You are now free to travel about the Planet Earth...
I’ve applied for, and received, rather expensively, that document necessary to leave these United States. The passport. The little indicator that's the hot commodity for vacationers this summer. Gotta have it. Hard to get it.
What a process. Now that it’s a government requirement to have a passport whenever you cross the US border, I figured it was time to go ahead and get one. My international travel has been really limited until now -- a couple of trips to Vancouver and BC; a jaunt to Cancun and a holiday years ago to the Caymans. No big whoop. And my little birth certificate and photo ID was sufficient to get me through customs without the blink of an eye. Although the big cooler of meat my travel companion and I brought into the Caymans did cause a stir. But that’s another story for another time.
However, my lackadaisical attitude of “I’ll get around to getting this sometime” got a big kick in the ass when I all of a sudden planned a trip to Toronto in late July. To see friends. And to go to see The Police in concert there.
While I love my friends, the prospect of seeing MY BAND play live for the first time in 25 years was enough to ignite that motivation to play along with the bureaucracy and get the damn document.
After a long, ridiculous journey to try and figure out where, when and how to actually apply for the thing, I found myself in the lobby of a post office tucked into an industrial park, armed with my birth certificate, paperwork, a blood sample, checks, credit cards and two witnesses, including my Girl Scout Leader and my pastor.
OK. I’m just kidding about the blood sample and witnesses. But not by much.
I even made sure that I didn’t look like death warmed over for my passport photo. Lipstick and blush. It’s not a glamour shot, but I didn’t want to appear too ghastly. Although my roots could have done with a touch up. But beggars and hair slaves can’t be choosers and too vain when time is of the essence.
When I applied, it was still a mandate to have the passport in order to cross any border. And the very helpful postal worker told me that because of this, it could take as long as five months to receive the passport under standard processing, and at least four weeks with expedited service. There was no way I was going to let the bureaucratic time line keep me from being able to get to that concert. So I paid. Dearly. For expedited service. Checks to the post office and US State Department. Got all my bases covered. Whew.
And it was worth it. As my passport to adventure arrived today. Within the quoted time frame. Color me pleasantly surprised.
I’m ready now. To flash my US citizen credentials to anyone who asks to see them. Even have a cute little passport holder. That basic blue is so boring.
Now if only deciding what to wear to the concert was this simple...