Dear Passport…I Love You

‘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 that 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 buying shoes.
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Apart from the opportunities my current passport opens up to me, my old passports are the source of all my favourite memories.  These are the places I’ve been, the experiences I’ve had, and some of the most amazing people I’ve met that I never would have if it wasn’t for £70 and one of those teeny little photos that makes me look like an escaped convict.
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When I was in my teens, most of my trips revolved around Spanish Islands, because obviously.  These days, you couldn’t force me to go back.  I’ve gone from being attracted to sun and laying around to realising that laying around means I’m missing out on exploring and, well….everything, really.
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Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been back to Spain since my teenage years and I really love it, but I’ve ditched Anglicised Island towns for cities like Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona.  I can also no longer cope with sunbathing all day as OMG SO BORING.
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My latest passport is brand new and has only recently been out of North Wales. It inaugural trip was to Paris for a girl’s weekend and it’s enjoyed the delights of Eastern Europe, Italy and the US since.  My last passport is a myriad of stamps and visas and smell deliciously like spilled beer and hot summer nights in Thailand and Mexico.  Just flipping through the pages brings back a raft of priceless memories that have shaped my life.
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Dear Passport, I Love You: Spanishi Flag
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 over the years.  From my ex-husband, my sisters, my step-son, my Mum and, obviously, Les, I can transport myself back to anywhere in the world with just the turn of a page.
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When I met Les on our first date, we’d both returned from recent travels and he talked of all the places he still wanted to visit.  As I’m completely incompatible with anyone who doesn’t live for exploring, I was thrilled to hear him speak so excitedly about his trips.  Over the past 5 years, we’ve been lucky enough to combine our love of travelling and I even discovered that I don’t hate camping.   I introduced Les to the utter joys of road tripping across the US and we’ve spent a lot of time trying to visit places that neither of us had been before, so we could build up our own memories.
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Dear Passport, I Love You: Roadteip
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.   And my Louboutins.  And probably my dog’s ashes, although I realise how ironic that is…), it’s the way it makes me feel that’s the thing I love most about it.  It promises so much fun and excitement and it’s rarely ever let me down.  Basically, what I’m saying is, the person who came up with the idea of the passport is a legend and I’m forever grateful.  The person who invented airport queueing systems, however, can go to Hell.

So, here’s to another decade of exploring the world with my trusty companion and many thanks to Her Majesty’s Government for continuing to issue me with new ones. I promise I’ll always behave when I’m abroad and never, ever request the services of the local embassy…
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Probably…

Suzanne x

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