Don't you just love your passport? I think my passport is one of the coolest things I own. It's the perfect portable record of years of international travel. From the first trip to the Dominican Republic, to my recent sojourn in Paris, my little blue book has seen it all. So I wasn't quite sure how to feel when the ten-year anniversary of receiving my first passport came and went. On the one hand, I was proud to mark a decade of going abroad. On the other hand, a U.S. passport is only valid for ten years, and I didn't want to have to give up my trusty travel partner.
Desire for future travels won out, and I filled out my forms, sent in my photos, my $75 check, and my passport and waited for the new one to arrive. After a couple of weeks, I received two packages in the mail: one contained the new passport and the other held my old one. Is it just me, or are the new U.S. passports a little heavy on depictions of eagles? Ok, we get it, it's the national symbol. Does it have to overshadow my own picture on the main page? Devoid of any eagles, but filled with visas, stamps, and a pink French work permit, my old passport has finally been retired.
Before I could get too sentimental, I read the brochure that came with the new passport. Its cover proudly proclaims, "With your U.S. Passport the World is Yours!" I hope that proves to be as true in my next decade of travel as it did in my last.