The dreaded month is almost here.
My passport expires in March, 2015. Soon I will have to start the process of applying for a new one.
I don't want to.
This passport has been with me to Mexico, South America, Canada, Iceland, Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, China, Japan, and South Korea. It is filled with stamps and visas from all over the world.
When I enter customs, the official has to flip pages to find an open spot for a new stamp. I like that. I like thinking about my visits to all of those places, the people I've met, and the photos I've taken.
This was the passport in my pocket when I stood at Ground Zero in Nagasaki and thought about all those lives. It was with me at the 2008 Beijing Olympics where I photographed the most impressive opening ceremonies I've ever seen. I had that same passport with me as we navigated the Panama Canal with only inches to spare on each side of the ship.
I don't want to give it up. I don't want a hole punched through my last decade. It should be allowed to live, just as the memories do that are associated with it.
My first stamp in the new passport will most likely be Havana, Cuba this coming January. Not a bad start.
But I'd much prefer that Havana join my other adventures.
What a blessing it's been to meet all those people.