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Goodbye dear passport.

The man at the passport office laughed when I showed up and handed him my passport, with 2 years validity still left on it, but almost completely full of stamps.

“This rarely happens,” he said, laughing, and quickly agreed to issue me a new passport.

Hello to a new, beautiful spotlessly clean (I had a pen explode on the last one) passport that would not force me to endure hours of interrogation at the border. Goodbye to all the stamps that I loved but made my life incredibly difficult when crossing borders. Some of them, just pieces of paper shoved in there, I had already removed. Others were stamped or glued in there to stay.

I feel an irrational connection to this funny little black book that constantly stays at my side. It’s my most prized possession when I travel. It has been taken by soldiers, several times, and rescued. It has been lost by myself and found. And wherever I have traveled, the one constant that stayed with me — day in and day out — under my pillow, or in my wallet, was my ink-stained, bulging passport. I’m strangely sad to let it go.

“Might I suggest the double-sized one with 48 pages?” he said, smiling. “I think you’re going to need it.”

I hope I’m going to need it.