About a week ago I realized that my passport had expired at the end of February. And I immediately had a panic attack. What if I needed to cross the border into Canada or Mexico? What if suddenly someone wanted to whisk me away to Paris or Argentina? What if I just wanted to take a quick flight to the Bahamas?
Now I know there are lots of people out in the world who don’t have passports. And I know it isn’t necessary to leave this country to have a wonderful vacation or travel to places I’ve never been. But a passport to me means freedom, and I value freedom more than most things in life. I don’t want limits to my life. And not being able to go where I want to go when I want to go limits me. Even if I don’t choose to take advantage of it. I’ve had a passport since I was 18 years old, and I don’t intend to give up the privilege now.
I realize that travel for some may seem like a luxury, but for me it’s a necessity. So today I slipped over to the UPS Store and had a passport picture taken (pleasantly better than the last one, which could have been mistaken for a mug shot), and tonight I’m filling out my paperwork and mailing it off tomorrow. And I’ll sit by the mailbox until it comes, in 6 weeks or so. Let’s just hope I have no international travel emergency before then.
Oh, and if you don’t have a passport, get one. Even if you never use it, never go anywhere outside your home state, you’ll always know you can, and that is empowering.