I applied for my passport so I could attend a training session in Philadelphia. No one from my department wanted to attend so I volunteered. It seemed like a great opportunity – add a new skill to my resume, receive a per diem for my troubles and explore a new city.
The training was interesting but I didn't get to explore the city like I wanted to. Since it was my first business trip I didn't realize that I was expected to socialize with my trainees and my Swedish trainers. Instead of eating cheesesteaks and hoagies I found myself in themed chain restaurants ordering mushy pasta and (fake) laughing over work related stories. When I did have a free evening I lost my courage to explore South Philly alone and opted for takeout and an early bedtime. I took other trips over the years, all with similar results - no exploring but plenty of early bedtimes.
I’ve had more success with vacations taken with the boyfriend. Together we’ve travelled to a resort in Mexico, driven across Israel, seen the highlights of Germany, France, Italy and road tripped across the United States. Those vacations had schedules so packed that I had no time to think about courage or mushy pasta.
Now that I’ve renewed my passport and I have 24 crisp new pages to fill with stamps I want to do more - see more! My resolution for 2012 is not to become this epic world traveller but to be a little less sheltered than 2011 .. and get some cool passport stamps.