May
09

What a passport looks like after 2 years of travel.

I recently wrote a post asking you (my readers) to ask me anything and I was asked many questions and answered them all except one. I got the following request from Sal, “I would love to see how your passport pages look like.“! I honestly always had plans to one day share my passport with all of you, but thought I would do it after it was completely full or expired. Well to follow through on answering anything here you can now have a look at what my passport looks like after 2 years of travel around the world. The photos are in order that they are in my passport not in the order I received them. Enjoy the photos along with a description what the stamps are and anything I remember from getting a certain stamp. At the end I’ll explain why I love my passports so much.

USA & Mexican Passport

My most prized possessions and my key to the world. I have both a USA and Mexico passport because I am a dual citizen. I was born in the USA, but both my parents are from Mexico so am able to be a Mexican citizen too.

VISA stamps from around the world.

01 MAR 2011 – the day that started it all. That was the day I left home and started my 2 year year journey around the world. That stamp was the first stamp I have ever received in my passport and is from Costa Rica. I still remember landing and being so damn scared and then waiting in line to get my entrance stamp. On the left is the exit stamp when I crossed overland to Panama. The stamp in blue is one of many stamps I have in my passport from Egypt. Yes they would stick things everywhere you’ll see further down. The blue 06 MAR 2011 stamp and yellow/green stamp are from entering Panama.

VISA stamps from around the world.

This is one of two 24 page supplements added to my passport towards the end of my 2 years around the world, because I ran out of space for VISAs. I remember being so excited when I got my passport back from the US Embassy in Singapore.

VISA stamps from around the world.

This is the “Endorsements” that is placed in your passport after you have pages added.

VISA stamps from around the world.

Purple stamp is the entry stamp for Malaysia. Red stamp is the exit stamp for Malaysia. These were from the 2nd time I visited Malaysia to catch a flight to Vietnam.

VISA stamps from around the world.

My favorite stamps of all are my Egypt stamps. This is actually from my 3rd & final visit to Egypt. I remember when I arrived I thought it wasn’t the end of my love story even though I had no clue what was in store for me there.

VISA stamps from around the world.

The entry and exit stamp for the United Arab Emirates (Dubai). I had a 15 hour layover in Dubai so stepped out to visit the tallest building in the world along with the largest mall in the world. I’d love to visit Dubai again to see more.

VISA stamps from around the world.

Egypt was the only country I ever extended my VISA in and did so every time I visited. It was always easy to extend and never really had any problems. I love that it’s such a beautiful stamp. This is from my 3rd and final extension and when I did it I had no clue the last goodbye laid ahead for me. I remember the day I visited the VISA extension office in Tahir Sq. I had to walk through protest and even tear gas. I had waited until the last day to extend my VISA, but once again got it with out any problems just a few tears.

VISA stamps from around the world.

The yellow and black sticker is for Panama. The stamp 20 MAR 2011 with pink is the exit stamp for Panama. Above that is the entry stamp for Costa Rica and next to that are the entry and exit stamp for Nicaragua (one of my favorite countries in the world). Funny note the pink smudge on this passport page is from when I was in India celebrating Holi in Mathura. I wanted a small souvenir from that crazy experience so rubbed my forehead on my passport not thinking it’d stay forever.

VISA stamps from around the world.

The 4 blue circle stamps on the left are the entry and exit stamps for Honduras. The 4 colored rectangle stamps on the right are the entry and exit stamps for Guatemala. The red stamp on the left is the entry stamp for the Philippines. I remember when I got that stamp I was excited that an immigration officer finally looked through my passport to take up an empty space on a page already used.

VISA stamps from around the world.

The 2 green stamps on the left are the entry and exit stamps for Mexico. The 2 blue stamps on the left are the entry and exit stamps for Belize. The rectangle sticker and two circle stamps below it on the right are the entry and exit stamps for Turkey. The green circle on the right is the exit stamp for the Philippines. I had NEVER been HAPPIER in my life to leave a country then when I left the Philippines. It was 2 nights before I was due to leave when I was arrested by police in Manila. It was a crazy ordeal.

VISA stamps from around the world.

The top two stamps are the entry and exit stamp for Thailand. The read and purple below are the entry and exit stamps for my first visit to Malaysia. The boring square stamp on the left is from when I arrived in Europe in Paris. The right page is the cover of my second 24 page supplement added to my passport.

