What’s in your passport?

I got my first job in travel in March 1990. Yes, for 23 years I have been in the travel business.

The very first thing my uncle told me was, “now that you are in the business, you have to get a passport. If they come to you and offer you a free trip to and you don’t have a passport, you can’t go.” He was (and still is) very right about that.

In our post 9/11 world we can’t even go to the US now without a passport. Thankfully this summer our government has finally gotten up to speed with our US, British and I am sure many other countries, to finally be issuing 10 year passports.

I was travelling this past week and while sitting at the airport and waiting for the flight to leave, I was looking through my passport stamps and how they bring back memories of the trips that were taken.

A lot of stamps are from Department of Homeland Security – US Customs and Border Protection. I always ask for my passport to get stamped when I am flying through the US. Some customs officers are not as nice as others about it saying they are ‘not allowed’ to stamp Canadians passport.

This is my fifth passport – 1 every 5 years (well 4.5 years, but that’s another story).

While my pages are not as filled as other people I work with, I have fond memories of the ‘stamps in my passport’.

May 12, 2011 – US homeland security – my 40th birthday trip to California. It was supposed to be a drive up the coast from LA to San Fransisco and back. Plans had to be changed and it turned out to be 3 days Vegas – 4 days LA area. One of the best parts of the trip was being at the Sahara hotel on the last night it was open with B whom I had met there at the same hotel.

Aug 11, 2011 – US Homeland security – celebrating my mom’s retirement in Vegas! Neon Museum Las Vegas and Celine Dion were the highlights of that trip to Vegas. 

June 4, 2012 – Ben Gurion Border Patrol – My life changing incredible trip with JWRP to Israel. Ten days of touring, learning, growing and exploring our amazing homeland. It is true, when you are there, you feel like home. The friendship connections that were made there are still in my life today and I think that our common bond that brought us together was just one part of our continuing connection to each other.

May 9, 2013 – US homeland security – my cousin Josh and Anna’s wedding in Chicago. It was a cold, but beautiful weekend with our family in Chicago. The wedding was outdoors in a beautiful park. We had a great time seeing the sights, the architecture boat tour, Shedd aquarium, hop on hop off trolley tour, RPM Italian and of course breakfast at the American Girl store with my nieces and Rebecca and Gwen (their dolls).

Feb 14, 2013 – US Homeland security – another amazing visit to sunny SoCal! Great meals, an afternoon at the beach, seeing the space shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center, and an amazing afternoon tea at the Langham hotel in Pasadena to celebrate my birthday.

Sharing just a few of the memories of the stamps in my passport. This one expires in 2015 and I will be getting a 10 year passport when it is time to renew.

Sidebar about passport renewals: a lot of countries require that your passports are valid for at least six months after period of travel. That means if you want to travel in January, your passport needs to be valid until at least July. Just keep that in mind and when you are about six months from your expiry date (give or take) it is time to get a new one.