When I booked this upcoming trip to Vietnam, I gave no thought to my passport at all. I mean, they’re valid for ten years, you just kind of forget about an expiry date. But I eventually checked and to my dismay, it expires on 6 March. I fly back home from Vietnam on 7 March. Annoying. And not just annoying but expensive too. Especially because I left it until three weeks before our departure date before I got around to having it renewed and therefore, had to pay the extra fee for speedy delivery. Serves me right, ya.
I love my passport. I love thumbing the pages, looking at the stamps from different airports around Europe, seeing the date and feeling mild surprise at just how long ago it was. I love seeing the working visas: one fancy-looking UK visa and one Irish visa, handwritten in a hurried scrawl. My favourite is the entry visa for Egypt. It takes up the whole page and the stamp was so wet with excess ink that the facing page has mirror image stamps on it.
This new passport has an entry visa for Vietnam to grace its pages first. Immigration dudes had better stamp it too, if they know what’s good for them. Over the next ten years, I hope the pages are full with stamps from airports from all over the world.
And sidebar, in ten years' time, I’ll be forty-two. Holy fuck.