VISA stamps from around the world.

VISA for the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

VISA stamps from around the world.

The top two stamps are the entry and exit stamps for the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The two bottom stamps are the entry and exit stamps for Cambodia.

VISA stamps from around the world.

VISA for the Kingdom of Cambodia.

VISA stamps from around the world.

Entry and exit stamps for Thailand. Such a beautiful country yet such boring stamps. I also remember waiting 3 hours in the heat after exiting Cambodia to re-enter Thailand.

VISA stamps from around the world.

The one stamp I had always wanted and finally got. Egypt baby!!! Little did I know that the very next morning upon arriving I would meet the most amazing man of my life and go on a gay date through the streets of Cairo.

VISA stamps from around the world.

The top green stamp on the left is the entry stamp for Mexico. The huge blue stamp below is actually my 1st VISA extension for Egypt. It’s not fancy like the others because I filed it in Aswan. I remember extending the VISA and the lady who did it for me SWORE I must have had an Egyptian mother, because I looked Egyptian. On the right page you have the entry and exit stamps for Turkey for 2 different occasions. The blue stamp is just another stamp placed in my passport by Egypt.

VISA stamps from around the world.

VISA for the Republic of India. This was by far the hardest VISA I applied for. I had to fill out 3 pages of information and write a letter explaining why I wanted to visit India and why I was not applying for it in my home country and in Greece instead.

VISA stamps from around the world.

 The top two stamps are the entry and exit stamps for India. The bottom two stamps are the entry and exit stamps for Singapore. I remember the bus leaving me behind at the border of Singapore when I was entering because I took to long to get my entry stamp (it was out of my control), but lucky for me they have amazing public transportation and was able to get to my hostel with the help of a very nice Singaporean.

VISA stamps from around the world.

Ahh aren’t they just so beautiful? The Egyptian VISA extension sticker and entry sticker below. Ahh how I miss him and that crazy country everyday.

VISA stamps from around the world.

These two stamps are in my Mexican passport. I have the entry stamp to Europe from Sevilla, Spain and exit stamp from Athens, Greece. This was the only time I used my Mexican passport and it was for me to stay in Europe longer than the 90 days allowed.

VISA stamps from around the world.

This is what I hate more than anything else when an immigration officer puts the stamp right in the middle of an entire page. Do they not know that each page is precious real estate that needs to filled completely? Anyway this is the entry and exit stamp for Morocco and the funny thing is I still remember crying like a little bitch the night before entering Morocco because I was so scared.

——

So that is what a pssport looks like after 2 years of travel and visiting 30 countries. What do you think, it’s amazing right? Okay you may not think so, but I do. I love my passports so much. Like I mentioned above they are my prized possessions and seriously my key to the world. I don’t know what I would do if they were lost, stolen or damaged. I think I would be heart broken from the fact that I would loose all the VISAs I already have. I know that sounds crazy, but anyone who has ever travelled knows how sweet it feels to get a new stamp in their passport. Right? I can’t possibly be the only one who gets excited every-time I get a new stamp in my passport? I also have a habit of just going through my passport (more so now that I am home) and looking through the pages and  remembering how/when I got each stamp. I love when it’s a pretty stamp, I hate when it’s a boring one and oh man the best are the whole page VISAs. Those just fill me with glee because it’s like “wow an official government document in my passport”.

I take care of my passports like they are my babies and it doesn’t help that I have OCD because that makes me over protective. I have 66 pages in my USA passport and my goal is to fill the 46 empty pages with VISAs from around the world before it expires in 2019 & of course do more Toe Touches around the world!

So do you love your passport as much as I love mine? What is your favorite stamp/VISA in your passport? Do you go through your passport and look at all the stamps/VISAs you have acquired or is that just weird? Do you get upset when it’s an ugly stamp or excited when it’s beautiful or a full page VISA?

I hope you share your thoughts below.

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Comments

  1. I love it! What a collection you’ve developed. Can’t wait to see what it looks like after the next big trip!
    The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen) recently posted..In Photos: Beijing’s Dong Hua Men Night Market

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Hi Ellen, thank you so much. I know I too can’t wait to see what it will look like after my next big trip. It’s in the planning stage, but it’s coming along.

