I renewed my passport just recently. Yes I know, why bother with doing that when it’s not likely I’ll be heading off anywhere overseas in the near future. I could have saved the money and let the “renew by” date come and go. Except that, should the need arise for me to hop on a plane to somewhere outside of Australia in the next year or so, I’d have to go through the whole rigmarole of getting a new one all over agin, as opposed to just doing a renewal.
So where am I planning to go? Well, nowhere at the moment, but down the track I would love to head back to Europe, especially to France. I loved France. But my new passport is good for the next ten years (because if you’re under the age of 74 in this country, you can only get a ten year one) and I expect that somewhere in the future decade it will be safe to travel again because there will be a good, all-round safe vaccine against COVID by then, and those of us with any sense will get the shots. And of course, once we get the all-clear, I trust I will be able to grab my passport and go.
But it seems many in the same passport boat decided to jump ship when theirs came up for renewal. Figures for passport renewals have dropped dramatically as people have decided that if they can’t travel, where is the point of paying out to renew it? Okay, I’ll admit they have a point there, and who knows, perhaps travel will be no safer in the next five to ten years than it is now, but I think it will be. While there is a vaccine available now, it has had some glitches, so I expect work on the development of an even better version will continue and when they hit the jackpot with the ultimate COVID vaccine, it will be made available worldwide, thus making it safe for us to globe trot again.
So I am not sorry I renewed my passport. Besides, my photo in this one is so much nicer than the last. I look good!
Meanwhile, I have pacified my personal travel bug with a few trips beyond my local region and it felt good. There was the trip inland to spend some days with Daughter, Son-in-law and the grandkids (and all their pets) and we had a wonderful catch-up. Not quite overseas, but I did cross from NSW into Canberra so it was sort of interstate. Then there was the trip up the mountains to get new tyres on my car. I could have had them done locally but The Bloke very generously offered to cover the cost and it meant we could catch up for lunch and coffee. It took about two and a half hours to drive up there, so that was sort of like a long distance trip too. Sort of.
Thing is, a few months ago I would not have done either trip because things were still a bit too iffy and while I knew I was not sick, the kids and grandkids (and all their pets) were not sick and neither was The Bloke, it just seemed like the wrong thing to do at the time. Travel was still on hold to a degree and I wanted to do the right thing. But now it’s okay to extend our boundaries for the moment and I am so hoping the trend continues. And I’m sure that’s possible, just so long as we are all responsible with our new-found semi-freedom. I felt an exhilarating sense of semi-freedom as I headed up the highway! It was great and I truly believe travel much further afield will be possible in the near future and when it is, I’ll be ready. With my nice renewed passport, with the much nicer photo of me.
Seriously, I look good.