Passport Accepted - Written April 11th 2013

This morning I randomly woke a little after 5 am. I have had a slight anxiety over the passport situation. I feel like there is some negative loophole that will deny my passport - it's been a constant series of unfortunate events and this could be the most devastating. Imagine moving out of my place and relying upon my family I barely trust - and then whoppity doo - no passport! However rolling out of bed at this hour all I could think to do was check my passport status online.

It's being processed!

I applied for my passport, late in life -  late in general and at the 11th hour. I don't even have a ticket or predicted date of travel. The window of receiving my passport is around May 13th and my lease is up on the 15th! I am securing this as a means to many possible ends. I just cannot believe applying was the easiest thing ever! It was easier than seeking out an apartment or renewing ones registration. I didn't even need an appointment or my own photo. My passport photo is probably the worst photo I've ever taken and we tried several times. The girl even allowed me a restroom break to fix my hair. The whole process was no more than 15 to 20 minutes. I spent all this time - my entire life thinking it was going to be an ordeal. I just assumed that the experience of getting a passport was a luxurious yet time consuming experience - an inquisition of sorts. I expected my family history to be brought out on scrolls and for my finger to be pricked for blood.  

We should get a passport early. The process should be made a rite of passage at an early age. Americans are always stressing prom and graduation and college acceptance. Getting ones passport should be added to that list - whether there is a plan to travel or not. Ideally ones government would wish to give the passport to someone who is actually traveling somewhere. They do ask the dates you wish to travel and to where. You could always just give any old date as I did. They don't need to confirm your plans or see your tickets. Besides you see younger children as tourists with proper documents all the time but only a small percentage of Americans actually have passports. 

Why is that?

The current cost for a U.S. passport is extremely minimal. You can do it on your own or have a local government office do all the work. You only pay upwards of $40 to $60 in additional fees for their help. It's even less if you provide your own photo or pay with certain tender. It is about $60 more to expedite (which I regret not doing because I'm biting nails - my mail will be changing and the government does not forward - so it forces me to linger if I do not get it by the 15th) but otherwise the entire thing is only like $110 and you can add pages for more destinations (at the time of the order) for no additional cost. I myself chose the fifty something pages as if I plan to jet set the remainder of my natural life. A passport lasts 10 years and then you renew it. You can also change photos with age or weight change at cost - and get additional pages at cost - at anytime - some changes and the renewal process don't even require a visit to a nearby office. You can do all of that via mail or online.

I'm a tad more excited than most about this trip and getting things in order. I just wish I would have done this many years ago. At least having the passport would have allowed me to imagine possibilities of travel. I would have considered travel for leisure and maybe taken on opportunities that required travel. I've always declined jobs that entertained relocating and travel because I didn't have a passport. The cost and process of getting a passport is nothing in comparison to all the things I've turned away due to not having one. I know now Americans don't have passports because of ignorance. We don't think having one is accessible to us. We don't understand how easy the process can be. Getting ones passport really doesn't have to be this elusive and mysterious process. I'm sort of embarrassed I waited this long and now I'm about to burst at the seams to get mines. Now I can go anywhere - can you?

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