Yep, that’s me. Although, I always thought of myself as a city girl. As far as cities go Salt Lake wasn’t that big and we moved to a small town when I was in junior high. Houston was is a big sprawling city, but my life there was in master planned suburbia. Even when we lived in the San Francisco area, my life was still in suburbia. It wasn’t until we moved to London in 2001 that I truly became a city girl. I love the city, the noise, the sirens, the people, public transportation… I have continued to love being a city girl in Singapore and now Tokyo.
Anyway my point is that this “small town girl” has been a lot more places than she ever expected when she was living back in her small town. (I still love visiting that small town).
Today is a bittersweet day for me. I went to the American Embassy this morning with my passport (the one I’ve had for over 9 1/2 years), a passport application with two photos attached and a bright pink post-it note that read, “Requesting a 52 page passport and $110. My passport doesn’t expire until February 2011, but it has become a problem. Many countries won’t allow you to travel there unless you have 6 months remaining on your passport. For example, US citizens don’t need a visa to travel to Taiwan, but if you have less than 6 months left on your passport you are required to pay over $150 for a visa.
I have become attached to this passport for several reasons. First, I actually like the photo. Second, I have the 9 digit number memorized, which comes in handy if you travel as much as I do and have to fill out forms before entering each country. Finally, it is like a journal of my life and the places I have been in the past 9 1/2 years. It is filled with visas and resident permits.
I have had two additional sets of pages added (hence the request for the XL size passport this morning). It is quite thick.
This morning before I left I flipped through it and was amazed at how abnormal my normal life is. Since 2001 I have been to Mexico, UK, The Netherlands, France, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Portugal, Egypt, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Bali, Viet Nam, Philippines, China, India, Australia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Denmark, Greece and Turkey. Wow!
The “sweet” part of the bittersweet is that I do like getting new things and I do like a fresh start. Just a small town girl…..