Next month, I should be traveling to Haiti in order to perform a medical mission and medical fact-finding trip with some colleagues at the Department of Public Health here in Massachusetts. I’m VERY excited as I’ve been wanting to go do medical work in Haiti for quite some time now – circumstances have just prevented me from going in the past. But now the timing is finally right.
I was all ready to book my flight when I thought to myself – wait, when does my passport expire? Oh crap, February. You see, Haiti (along with many other countries) requires a passport be valid within 6 months of the date of entry. Sadly, my passport would not have met this requirement. Fail. So I had the pleasure today of getting passport photos taken and then expediting my passport renewal. A mere $200 later and the passport is in the mail.
I have to admit I’m sad to see my old passport go. That passport has been a lot of places in the past 10 years and has seen a lot of sights. Not to mention the good times spent in foreign countries, often with friends. There are numerous stamps in that passport – my first trip to Paris by myself and the ride through the Chunnel to London in 2005. My first medical trip to South Africa in 2005, complete with the temporary visa required for the two months I spent there, and my second medical mission to Nicaragua in 2008. There’s the multiple stamps from the trip I took to Europe to celebrate graduation from medical school with my good friend Katrina – France, Luxembourg, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium. My relaxing trip to Spain after my first year of residency in 2009. And most recently trips to Barbados, and then to Mexico with my good friend Areeg.
I will fully admit that I’ve been incredibly blessed to be able to see as much of the world as I’ve managed to see in the past 10 years. And I’m really excited about getting a new passport that will have a stamp in it from Haiti. Here’s hoping the next 10 years have as many opportunities for travel as the past decade has.