New Passport- Old Friend

Immigrating is hard.

I'm starting to assume that anyone who has a black & white opinion 
on the rules and policies that should be enforced
towards immigration & deciding who-should-be-allowed-to-live-where
has never actually tried to immigrate.

We are working on getting our visas renewed
so that we can stay here longer
and I can continue to eat my body weight in puff pastry & dairy products.

While we are working towards this exciting goal
{that will be a big sigh of relief for us},
I found a small hitch that caused me some slight grief:
I would have to renew my passport early
in order to have my passport valid
for the entire duration of my new visa.


After 8 years with this passport and some heavy traveling, 
my passport has become something I really treasure:
it has 7 visas, 1 hand-stitched extension, 104 stamps & 13 empty spaces.

I'm so proud of it.

goodbye 19 year old picture... goodbye sparkly purple signature from a jelly pen.

My parents always worked hard to show us the world.

They wouldn't indulge us on trendy clothes
{oh heavens, did they believe in the hand-me-downs}...
but they did spoil us with traveling.

They always said that the stuff would turn to junk,
but the memories would turn into a life well lived.

And something about that idea seems to have stuck with me.

my first stamp in my passport. touch down in rome for a semester in italy.
my first uk visa

I mailed my new application & photos in today,
I realized that it wasn't my worn passport that made me a world traveler...
it's the collection of thoughts, memories & impressions that shape who I am.

And besides...
even if I do have to start over
 with a stark & empty passport,
I'll always have my facebook albums.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy


  1. What a great passport, I had one packed out like that, I should have kept it but I eventually binned it.
    I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum now, we can't think of a single place we want to go to for hub's 40th in January - I'm so glad we both feel the same way about travelling now!

  2. mine is like that too! good luck with the visa extension - that stuff is such a headache! (can you save your old one? or do they take it away?)

  3. I'm absolutely jealous of your passport! Mine has a handful of stamps, but I would love to the opportunity to travel as much as you have!

  4. I love that its signed with purple sparkly pen! Very 19!

  5. I love your parents! That is our philosophy! I had to get a new passport too and it is so sad! Hoping everything works out for your visas :)

  6. I think your parents were REALLY smart!!! Travel and education are the best gifts you can give to your children!

    Who knows....your new passport may exceed the travels of the first! Here's to seeing the world!

    xoxo Elizabeth

  7. I absolutely love the message your parents passed down to you. That's what I hope to teach my someday children too! (I can't believe I just said that haha)

    Travelling is so so important. I'm aching to get away soon myself. Until then, I live vicariously through you!

  8. Love the quote: 'They always said that the stuff would turn to junk,
    but the memories would turn into a life well lived.'
    What amazing parents to have!
    Best of luck with the new passport and your continued diet of puff pastry and dairy!


  9. I keep all my old passports and my kids too--there are so many fantastic memories in that little blue book!

  10. Ahh I'm so jealous of your passport! One of my life goals is to fill up an entire passport - and become a world traveler like you! Do you get to keep your old one?

  11. aw. it would be so hard to say goodbye to that passport!! you are so lucky and blessed to be able to travel like you have. it's pretty amazing (and yes, i'm still jealous)…and it's kinda cool that you get to fill up another passport! hope everything goes smoothly in the rest of the process!

  12. Uhh... you have the best passport photo ever. Seriously- mine is horrific and I'm looking at yours going: she's obviously born to travel if her passport photo is that good. Or maybe it's that you're that beautiful.

    Anyway- I do hope you guys get to stay longer. You belong there!

  13. Ahh, passport stamps are like badges of honor.
    i'm sorry you have to take this one out of commission...but now you'll have a new one to fill with all new visas and stamps! silver lining...

  14. What a wonderful mindset your parents have - opening our minds and broadening our horizons is so much better than the superficial. Congrats on aquiring a new passport. :)

  15. This is such a great post! My passport is one of my most valued possessions because it holds the record of all those memories. And I absolutely adore your parent's theory on stuff vs/ travel - it's just... Perfect.

    Fingers crossed for everything to go smoothly with this whole process!

  16. What a super post. Like you I was blessed to travel and live all over the world (practically) and boasted a bulging passport, it was hard (OK vanity at work here) to even say goodbye to my perfectly wrinkle free sparkly eyed, perfect glossy haired picture and hello to a slightly older, slightly aged version of the "new me". But alas it is starting to also look time worn, not with nearly as many stamps but theres a lot of living to do and I intend to once again fill up each and every page. Love how your parents thought....eerily familiar!!

  17. I absolutely love everything about this post. You are so blessed to have been able to get so many stamps in that passport -- and the memories that come with it! Love your parents philosophy on travel vs things too. Making a mental note of that -- it's something to consider with my own family some day.

  18. I recently had to renew my passport as well...and same feelings! Several visas, many stamps. And I came to the same conclusion- just because I have a new passport, no one can take away my experiences. You will have many passport books throughout your life- now you just have to create more memories!

  19. It's so true - travel is the best education!! You have already had years of a well lived life - here's to many more - well documented in your new passport!!

  20. I relate to this more than you know! I didn't change my name for 3 years after I got married officially, because I didn't want to give up my passport. I waited for it to almost expire.

    It was filled with stamps and visas--I even had to order extra pages years ago since I ran out of space. I don't know that I will ever have a passport as filled, but like you said I still have the memories (and yes, they give you the passport back but it's not the same!)

  21. you are one lucky lady with all of your travel memories! h and i hope to travel as much as we can before we have kids and then take them on trips once they are old enough.. i totally agree that the memories you make on trips far outweigh material things. xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

  22. love this. cannot believe how much of the world youve seen. really remarkable.

    i have to send in my application for my visa extension in dec..for a 2 year extension...i think its the most stressful thing in the world...applying for a visa. i hate it.

  23. Great photos, very inspiring!


  24. Um, so this post is making me emotional!!! How wise your parents are...and it obviously worked! I don't think we can truly understand each other and what we have until we've experienced what life is like for people outside our circles. Traveling is the ticket, to making us feel so small, yet so a part of something special.

    I never traveled until I was a grown-up, and I'm so thankful that I inherited a travel bug from somewhere! I hope the adventurous spirit passes on to my kids, even though we don't take them on all our travels with us! :) At least they'll grow up knowing there is a world worth exploring and anyone can do it!


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