A decade of travel

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November 10th 2010
Published: December 26th 2010
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Old Passport
Ten years ago I set out to the local Post Office filing in forms and handing over a check for $65.00 USD paid to the United Postal Services in January 2001. The application was for my first US Passport. The reason I needed to obtain a passport wasn't because I was about to become a jet set traveler but merely I had been accepted to study in the country known as "down-under" or Australia.

A decade of travel later my passport was on the verge of reaching the six-months to expire category. Knowing I needed to get my passport renewed prior to April for our wedding anniversary trip, I decided to apply early for the new passport. Ironically, ten years later, I am on the cusp of moving back "down-under" however this time I am not traveling alone; I am married and we are not heading to the Eastern seaboard as individuals but to the Western coast as a couple!

With Perth, Western Australia within our sights, we decided to take the year before and travel into South Korea to teach English. And as everyone knows who owns a passport 90% of the governments of countries out there in
Info PageInfo PageInfo Page

Age 26. First Passport.
the world want your passport to have a six-month buffer prior to its expiration date. With my passport expiring in July 2011, I decided to apply a bit early and hope for a distinctive marking on the information page of this soon to be new passport book.

While Shauna was living in Nara, Japan, her passport came up for renewal. As she applied from overseas, her new passport arrived and she noticed a very unique issuing authority of Osaka, Japan. This passport brought on new meaning to her because it marked her time spent in Japan.

Because of this uniqueness in Shauna's passport renewal I was hoping that the issuing authority would be Seoul, South Korea because it would live within my new passport book for the next decade traveling from place to place as we went further into our lives. Once the I went to pickup the new passport I was slightly disappointed to read the issuing authority as The US Department of State, not as classy as Seoul, South Korea, but it still was not marked as a city inside the United States.

The pictures which you are about to feast your eyes on were
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Never changed it, in 10-years of travel.
once blank pages in my first 10-year passport.
The old-passport during its "renewal" phase was punctured with holes rendering it invalid. Unfortunately, for me this means I must start all over again with remembering the details of my passport book just in case I am ever without it and need to know its issue date, expire date, control numbers, et cetera.

As I sit here today, flipping back through what was ten years worth of travel I am pondering all the adventures and journeys I took thanks to owning a passport and am wondering what will be stamped within the new passport book over the next decade?

Here is the list of pages within my first passport book to go along with the photographs attached;

Page One USA picture of me age 26, Authority of Charleston, SC issued on 26 Jul 2001, expires 25 Jul 2011.
The page has been hole-punched four times, rendering it invalid.

Page Seven Personal Data and Emergency Contact Information
Bearer's Address in the US, 985 S Babcock Street #8 Neenah, WI 54956 USA

Bearer's Foreign Address 45 Cordelia Street #10 South Brisbane, QLD 4101 Australia

I was abroad I always used my grandmother's address as my place of residency. It was always the most stable address and therefore the one I placed inside my passport. Ironically, I never did change the Foreign Address written inside the passport. Cordelia Street was the first apartment I lived in, in Brisbane with Danny the Brazilian Swede and Taduna (Bo) the 18-year old Zimbabwean.

Page Eight My first stamp in my freshly new passport was when I landed in Nadi, Fiji on 9 February 2002. On that same day ten hours later I received my entrance stamp into Brisbane, Australia.

Page Nine Australia Visa for Study attached on the 21st of February 2002. Because I wasn't in the loop yet with how things worked in Australia with the student visa, Condition 8101 stated "No Work." Eventually, I knew I would want to have a job. Therefore, I needed to return to immigration eventually to have a second Visa put into my passport. Ironically, when they did issue the visa, I was allowed to remain in Australia until 15 Mar 05.

Page Ten 6-months later I returned to the offices of immigration in Brisbane on August 21st. Flipping through my passport they found my original student visa, stamping a large black box over it. They had me pay a small sum of money and placed a new "work limitation" student visa into my passport.

Page Eleven Departed Australia 14 December 2003. I left Australia returning to the United States for my friends wedding. The wedding, well it was interesting. Then I continued onward with another friend to Aero Intl.' Juan Santamaria, airport in San Juan, Costa Rica landing on 29 December 2003. Returning a few weeks later we were issued a re-entry stamp back into the United States on 13 January 2004. The fourth stamp on this page was a trip to Calgary, Canada on November 13th, 2006. I believe this is the weekend I escaped Arizona to check out Calgary before I committed myself to moving there in June the following year.

Page Twelve The brown and white stamp is from Japan Immigration Inspector, Landing Permission, 3 April 2004 date of permit, until 2 July 2004, temporary visitor, 90 days. Kansai Airport. As I arrived in Japan for my new teaching job with Amerika Eigo Gaukin, I was given a visitor's visa eventually I obtained my worker's visa a few weeks after I arrived. The red rectangle stamp below it was May 17, 2004 stating Application, SED, C-344.
The blue oval stamp is US Customs EDA on December 3, 2006, not certain where it is or what it was for? Chicago Admitted, July 29 2004. The other oval stamp states Admitted, GLG, July 14, 2008. And the final black box is also stamped with various Japanese characters.

