Passport, Please


(Passport Holder from Amazon.com)

We just got our passports; what a gift. A great way to feel more sophisticated, ready to travel at the drop of a hat, and in our cases, more American. Travel does that to us. As wonderful as we find visiting other countries, we return that much more in awe of our system of government.

A case in point. Just after graduating from College, I took a trip to visit a friend who was with the Peace Corps in West Africa. Three weeks in the bush, while no picnic, was something that most tourists don’t get to do and which I will never forget.

A couple of moments do stand out, I “shook the hand of the mango man as he met me at the border…” for a true Jimmy Buffet moment. Then there was the incident at the Côte d’Ivoire airport (this was back in the late 1980’s) and the kindness of a Canadian gentleman who got me onto an Air France plane when more diplomatic means failed. Oh, and the time our bush taxi was stopped at a checkpoint in-country and the boy with a machine gun demanded my passport. I feigned to not understand French, took off my sunglasses, held my passport through the window and didn’t let go. We were eventually waved through when an older guard misidentified me as a diplomat.

You see, my passport was wrapped in a leather passport cover like the one above.

Highly recommended and very elegant if traveling this summer.

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6 Responses to Passport, Please

  1. A passport is a very liberating document, a possession that every American should acquire. Just the act of submitting an application is mind-altering.

  2. Aesthete, I couldn’t agree more. Being a military kid, I’ve had one since… whenever it is that you can’t travel on your parents’… 3? Can’t remember not having it. But, if you were to track my pictures, they are always the same, coat, tie, BIG smile. It is mostly the thought of being able to say “lunch today in Paris? Sure.’ (As Mom once did…)

  3. Fairfax says:

    I was so pleased that my 83-year old mother just got a new passport. When I asked if she was planning to go somewhere, she said that she didn’t want to not be able to go because her passport was out of date. Good on ya, Mom!

  4. My feelings exactly, Fairfax. I wish I could send the plane for her.

  5. Same here, Elegantologist … military brat here also and always had a passport … and I made sure my daughter had one soon after she was born, because our first trip abroad with her was made when she was four months old … she’s already gone through two passports now …

  6. And that, dear Aesthete, is exactly how children should be raised. Here my daughter is almost four, my son two tomorrow, and they have yet to board a plane. I am ashamed! Next year we’re off to visit friends in Spain, though (V&C: yes, you…. ready?)

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