I've had a passport for as long as I can remember and, despite not travelling much when I was young, I've more than made up for it as an adult.
There's something wonderful about clutching the gorgeous maroon book that opens up new worlds and gives you the freedom to explore other countries, continents and cultures, that can't be surpassed by anything else. Seriously, it's even better than shoes.
Apart from the opportunities my passport opens up to me; my old passports are the source of most of my favourite memories. These are the places I've travelled, the experiences I've had, and some of the fabulous people I've met that I never would have if it weren't for £70 and one of those little photos that make me look like an escaped convict.
|Isn't is beautiful??|
When I was in my teens, most of my trips revolved round Spanish islands, because obviously. These days, you couldn’t force me to go. I've gone from being attracted to sun and lying about to realising that lying about means I'm missing out on history and culture.
Don't get me wrong, I've been back to Spain since my teens, and I love it, but I've ditched Anglicised island towns and islands for cities like Madrid, Valencia or Barca. I can also no longer cope with sunbathing all day as I need to be, you know…DOING something.
My latest passport is brand new and hasn’t been out of North Wales yet. Its inaugural trip is to Paris in a few weeks for a girls' long weekend. My previous passport is a myriad or stamps and visas and smells deliciously of beer and hot nights in Thailand and Mexico. Just looking at it brings back a raft of priceless memories that have shaped my life.
|Es muy hermoso...|
I think the thing that also makes my passport so special is that, as well as documenting my travels, it also reminds me of how many brilliant travel companions I've had. From my ex-husband, my sisters, my Mum and my step son, to school friends and new friendships I've made through the years.
When I met LT on our first date, we'd both returned from recent travels and he had so many places he still wanted to go. I’m completely incompatible with someone who doesn’t live for exploring like I do, so I was thrilled to hear him speak so excitedly about his trips.
Over the past few years, we've been lucky enough to combine our love of travelling and I've discovered that I actually don't hate camping in Wales and Scotland and that LT shares my love of road tripping around the US. We've also spent a lot of time going to places that are new to us both and building up our own special memories together.
|Without my passport, there'd be no loud singing to country music radio and driving through Nashville.|
I guess, although my passport is the first thing I'd grab from the cottage in a fire (provided LT was already out, of course), it's the way it makes me feel that's the thing I love about it. It promises so much fun and excitement and it’s rarely let me down.
Basically, whoever invented the passport is a legend and I am forever grateful. The person who invented airport queues systems can go to Hell, though.
So, here’s to another decade of exploring the world with my trusty companion, and many thanks to Her Majesty’s Government for issuing me with a new one. I promise I’ll behave when I’m abroad and never request the services of the Consul...