Page Thirteen The large black square stamp dated until May 26, 2007 is my 3-year work permit for Japan. Issued on May 26, 2004 followed by a small black box of kanji with H16-5-7 and a Departed stamp in a blue box with the date 29 July 2004.

Page Fourteen The stapled portion was a bit of the Thai visa which was ripped out when you departed the country. The stamp below it was issued at the Thai-Consulate General in Denver, Colorado with a valid until date of September 13, 2006. Issued on September 15, 2005.

Page Fifteen The light blue oval in the top left corner states Republic of Korea, Immigration 2005. October. 28.
Below it Immigration Bangkok, Thailand visa class NN-0, 11 Nov 2005 until 8 Feb 2006. The triangle stamp below it states Departed, Thailand on 14 February 2006. The purple rectangle below this states more information in Thai script along with numbers and the date. The second column has once again, a Japan Immigration Inspector stamp issued on 17 October 2005 valid until 15 January 2006. This was one of many stamps collected visiting Shauna in Japan. The blue box below it states Departed 18 October 2005.

Page Sixteen Purple square stamp; Republic of Korea, Immigration admitted 2005. Oct. 18, until 11.17. Below it is a brown Japan Immigration Inspector stamp for 28. Oct 2005 valid until 26. Jan 2006. Top right is another Japan Immigration Inspector stamped 15. February 2006 until 16. May 2006. Below it are two Departed Kansai stamps for 15 Feb 2006 and 11 Nov 2005.

Page Seventeen Upside down black rectangle stamp, Canada Customs, 15, Dec 28, 2006. This was the trip to Edmonton, Canada to spend New Years Eve with Shauna prior to our moving into Calgary the following year. Below it to the left is another Canadian black rectangle stamp 309, May 1, 2007 EIA. Beside this is an Blue oval stamp for Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection, Admitted EDA May 05 2007. And the long black strip is for Mexico. Baja California SUR, on 15 December 2006 for my travels to Cabo San Lucas with my friend Andrew when we were working for the Airline company.

Page Eighteen Dual, Immigration Canada stamps, only identifiable difference is port of entry. On the top purple stamp, it states 02 JL 2007, Coutts. Coutts is a border port of entry between Alberta, Canada and Montana, US. This was from our crazy return road trip to Wisconsin for my grandmother's 90th birthday. The stamp below it states 13 MA 2008, A.I. Calgary I.A., meaning Airport International Calgary International Airport. This stamp reflects our return from the trip to Seattle, Washington for our honeymoon. The information handwritten below these two stamps has something to do with the six hour delay we had in Coutts with a customs agent trying to reenter Canada with an explanation of a horrific job offer letter I received from a Black's Photography, regional manager!

Page Nineteen All three black stamps on this page are from various entries into Canada. Each one is slightly different with its information: 103. Dec 01 2009. Cal. / 128 Jul 16 2009 Calgary 701 / 33 Jul 20 2008 Calgary

Page Twenty US Border Customs blue oval stating Jul 11 2009.

Page Twenty-one Immigration Canada, 07 MA 2009 Calgary with a bunch of handwritten information and the border agents signature

Page Twenty-two Republic of Korea, teaching visa, issued 2010/07/28 final entry 2011/07/28, Entries Multiple, Issued at SF (San Francisco)

Page Twenty-three The purple squared stamp reads Republic of Korea, Immigration Admitted 2010 Jul 30 until E-2-1 01Y, Incheon Airport 076

Page Twenty-four Blank.

Page Twenty-five Hemiji Castle stamp from Japan. I had nothing to stamp but my passport! And various small stickers I collected from various trips into Japan and South Korea. Used Mart, Party Poppoer, Athens 2004 Coca-Cola, Kirin Chu-Hi and Hi w1,000. Plus the same four hole-punches through the back rendering it invalid.

Ten years later... this one memento my first passport book holds onto more memories about my life over the last decade then any other object in my life! Thousands of unforgettable moments encountered with every step forward on those trips. The wonderful people I met sharing experiences with inside and outside of my homeland. Every single stamp proved there was an adventure out there awaiting to be discovered.

The decade has gone by in a flash of beautiful colors, my first passport book has been stamped from the first page to the last leaving only one untouched. The thing has lasted throughout all the adventures, and in the end has been punched full of holes and rendered obsolete.

My replacement passport book is seventy-five pages long, it has no stamps, no holes and a super computer micro chip for easy tracking! Today, I am holding a fresh NEW passport book in my hands ready for the endless opportunities out there over the horizon awaiting me throughout my travels! The difference; I now have a traveling partner; Shauna. And we together are moving back to the country were we first met: A*U*S*T*R*A*L*I*A*!

Additional photos below
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Korean E2-teaching visa. Some Information deleted.

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