Having a passport when you are a traveler is a bit like ensuring you have a will written up when you are in a rest home ! You never know when you are going to need it and sure as eggs if you let it lapse or muck about procrastinating that you will get around to getting one eventually, you might possibly find that you have missed an opportunity to travel - or emptied your wallet of many more dollars than you needed to get one issued in time.
I have held a current passport since my late teens until recently. I am more the spontaneous type and in my mind I felt it always gave me this secret power to escape. If I had money , I could piss off on one of those birds (despite the fact I hate flying) and escape.
In February this year my old one expired and for the first time for over thirty years I felt a sense of being trapped in NZ . I cant even explain it other than looking back in my mind the passport must be the key that unlocks a world of excitement, wonder, adventure and fear.
What made it worse was that I have a trip planned soon to Canada and the USA and the entry visa required by those countries needed a current passport so after a strum up on Skype by my traveling partner to be for this trip from her flat in Abu Dabui on the other side of the world, I set about renewing it online for the next ten years.
Renewing it online was a piece of cake until it came to the part where you had to upload your photo. In an effort to save myself $20.00 I took a dozen selfies of myself on my Iphone and uploaded them to the site only to have everyone of them rejected because there were too many shadows, the image was too big, small or otherwise! Out of sheer frustration I climbed on-board my trusty scooter and sped down to the local post shop on a Saturday morning to get one done properly. The que was a mile bloody long and by the time I got to the counter I had a nervous twitch as I am not the most patient at the best of times and crowds and ques do my head in.
The lady charged with taking the photo had developed a nervous twitch at the size of the que and after about 6 failed attempts at a good picture of me she finally came up with the goods. She took my email address, said she would send the file electronically (that saves you 5 bucks you know and is the perfect specs for uploading to the Internal Affairs site.)
It would have been so easy, except that she obviously wrote down the wrong email address, it never arrived and when I contacted them about re sending it they explained they delete the file the minute they are sent for security reasons and I would have to go back and have it redone! FFS I said under my breath , when was I going to get time to do that?
Luck would have it that later in the week I was scheduled to have a surgical procedure to investigate a few issues and would be having a day off work and so I could get the photo done after that .
Well, I guess the moral of the story is if you need to have a photo taken that you are going to have to show people for the next 10 years or so - dont have it taken after having some thing poked and prodded in an orifice that should have been for exit only , or you could end up with something as equally unflattering as displayed!
It fitted the specs required, the passport is back and as hideous as it is I know in 28 days time its the ticket out of here for a month.
Bring it on.....