Travling Abroad For Dummies

I have to admit, as much as it pains me, I have not had the opportunity to travel in foreign lands.  For that matter, I have not even had the opportunity to visit the west coast.  However, the advantage of mainly traveling along the east coast is that I have become familiar with interstates and time required to travel to various cities from my home.  I have given the notion of getting a passport more consideration lately, and here’s why.

A valid passport would serve as another proof of identity.  I rarely have to prove my identity, but when I do, I am usually frantically searching for the proper documentation.  I figure if I have one more government issued ID, I would be able to produce proper identification quicker.  Yes, I realize this also allows a greater chance for identity theft, but I feel the positives outweigh the negatives.

Another reason I would like a passport is I would like the ability to travel outside of the U.S. with my wife.  She already has her passport and although most travels abroad are planned out in ample time to receive a passport, I would prefer to get that hassle taken care of extremely early to avoid any delays.  We now have no plans to travel abroad, but we may be taking a trip back to Manhattan this spring or summer.  Having a passport would allow me the opportunity to cross into Canada easily if the desire hits us at the last-minute.

The last reason I am considering applying for a passport just to have one is it would allow me to exit the country at a rapid pace.  I am not planning an exit simply because of the outcome of an election (though I am sure there are some folks who have thought about it).  I would be interested in leaving the country if needed for a disaster.  For instance, the earthquake that hit Haiti a couple of years ago.  Rather than being stuck here, I could be on the front line of the emergency help.  Even deeper, it goes to the feeling that I will not be in the corporate world in five years.  I feel by that time, God will have made a way out of it and I will be on church staff full-time.  Having the flexibility to be able to help those who need it at nearly any moment would be wonderful.

This has been kicking around in my mind for about six months.  I realize that there is a fee associated with a passport, but when you consider the yearly amortization (after all, I am an accountant by nature) the price is not that extravagant.  Then, I truly would need an education in traveling abroad for dummies.

Do you have a passport?  Do you think it is worth it?  Have you ever filled an entire passport with stamps?


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