roughest times in my life. I was trying to find myself after a breakup, and my work was sending me around the world. So much was happening, and I felt lost in myself, and what I wanted. All I knew was that I wanted to travel. And so I traveled.
I look through my Passport and I see the last 8 years of my life. Its a reminder of a life lived, and the changes I have made to be the person I am today. I’m… grateful for so much that has happened, and awed that it happened to me. It is sad that the passport is full… I have so much more to do. Places to see, experience, learn. Of course, I will get a new one, but in a way, a large chapter in my life is closing. With this new passport will come my PR as its first stamp.
I will still have adventures. Even as I get older, I am planning exciting trips. I know that as long as I can, I will travel, see the world. See the beauty in every place, no matter how small. To see the best that we have, and revel in it.
I can’t believe I actually filled a passport.