Probably my most common anxiety dream is that I'm at the airport, ready to go on a trip, and I've forgotten my passport at home. I can't count the variations I've had of this nightmare. I'm forever desperately trying to retrieve my passport and meet my party before the plane departs. There are always parking garages, taxis, escalators, and security people that are either helping me or hindering me, and my father is always there, somewhere, waiting for me to get my shit together and make the flight. I always wake up before the final act, so I never know what happens.
Today I got my new passport in the mail. When my old passport expired in January, it was the first time since 1975 that I was without the credentials to leave the country. To be honest, I've only traveled abroad 3-4 times in the last ten years, and all but one of those trips was just across the border to Canada. My life is a lot different now than it was in the days when my family lived overseas and we all had airline passes that allowed us to standby for any open seat on any flight. I do miss the international travel, but on a teacher's salary the cost is prohibitive, and like many people, I get caught up in the details of leaving home-- who will care for my pets, water my plants, teach my students?
Even so, I was uneasy without a valid passport, and flipping through the blank pages of my brand new booklet today I felt optimistic, looking forward to all the trips I might take between now and August 18, 2019. I was also glad to be prepared to go almost anywhere, should I have the need or the desire to do so, assuming I remember to bring the darn thing along.