The Power Of A Passport

by Kim on April 12, 2011 · 19 comments

The Power of a Passport

I am not one of those people that traveled anywhere as a kid.  My childhood trips consisted of driving 1.5 hours to Columbus, Ohio to visit my grandparents.  When I was 6 we went to Disneyland and though my memory is vague I have a slight recollection of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, which I do believe was incredibly bad-ass.  On two occasions my parents packed up the minivan and road-tripped us out to Myrtle Beach.  My sister and I spent a week sunbathing and squirting lemon juice into our hair and then we packed ourselves up and drove home.

When I got my first real job and moved across the country to Oregon it dawned on me that I was suddenly and completely in control of my own destiny.  I could, in fact, be whoever I damn well pleased.  There are many benefits to moving to a new place where nobody knows you at all.  One of them is that you are no longer saddled with other people’s long-held perceptions of who they believe you to be.   

So I got to thinking.  Who did I want to be? 

I worked down the street from the post office and one day, out for a walk on my lunch break, I went inside and grabbed a passport application.  I was way too broke to travel anywhere that required a passport, but I couldn’t keep myself from picking up that paperwork.  I remember the thrill I felt as I walked back to my office, that yellow application clenched in my hand. 

I wanted to be a traveler

A year later I deboarded a plane in Costa Rica.  The morning air was thick as I walked down the stairs towards the open-air terminal.  I slipped my passport through the customs window and the thud of the stamp against the open page sent a tiny shiver down my spine.  A whole new country lay before me just waiting to be explored. 

I realized as my passport slid back to me that I was, in fact, holding the key to the world.  That little blue book was my ticket to possibility

That’s the power of a passport.