Have Passport, Will Travel

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My Old Passport

It’s finally here!

My son’s passport just arrived in the mail which means we’re all set to go on our trip back home to Perú in 9 days! As I opened the envelope from the U.S. State Department and took my first look at this small blue book, I couldn’t help but think of all the people who’d give anything to have one of their own, too. I stopped to think about the unimaginable risks people — including thousands of children — take because they didn’t have the privilege to be born in this country. And then, I thought about how crazy it is that some in positions of power in the government want to take that privilege away.

Having an American passport is an extremely powerful tool, but for more reasons than just the obvious. Even with all the negative coverage the U.S. got from the international media in years past, having an American passport stills easily opens up the world to those who hold one.  I can only hope that, in the future, my children take advantage of this privilege by traveling as much as possible so they can get a better sense of what life’s like in other parts of the world and learn about other cultures and traditions.

I, on the other hand, have always had to go through the painstaking process of getting a visa — which can not only be very expensive, but also daunting and time-consuming — whenever I want to travel pretty much anywhere other than the country of my birth, Perú. Luckily, I’ve never allowed this to stop me.

Just a few weeks ago, I also got my new Peruvian passport. Unlike my son, this is not my first, but rather my fifth or sixth. I don’t know. I lost count. The last one wasn’t only expired, but it was also completely full save maybe one or two blank spots. Thirty-two pages which tell the story of how much I love to travel and how lucky I’ve been to be able to do so since I was barely 6 years old.

Hopefully, my children will follow suit and they’ll get to travel and experience other cultures helping them become real global citizens. Just like I’ve attempted to do.

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