March 10th is National Passport Day in my country. I got my first one minted at age 15 for a three-week trip to Europe. In the nearly 11 years that have followed, I have outgrown the first and nearly filled the second – just two more pages and two trips out of the Euro Zone planned before May. That little blue book of mine has been tucked in a money belt far too many times, shown and photocopied for Spain’s bureaucratic musings, and it has lived to tell the tale of over two dozen countries and seven years of faithfulness.
I love the freedom I have to own it in the first place, the freedom it gives to move around and the freedom its citizenship gives me. I’ve been told I can renounce my American passport for a Spanish one, but wouldn’t dream of it. The pages still smell like the glue that binds two visas to it, and this things has traipsed with me more than any travel gadget, backpack or other companion has.
Where are you planning to take your passport in 2012? Write me about any upcoming trips you have planned for the new year, and I’ll reward one reader with a postcard from each of the destination on my list for this year: England, Galicia, Turkey, Zaragoza, Boston, NYC, Murcia…and wherever else I may head!