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Inside Our Pretty New Passport

June 16, 2009 at 4:32 PM | by | ()

Earlier this morning, we posed the question: Would you pay for your passport stamps? And coincidentally, our brand-new U.S. passport has just arrived. We were a little saddened with this new passport because, of course, it was missing all of our stamps and our old passport wasn't sent back with it. So it felt as if someone just erased our travel history. Zap! Thus we found ourselves answering "yes" to that question above. (On the bright side, our new picture looks amazing.)

Our last passport was issued to us 10 years ago so we were due for a new one. But aw shucks, our stamps are gone! The only thing making the passport slightly interesting are the jazzy new picture page (in which our photos is color-scanned into the page as opposed to attached) and the new pictures splashed across the previously blank pages.

Each page is illustrated with an iconic American landscape or landmark like the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, and The Rockies and accompanied by a famous quote, usually from a president.

There's even one at the very back of outer space, leading us to wonder if our passports will be necessary for upcoming galaxy travel. We also liked the one of the cattle herders--it was very "Brokeback Mountain."

Meanwhile, we're still anxiously awaiting the return of our old passport. According to the U.S. passport office, it's on its way:

"Yes, we return the old, cancelled passport to you....it may be sent separately from your new passport."

Until then, it looks like we've got some traveling to do. Yes, we've changed our minds. We don't want a tourist passport stamp. We want the real thing.

[Update: Our old passport has arrived! Yay, we feel complete again.]

Related Stories:
· Would You Pay For Your Passport Stamps? [Jaunted]
· U.S. Passports [Official Site]

Archived Comments:

new passports

i don't think the old passport pages were blank, at least mine had the seals of each of the states on it, not that it matters greatly, but just saying.

Last Page: Space

The last spread in the passport is actually an homage to Ellison Onizuka, the first Asian-American astronaut. He's quoted on the left hand page, where if you look closely under all that text, you can see an image of Hawaii, his home state. The right hand side picture isn't claiming space for all of America, as I've seen on some other US passport critiques online. It's a reference to Onizuka's death in the line of duty while on board the Challenger, which exploded in 1986. If you take into account all of the subtle imagery and how it's all connected, it's a pretty touching tribute.

Don't worry..

A lot of times they will return the old passport in a separate envelope. Wait a few days, and I'm sure your old passport will turn up.

Pretty passports

These are obviously all the rage now, they just released new Australian passports which have lots of different pictures across each page too, very pretty, is it some kind of anti-counterfeit measure or just a way to employ starving artists??

Ellison Onizuka

wow, i am looking at this last page now and that is a powerful tribute indeed. thanks so much for letting us know!