I first got my passport when I was 20. I had just received a scholarship to study in Shanghai for a month, and since I wasn’t going to go unless I got the scholarship, I waited until I found out I received it to order my passport and expedited the delivery. It probably would have been smarter if I had just ordered it much before, but in the end, I’ve made that extra money I paid worth it. Germany will be the 14th country I will have visited by the time tomorrow is through, and my 15th will be New Zealand next month. This little booklet that I carry with me when I leave the country has been through quite a number of adventures around the globe.

My aunt, who is actually in China right now, had asked Ed and me if we wanted to accompany her on her China/Hong Kong trip last spring. I knew I wasn’t going to go, but I also knew Ed wasn’t going even if he had wanted to. My mom would never have allowed him to go. He did e-mail me a couple of times, though, to ask about what the passport application process was like, and how long it would take to receive. It always makes me sad to know that he was never able to leave the country and see the world outside of the U.S…. and really, outside of San Francisco, since he rarely left San Francisco unless it was to see me in New York or Boston. So much of life is wasted if you aren’t constantly learning and exploring outside of what is comfortable to you. To each his own, but I’m really excited and grateful for “my own.”

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