Three Letters To My U.S. Passports
Dear First Passport,
I wish I had a picture of you to include in this letter. You’re in a drawer or a box somewhere, but when I come across you, I will be sure to scan you and update this entry. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for having been a wonderful part of my life. You first came to me back in 2007, when one of my best friends, Marcus, and I auditioned, and were ultimately selected to spend an autumn and winter in Taiwan, singing and entertaining tourists at an American-themed amusement park.
I remember the park directors coming to Eastern Arizona College to hold the auditions and asking us if we knew how to rollerblade (for you see, roller-blading Santa Clauses were all the rage in Taiwan back then, and that was part of the gig). I answered, ‘Yes’, but at the time I had never even put on a pair of rollerblades. It’s true I lied, but it got me the job (well, that and all my other awesome talents). How hard can roller-blading be? I remember being sad when I learned that the amusement park had gone bankrupt and this particular adventure was canceled. I now had you, my first passport. At that time, however, I had no place to go.
The first time I actually got to use you was after I’d moved up to Logan, Utah and was attending classes at Utah State University. This was the trip when my roommates James (a family member and another bestie), Paul, and Matt got together with our neighbors, Christy (Paul’s sister) and Marie and drove up to go camping at Banff National Park in Canada. I was disappointed that the Canadian border patrol didn’t stamp you. This trip, however, gave me a taste for the beautiful north and left me hungry, wanting more.
James had told me how awesome his trip Germany had been and then I got to meet Stefan, a boy from Germany who had once lived with James’ family as part of a foreign exchange student program. Stefan was so kind and told us we should plan a visit to visit his home. One night I was surfing the net, and what started out as simply checking how much it would cost to fly to western Europe, suddenly turned into purchasing two non-refundable, roundtrip tickets from Los Angeles to Paris.
That was an amazing adventure (and another excuse to use you, my first passport). As you no doubt remember, our roommate Jason joined us for that incredible trip! By this point, the love of travel was fast becoming part of my D.N.A. That seed had been planted and I desperately hoped to nourish it.
I used you when another James (a.k.a Zuka), Dave, Dave’s friend Jessica and another roommate, Jeremy, went on a road trip to see Dave’s parents’ who were serving as LDS mission presidents in Monterrey, Mexico. This was yet another trip where you weren’t stamped. If border patrol agents would only stamp you, this world would be a happier place!
I used you, yet again when I went with some dear friends to the United Kingdom in 2002. This was the trip with my dear friends’ James (Zuka), Julie, Colee, Dave, Dominoe and Makaylee. We spend just over a week visiting this land of some of my [and some of their] forefathers. Finally, another stamp! A few years later, you would be well used when I’d become a flight attendant. Even though at the time, the airline was only domestic flights, you came in quite handy for all of those T.S.A. lines and security checks.
I miss you and hope you show up one of these days! I am blessed that you helped me to discover this love I now possess.
Dear Second Passport,
I apologize that you got so worn out! A few of your security features had even started to fade, resulting in additional questioning- but wow! We’ve had a blast! You have taken me back to the United Kingdom on a few different vacation trips, in and out of Iceland, you’ve allowed me to spend two amazing weeks in Ireland, in and out of Mexico and Canada a few times, all over the United States and even let me spend five weeks exploring some of western and southern Australia, in part to visit my dear friends, Arron and Brendan! I already had this growing love of travel, but with you, I really learned how to travel. I’m grateful to have known you!
Dear Third Passport,
Since you just arrived in my mailbox this past week, I really haven’t gotten to know you yet, but am looking forward to the opportunity. Now, If you’ll go over and take a look at my bucket list, you’ll agree that this is going to be a blast! I look forward to using you at the end of this month on our first adventure together! I even had them add extra pages to you!
Tonight I ended up in San Antonio, Texas. This morning I started a three-day trip with a gal named Suzy, one of our newest flight attendants. She commutes out of Phoenix, and when I found this out, I told her that I grew up in Thatcher, Arizona (about three hours southeast of Phoenix). Usually, when I tell people this, the next question is: Where is Thatcher?
Not only does Suzy know where Thatcher is, but she said she’s originally from Snowflake, Arizona (if Thatcher had a twin or sister city, it would no doubt be Snowflake). I told her that I love Snowflake and had many friends from that area. I mentioned that one of my very best friends, Marcus Ellsworth is also from there. Her eyes grew big, and she told me that not only did she know Marcus, but that her family is close with his family.
We start to talk about Thatcher, and she mentions that her older sister Heidi went to Eastern Arizona College (the local community college that I also attended and my dad taught at for years and years). Now my eyes grow big- Heidi used to date my brother Matt. Suzy remembered Matt! Now we’re both laughing and pretty much freaking out on the jump seat.
I love when I discover one of these connections! I’ve heard people say that we’re all connected by six degrees or less, but since I left the state of Arizona, these connections have been so rare that when it happens, I almost get tears in my eyes. Are these occurrences merely happenstance, or do you see the hand of God? I do believe in coincidence- however, I feel that too many things are dismissed as just that- mere coincidence. I’ve always felt like something needs to be shared or learned from each and every person that we interact with in life. What do you think? Mere coincidence or divine intervention?