I have to say I'm in love with Google's Gmail themes. :) It seems like every time I check my email, the background's changed and shows some kind of desk detritus. This was part of this morning's Gmail theme:
Last night a couple of my friends and I somehow got on the topic of outdated IDs, horrible pictures on our A&M student ID card, our excitement over getting sideways driver's licenses, and passports. I got to thinking that since I got my current passport in 2008 the only stamps it's had are the entrance and exit stamps from Togo... one sad little page. My previous passports have been full of exciting stamps and fun stories of my globe-trotting adventures; not this one. I'll be returning to Togo over Spring Break with my parents as they serve as Associate Trainers with EQUIP Ministries to help lead a pastor's conference. I can't wait to hand the Togolese immigrations officer my little navy blue book and hear "Bienvenue au Togo."
Then yesterday as I *attempted* to clean up my room before my roommate moved back in, I came across the stubs of several plane tickets that I had stuffed in the pocket of my interview suit, the tiny Bible that I carry when I'm traveling, and the folder I took to all my PT school interviews. I love $99 same-day, round trip fares from College Station to Dallas/Ft. Worth! And then as I finished Dear John last night (see previous post) I found my ticket stub from IAW to CDG (Washington Dulles to Paris/Charles de Gaulle) from this summer... ah, fun memories.
I love passport stamps. I love airplane tickets. But what I really love is the excitement that always seems to accompany traveling. You're not quite sure if you're going to land on time, if you're going to be able to find your gate, if your bags are going to get there, or if your ticket is going to somehow get "marked" so that you get a pat-down search EVERY time you go through security. You don't know what's waiting for you on the other end of the jet bridge. But that's OK. You have the plane ticket and you know you're supposed to be on that plane.
It amazes me that some people don't have passports; my parents said I got mine at the American embassy when I was just a few days old and my picture is of Dad holding me. I've never had one expire on me, but I'm glad that now I'm 18, I don't have to renew it every 5 years! The way I see it, a passport = freedom to follow God at a moment's notice wherever He leads. What if another earthquake hits Haiti tomorrow and I have the opportunity to fly down there on an emergency relief team. What if someday when I'm in Africa the embassy's going to ask all American citizens to evacuate because of political unrest. What if there's a short term missions trip to Asia that needs a guide because their original guide got sick? If I have to wait for the Houston passport office to expedite my passport application, I might miss an incredible opportunity... or the last flight out.
Well it wouldn't be a typical "Katie post" if I didn't give you tons of links to check out. :) But I want you to check out this one... http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html