Girl Meets World

The first one?  Got it when i was a 30-year-old kitten.  The passport photo shows a young woman with long brown hair, wearing an 80’s power suit with linebacker shoulder pads.

Stamped with my first overseas trip to Paris.  A business trip.  Alone.  Nervous, but excited.  Practicing my school-girl French on the kids, the dog and the empty seats of my car in preparation for my first international trip.  The City of Lights.  This little country bumpkin met up with some Brits with dancing shoes, and we closed that town the fuck down on our second night at the conference.

By the time that one expired, i was a seasoned international traveler, with five more trips under my belt.  Took my parents and my children with me to Germany on two different trips, knocked around Hong Kong and Bangkok with my sister, T, and dragged my spawn to visit London, Cornwall and Devon.

The photo on the next passport was taken close to my 40th birthday, and is my current active ticket to adventure.  Now THIS baby has seen some action!

Trips to Spain, Germany, and London in the first few pages.  Iceland.  Greece with my darling blogmates!  Peru and Ecuador.  The Galapagos, for fuckssake!  Visas to visit Vietnam and Cambodia!  The start of my diving adventures in Mexico, Honduras, Bonaire, and The Bahamas. Delicious trip with my children in Turkey last year.

ALMOST, but not quite, full… just a couple of pages in the passport book that are naked.

Renewal is tricky.  With a kid living halfway around the world, and a serious travel addiction, i need to keep a hot passport.  Find a window where i am not traveling, too.  Trouble is that it should be renewed about 9 months before it expires, and i probably should have done this immediately after my last trip in September.

But i waited…

Given that the next passport will last until i’m 60, it needs a decent picture.  So i was waiting until i had a good hair day.  i had such a day about a month ago, but i had also sprouted a grape-sized subcutaneous zit alongside my nose that would make me look like a mutant, so that good hair day got away from me.

Visited my hairdresser last night, and it always looks better with a fresh coat of paint.  Today was the day…  Good hair.  No zits.

This one will take me into retirement.  Once the shackles of the daily grind come off, it is my intention to burn a fucking HOLE in this thing!  And away we go!

At 30, 40 and 50.  There i am… Pinned in official State Department time…

38 thoughts on “Girl Meets World

  1. I love looking through my old passports – not my ID pictures – I always look so horrid in those, but I love the visas, the coloured stamps. Each one reminds me of where I’ve been to, and where I hope to return to. Good luck with the renewal, and here’s to running out of space on your new passport before it expires again! ;)

    • Hi Peggy! Welcome to The Park! The passport folks don’t seem to like smiles, so i think it’s difficult for anyone to look ‘good’. My goal is to just not look deranged, or like a traveling ox. And it was a great trip through the memory banks when i looked through the stamps last night. My favorite ‘keepsakes’. Been tempted to order the extra pages in this one, but i’m afraid that would jinx me…

    • it’s strange to see ‘her’. she was a young-ish mother, wife, professional. quiet (with strangers) and uncertain of so many things…. the broad in that last photo couldn’t be more different, although i’m still a mother! and still uncertain….

  2. I will not be dragging mine out lol

    First one was 16 year old long hair hardly a moustache to talk of etc

    Few stamps being in Europe you can pop to France in an hour and they barely look at it. I do have over 3 me the old ones about 90 USA entry stamps!

    • The beauty of European travel is just that! A border crossing is like going to another state here in the US. But i’d want my stamps. There are a few missing from my books as well, due to driving across borders… i visited Switzerland by way of Germany while driving my parents around…

  3. Kirsty and the girls had to get new passports last year for Italy. Kirsty’s an attractive woman (and I say unbiasedly–it’s not like we’re going out with each other or anything), but she looks like a chipmunk in her new passport picture. You’re right–it’s important to get the right photo on your international credentials, so I’m glad the ensemble sounds like it’s looking good.

    I’m sure you know this but if you’re coming to Europe, make sure you ask for a stamp, because several countries don’t bother now. Or maybe they do a bit more for Yanks–I mean, we need to keep a close eye on you lot :)

    • i even made it a point to wear black, with a scarf… no sports logo t-shirt, or anything like that…. not that i actually OWN one of those. i look better smiling, but that is discouraged for passport photos. i suppose they wouldn’t refuse me, but i like to comply. don’t want to get crosswise with immigration or they might not let me come home. or worse, LEAVE!

      and i think i missed a few stamps from European trips along the way. there were a couple more visits to Germany that don’t seem to be marked. will make note to stand there and demand one the next time i go!

  4. The life of Daisy all laid out in three charming snapshots. I wish I had more use for my passport. It’s got cobwebs. Incidentally, there are ways to expedite a passport update. You’ll pay a hefty fee to do it but it can be done. I’ve done it.

