Letter to my passport

Dear Passport,

This week, after 10 years of being friends, it was time for you to say goodbye and it was hard. You see, you’ve done more for me than I ever could have imagined and I’m not sure I ever really got a chance to thank you properly.

I took you around the world but you SHOWED me the world. You showed me things about my planet and myself that I never knew were possible and in the process helped me discover myself.

We travelled together for a good few years to America, Paris and the Dominican Republic amongst others but I think that sadly I only really began to appreciate you in the last couple of years because that was when you began to show me the ‘power of me’.

Paradise Island day trip

Two years ago when I was thinking about going around Asia for 3 months solo you begged me to go but I was full of doubt. I didn’t think I was strong enough. I was scared, in a relationship, in a stable job and full of worry but you held me up and made me realise that I didn’t need to do it alone. You gave me strength when I came to the sad realisation that I had been in a 4.5 relationship with a man I only thought I loved and booked my flights when I wasn’t really sure what the hell I was doing with my backpacking or anything else in my life. You told me to rediscover who I was so I did just that.

I counted down the months, then weeks before I was due to have my ‘once in a lifetime’ journey. The journey that would supposedly lead me to the self-discovery and awareness I had been so desperately seeking, for so many years. But most importantly, you were there for me when I needed you the most; you helped me run away. I wasn’t sure I could backpack after losing my new relationship and baby but you picked me up when nothing or no one else could and reassured me that leaving was the best thing for me at that time and that I wouldn’t regret it; you were right in ways I could never hope to explain.

You taught me that it was okay not to enjoy myself just because I should. You showed me that leaving home didn’t leave my problems but that distance and time were great healers. You told me that allowing myself to feel whatever I needed to (good or bad) was the only way to truly be kind to myself. You taught me that it was ok to cry on a beach if that’s what I needed to; it was my journey and everyone’s journey is different. But you also showed me just what true happiness is. What it feels like to experience something that makes you feel so happy you forget you have any problems, you’re not worrying about money or life; you’re just in that moment and loving every bit of it.

Leopard Shark

When I came home from our first long trip together, you became part of my soul.  I could never change the many tears of joy and sadness I cried in those three months around Asia and I wouldn’t want to because without them, and you, I never would have discovered my thirst for long-term travel.  I never would have discovered that leaving home, not staying in it, made me happy or that, whilst leaving didn’t solve my problems, it gave me enough time and space to grow stronger as a person.  I can’t thank you enough for Asia.  I was a broken mess and you picked me up each and every time without asking for anything but my love in return; a true friend.

And when I told you we were going to Africa for six weeks and you would meet seven stamps along our journey, you became as excited as me; you were about to ‘go out’ in style because who doesn’t love to say that they’re going to Africa for over a month?!  I was excited and scared at the airport but once again, you held my hand, told me everything would be okay and we flew.  We flew, not just into the air, but the unknown.  Without you, I never would have realised just how strong a person I was when I struggled with my demons that knocked on my door from almost day one.  As I slept in my tent for those six weeks, you reassured me constantly and before I knew what was happening, we were having the time of our lives together.  You eagerly awaited your next stamp and country like a child with excited eyes and couldn’t wait to proudly display your colours with every new stamp you achieved.



You were there for me when I realised all the flaws in my personality and hated myself, crying on the truck, you held me up when I was beyond exhausted spending my days and nights thinking about my life and the paths I had taken and you showed me just how beautiful myself and nature could be if I only allowed myself to see it.  Without you by my side I’m not sure I could have coped with the isolation I felt due to my group but you knew I could do it which is why you pushed me every step of the way.  You knew I could jump into the edge of the largest waterfall in the world when others backed away and fly like a bird to watch the angels in the mist of the waterfall.  You knew I could challenge myself to eat things I wouldn’t normally and to dive head on into situations I wasn’t use to with confidence because you told me everything would be okay and I trusted you; after 10 years together, I could do nothing less.  Most importantly though, you were there for me when I finally found myself; it was just you, me and the acceptance of everything in my life from the past, present and future.  You woke me up and gave me a direction in life I had been so desperately seeking for too many years and you were proud of me because of it.

Microlighting over Vic Falls

And so, this week our friendship came to an end and I miss you already.  I miss your colours, your unwavering belief in me and the ability to show me things about myself and my world that I had no idea existed.  You’ve put me in touch with a good friend of yours and I look forward to the friendship that we build together after all the things that you and I have taught each other over the past decade.  We both realise that we’ve changed; we’ve grown up in the last two years and that it’s time to move on.  So I thank you Dear Passport; you have been my rock, my confidante and my best friend.

Love always,

Your soul mate

Leave a Reply


  1. I freaking love this! When my great-grandmother passed away all I wanted was her passport. Everyone else was going after materialistic things but I wanted a tattered, small blue book that. Her son ended up getting it, which sucks. But I can totally relate with this post. I adore my passport just as much

  2. This is a gorgeous piece, on of the best posts I’ve read anywhere in a long time. I wish every traveler could read it- I’m sure it would solicit the same strong emotions it did from me.

