The Passport Story Part 1

Today’s deja vu moment involved me looking for my passport. I got married last summer, and I’m finally getting around to finalizing my name change on everything. It’s strange to lose my name, but I get to trade it in for a new one. Similar to my passport.

It was the summer after my senior year of college. As a graduation gift to my sister (who was graduating high school) and me, my dad decided that we should go on a trip together. Most of my travel history involves my dad. Growing up, we would take multi-week road trips in a packed car to go camping. Sometimes this involved air conditioning, sometimes it didn’t. Sometimes our campsites had plumbing, sometimes they didn’t. As we got older, my dad decided to branch out to travel by air. We went on trips to places like Washington D.C. and Europe.

Most of the year, our time with our dad involved every other weekend at his house and weeknights at our sporting events. During our trips with Dad, he became part of our daily routine. It brought back the feeling of when his bedtime stories had been our nightly arrival into comfort and departure into dreamland. On our vacations together, our dad once again became an anchor for our days. So, the trip he planned was an important symbol before our entry into the unknown of our adulthood. With my sister entering the world of college and me preparing for work, who knew if the three of us would have schedules that aligned again. Ever.

That’s not to say that these trips always went smoothly. All of us seem to have a genetic predisposition to be “hangry.” As soon as one of our blood sugar levels would drop, we would become snappy, inconsiderate, dreadful travel companions. Furthermore, my dad had an unwavering need to push the pace. He would walk blocks ahead of us, daring us to churn our legs faster. These tendencies were exacerbated by my father’s impulsive decision making. My sister and I would find ourselves on some hike, woefully unprepared in our flip flops, not sure when we would get back to the car or where the path was taking us. Sometimes we uncovered hidden treasures. Sometimes we got lost.

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