    • i know i could pay an extortion fee and get it in two weeks. but i hate that. if things are running well, it’ll be 4 weeks… 6 weeks more likely. not worth an extra $60…

    • i was so nervous when i had that 30 year old pic taken! no idea how i was ever going to manage an international trip on my own! turns out? flying solo led me to some amazing friends that i might not have met had there been another business colleague, or companion, in tow…

  5. My dear, you wear 50 VERY well!
    My previous passport photo was of me at 16 …. in my “rebel without a clue” phase.
    My current one is just an older version; still packing the attitude, but with more of a clue (I think!)

    Incidentally, where did you travel to in Spain? I’m taking The Boy there for his graduation and we’re still not sure where exactly we want to go.
    I can’t wait to get more stamps in my passport, it looks far too bare!

    • thank you, mz fyre! kinda thinking i’ll shave my head and paint it for the one i get done at 60! maybe a mohawk! once i’m off the corporate clock, i can do what i wanna!

      went to Seville in 2008. Gorgeous city, and i really enjoyed it, but it was hotter than hades in July! Regret that i didn’t go to Barcelona while there! Gotta watch the pickpockets, but it’s on my bucket list.

    • Thank you, sweetie! When i see my new, empty passport, i’m going to consider it an unwritten book. Perhaps we’ll get to scuff a couple pages together one of these days!

  6. Such exciting places. But the world is full of exciting places. Since my travelling days are now limited (possibly over) I am considering putting in travel requests to other people. Would you be up for it? For starters, I would love to go back to Antarctica, India and Nepal. I would like to see polar bears in their rapidly diminishing natural habitat. The terracotta warriors and the mummies of Umrichi in China…

    • i’m on the job, sister! but “go back to” Antartica?!? you’ve been there?!?!? wowzers! Any chance you have pictures you could post? A definite ‘must see before i go poof!’ location, as are India and Nepal. Seeing polar bears and the northern lights might just be a possibility, too. Oh, and Xian and the terracotta warriors are top picks for me, too! will throw in the mummies as a bonus!

  7. My debit card shows a picture of me when I was 22. Bwahaha! I’ve never bothered to get a new picture at the bank, and they keep sending me this one every time they update the card. I like it!

    I still don’t have a passport. Need to get one before Bermuda.

    • Wondering what good such a picture does for security if it’s a bit out of date? Then again, you might look just as you did at 22 so no worries? Hope you post about Bermuda – so very close, and i’d love to see men wearing business suits/shorts!

  8. Whenever I read your quips hen I often think of a place far away which I would like very much to enter. Yep, I refer of course to a bar in your neck of the woods where we could drink whisky for 5 days straight before we eventually get around to revisiting my first line.

    • thank you! really wondering what that next photo will look like… the hair? would have been completely gray at 35 if i hadn’t resorted to modern chemistry. someday i’ll let it go… maybe…

  9. i seem to have misplaced my passport and lord knows i don’t want the hassle of reapplying. i love your photos! my first passport had a b/w photo. *sigh* i was so young. LOL yeah, just thinking about all the different pics is cracking me UP! xoxoxoxox

    • it was an entertaining evening going through all those stamps, trying to read the dates, and try to recall “what the hell was i doing in Amsterdam in 2006?’ oh, yeah… THAT trip…

  10. My first one is a 16 year old innocent. I got my hair cut in a Sassoon salon in New York on my way to Europe and when I was going through the customs line in Rome the passport inspector REALLY looked me over to compare me to the passport shot. I really did NOT look the same.

    The sad thing is, with the electronic scan of passports now in existence, the visa stamp is becoming a thing of the past. Dang it.

    • As the first passport ‘wound down’, i went through a difficult phase of massive weight gain and hair loss. i looked NOTHING like that little kitten in the photo, and had a passport inspector grill me hard coming back into the US. i finally said “I GOT FAT! LOOK AGAIN!”

  11. I will have to post a picture of my old one from the roadie days. I’m surprised they ever let out of this country, much less into any others. There is really no feeling quite like grabbing one’s passport to start an overseas adventure. Enjoy.

    • would absolutely love to see that! i love your roadie tales… i still sometimes think i could do that job. i volunteer as a stage manager for two local festivals, and adore the backstage life. sit during the set because set changes are going to kill you… hanging with the musicians… only thing missing is the hallucinogens.

      and yes… that feeling. when i’m finally packed, in the car, and on the way to the airport i will check for two things: passport and credit card. if i’ve got those? i can wing it…

  12. I LOVE these… These are warranted badges of honor. When I look at mine I remember each and every day the photos were taken and my impending adventure. Well done!

    • Exactly! For each photo i was sort of under time pressure to get it done before…. and it’s strange to see a photo where you remember exactly how you felt when it was taken. Maybe like wedding photos?

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