I haven't left the country since 2011, and I doubt that I will have the opportunity to do so for some time to come. Yet, when my passport expired in late December, it bothered me. The passport represents the possibility of adventure, of going somewhere exotic and foreign. When I have my passport, there's always the chance - extremely remote, but a chance nevertheless - that tomorrow I can hop on a plane and go see a Wonder of the World. But if I don't have my passport, I'm bound to the borders of the United States. I haven't visited the vast majority of this great nation, but being restricted here suddenly feels punishing when I don't have an active passport.
But I'm also lazy, so it took me a while to apply for a new one. But I did, and it finally arrived this afternoon.
I'm free to travel the country once again!
The passport is valid for ten years. By the time this one expires, I want to fill every page with stamps. I vow now to do the following before my current passport expires:
- Take a river cruise down the Nile
- Go into an Egyptian tomb
- Visit China and walk along the Great Wall
- Return to Florence
- Visit Rome and Venice
- Spend some time in Paris
- Go hiking in England and Scotland
- Climb castle ruins in Ireland
- Eat and drink my way through Spain
- Hike in rural Japan (or at least climb the base of Mt. Fuji on a trip to Tokyo)
- Hit every international Disney theme park (Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong, and Shanghai)
- Drive through Canada
- Climb a Mexican pyramid
Thank goodness I can do many of these on the same trip, or I'd never finish the list. But I'll do it - and, while I'm at it, I'll explore a lot more of these United States, too.