Passport to the future

Where have you been and where are you going? One of my most precious possessions is my passport. Travel is not so much a right, as it is a privilege. Most of us are fortunate enough to have travelled abroad at some point in our lives. These days it’s almost a rite of passage, but there are plenty of people who don’t even own a passport! This year, I had to renew my passport and get a new one. Firstly, because it was full! And secondly, because it expires this year. So I got it renewed a couple of months ago at the embassy here. I got one of those shiny new e-passports. An ordinary passport lasts for 10 years, and it occurred to me that my old passport was a memento, a record of all the places that I’ve been to over the last decade from age 20 to age 30. I thought it was really cool that my passport timing coincided right on with each new decade of my age. Same goes for my new (current) passport. It will expire in the year that I turn 40 (that’s a scary number!). My new and old passport:

From Passport

So my old beloved passport is a thumbprint of how I spent my 20s.

From Passport

Over the last 10 years I have accumulated lots of stamps and visas (mostly a gazillion entries and re-entries in and out of Japan).

From Passport
From Passport
From Passport
From Passport
From Passport

Here is map which highlights all the countries that I’ve been to:
visited 19 states (8.44%)
Create your own visited map of The World or Free iphone travel guide Those countries would be Australia, Fiji, NZ, Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, France, Germany, Netherlands, England, Ireland, USA, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, 19 countries visited in 10 years. Not a bad effort (I thought I had done more), but still not enough, I say. I haven’t included stopover countries where I didn’t leave the airport. If I did, I would also include the UAE and Malaysia. My passport also includes a Russian visa (but I never made it to Russia even though I got a tourist visa). I haven’t included my upcoming Turkey trip because that’ll go in my new passport! There are soooo many more countries that I am dying to go to!!! Travel is my life, my 生きがい, my raison d’etre. I’ve not done any of South America, and I want to do way more of Europe! Here’s what my bucketlist of countries to visit looks like (they’re highlighted in red):
Create your own visited map of The World

Yep, I wanna go everywhere! Okay, I’ll be a bit more realistic then. Now that I have a brand new passport which will see me through my 30s, here is a list of countries that I would to like visit before my 40th birthday and upon the expiry of this new passport. So this bucketlist will cover the next 10 years. Ideally I’d like to do more, but this is a bit more realistic:

visited 35 states (15.5%)
Create your own visited map of The World

Hmmm, I just realised that was 35 countries! Maybe not that realistic after all! Me thinks I might have to live in a winnebago (coolest word ever, along with ‘haberdashery’) and eat catfood for the rest of my life to support this habit! Check back in, in 10 years and see how I’ve done. I’ll then make a bucketlist for the next decade. You can play with the interactive map and create your own travel bucketlist here or here. I used the first site, because I can embed into this blog. Fun, right!

So back to my original question: Where have you been and where are you going?

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