  3. Toni this is brilliant, I love it! I can completely relate – my Canadian passport is only good for 5 years at a time, and was about to expire in Dec, but had to be renewed early due to my Thailand trip.

    Last November, it accidentally went thru the washing machine in my pocket, and the High Comission gave me heaps for damaging it, and worse yet, they RETAINED it! So I have nothing left of it 🙁

    Beautiful work, keep on rockin girl

  4. Mallory

    I love how you wrote this! I can relate to lots of it. All the best!

  5. Jen

    I love this honey!! It’s so good to have it as a memory of how far you’ve come in the last few years! xx

  6. Aww I love this, Toni! I know how you feel, I felt sad when I had to replace my passport, too – but I can’t wait to fill up my new passport with more, prettier, more colourful stamps and visas from all around the world! A decade to do it in…

    It’s amazing what doors can be opened just from having a passport. Everyone should have one, as the opportunities are incredible.

  7. How sweet! It’s true – our passports really do experience a lot of our lives right along with us. If only they could talk. Actually, it’s probably best that they can’t 😉

  8. memographer

    Two days ago I was looking at visa stamps in my passport (with the last empty page left) remembering all travels one by one… I already miss it 🙂 This is a good letter, Toni!

  9. Elle – A passport really is like a personalised book of our life to some extent isn’t it?! To imagine all the amazing stories your great-grandmother must have had with that little blue book 🙂

  10. Erik – Such big compliments; you’re making me blush! 🙂 I’m glad you connected with it too!

  11. Kate – such a shame about your passport getting ruined and not even being able to have it back…bad Canadian officials 🙁 How mean are they?! Thank you for the compliments lovely 🙂

  12. Mallory – thank you! I’m glad you can relate.

  13. Jen – thanks sweet! I definitely think that a passport can act as a little personalised scrapbook of your journey 🙂

  14. Tom – Exactly! It’s so exciting to start all over again and wonder what stamps are going to grace its pages!! You’re right, everyone should have one! 😀

  15. Sabina – haha, very true, it’s probably best they can’t talk but wow, what stories they could share 😉

  16. tak

    absolutely beautiful writing, and very inspiring. i want to share your blog, and especially this post to so many friends i grew up with. so many people stuck in the grind, stuck in their unhappy situation, always looking for excuses why they can’t be happy, they cant get away or cant restart their lives and make themselves happy…
    congrats on a beautiful, touching piece

  17. Memographer – your last empty page? Wow if those pages could talk 🙂

  18. Beautiful words my dear – I love the way you tell such endearing stories. Your new passport has so many things to show you, and I look forward to you sharing them with us 🙂

  19. Ali

    I love this post! I wrote a post called Ode to My Passport about a year and a half ago because it represents so much to me. It might be just a little booklet with stamps in it, but it holds all the memories of our travels as well. I hate having to mail off the old one in order to have it renewed, always afraid it won’t make it back to me.

    Beautiful writing 🙂

  20. I love the creative approach to this letter. Like you, I’ve used my passport to learn a lot about myself. I’ve used it to escape. And travel has had a huge impact on my life. I am very thankful for it.

    Mine will expire in a year and a half and then it will be time to get a new one. New journeys await and I hope your continues to reward, heal, and allow you to discover – more of your world and yourself.

  21. Hannah – thank you for your kind words sweetheart. I can’t wait to share my new passport tales with you either and I’m looking forward to seeing yours too 😀

  22. Ali – honoured that you like it! It’s only a ‘little booklet with stamps’ to other people – to us, it’s a journal, our hopes and dreams coming true and our personal book of life. I do dread having to send it away for a new one; I share your worry :s

  23. Jeremy – I’m glad that your passport has helped you as well. I have no doubt that new passports mean new journeys, new friends and new happiness for both of us!

  24. Tak – thank you so much for your lovely words! I really hope that your friends can manage to find the way out of the grind and go and explore the world around then 🙂

  25. Hey Toni – looks like you and your friend have had some awesome journeys together! I can’t imagine what’s going through your mind right now, but I’m sure that new friend you mention will work out just fine 😉

  26. Andy – thank you for your lovely comment 🙂 We’ve definitely been through some adventures that’s for sure. Here’s to many more with my new friend 😉

  27. Toni, this is a lovely letter! Hope you’ll enjoy the next 10 years with your new best friend 🙂

  28. What an awesome idea for a post!! My girlfriend and I are just gearing up for our first RTW adventure together…12 months of filling up our own passports with bright stamps! Cannot wait!!

  29. Salika – thank you..I hope so too! 🙂

  30. Wade – your passports will turn into your own private journals without you even realising; treasure them 🙂 And congrats on the impending journey!

  31. I have written a letter to my backpack and my laptop, but never thought of writing a letter to my PASSPORT! Great idea, girl! I might do it this year though when it will be overloaded with stamps and visas 🙂 or gets expired in 3 years.

    Your heart must be filled with sadness to say goodbye to one of your best travel buddies. You have shared some awesome adventures together and I hope you can make friends with a new one as well :).

  32. Agness – Hopefully I’ll get to write another letter to my new passport in a few years time after sharing many more adventures together 🙂