  2. Love this! I have the fattest passport ever now. Too many visas!
    Kristin Addis recently posted..Offbeat Travel: Climbing to the Railay Beach Lagoon

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Oh Kristin, I’d love to see what yours looks like! Mine is pretty fat too, but still have many empty pages.

  3. Love this post! I love, love, LOVE my passport and also spend an unhealthy amount of time staring at it — so many memories behind every single stamp! Every time I get a new stamp, I have to keep the pages open and blow on it until it’s completely dry so it doesn’t smudge. I get so angry when they don’t stamp it neatly and it gets all smudged!

    Love the Egypt visas and that you have Holi powder on your passport haha.

    I’ve just filled up my first passport and can’t believe I’m now onto my second. We can’t get extra pages added to our passports so my first one was only 28 pages.

    Anyway, I love this post idea and think I’m going to steal it now that I have a full-up passport!
    Lauren recently posted..Climbing, Collapsing and Crying in Mount Maunganui

    • Jaime Davila says:

      OMG so glad I am not alone Lauren. I seriously stare it too much & I love that you wait for the ink to dry. I so do that too. The Egypt VISA’s are the best & yes I had to rub the powder on it…lol. That kinda sucks that you can’t add more pages, but 28 is a lot of pages. Do you get to keep your old passport when you get a new one? Yes steal it I’d love to see it… just be sure you give me credit…lol!!!

  4. I adore flipping through my passport and pondering those stamps, especially now that I’m home and dreaming of the next big trip. Prettiest ones are from Nepal, covered in writing and colours and scribbles (plus they stamped an extension over my exit from India which is totally legit cause I didn’t have to bribe my way back into India). Oh and the Indian visa? Worst. Visa. EVER. Three cities and three embassies in Sri Lanka. Jesus Christ.
    I am so frustrated that my second stamp was an immigration officer in Milan who didn’t give a shit, stamped it in the middle, and everyone since just stamps wherever. I’ve only got 2 blank pages left, but plenty of space scattered throughout for people to squeeze it in. Come on, immigration officers! I had to beg the US customs agent to please not stamp a new page when I came back into the States.

    My boyfriend’s passport is a hot fucking mess. You can’t see the EU symbol on the front at all, it’s been dropped in the Mekong multiple times (according to him) and I’m surprised he got into the States on that thing to visit me, quite frankly. Stamps bleeding and pages sticking together.
    Mary S. recently posted..Bungalows on the riverside

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Mary we are on the same boat, back home dreaming of our next big trip while reliving our old one through our passport. I’m jealous you have a Nepal stamp. I wanted to visit Nepal so bad, but with my India VISA I had couldn’t leave the country and return. Why is the India VISA so damn hard to get? I mean seriously it was a mess… I was like seriously? Oh & yes I hate when I have space in other pages because then I feel like no one is going to ever use the left space. Officers just find an empty page and stamp. I mean it’s REAL ESTATE people! On the other hand yes your BF passport does look like a hot ass mess… but hey each passport has it’s story.

  5. I used to love the full page visas… At least until I started travelling a lot, and started to run out of pages! My favourite visa is a handstamped one from the Costa Rica embassy here in Sydney, it looks proper old school!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Peggy yeah I can see where the full page visas become a problem, but aww they are so pretty and look so real! I’d love to see the hand stamped one for Costa Rica.

  6. I love my passport! It’s not nearly as well used as yours, but I’m working on it. I hate it when a stamp doesn’t have sufficient ink. There are a few in mine that I can barely read anymore! And I hate traveling to a country via train just because I can’t get my passport stamped. My favorite in my passport is my visa from studying abroad in Austria. It’s just so colorful and pretty.
    katie recently posted..Visit DC: The National Cathedral

    • Jaime Davila says:

      As long as you are working on it Katie that is a great thing. That only means more travel & well that is never a bad thing! Oh & yes I agree with you when the ink is so light I’m like really? Come on! I’d love to see what the Austria visa looks like! I love pretty ones.

  7. Great collection, Jaime! I’ve never seen what the stamps for entering/exiting the EU look like, cos I have an EU passport and so don’t get a stamp :-(. Anyway, they’re not the prettiest. Egypt is a nice one!
    Sam recently posted..The Elephant in the Room: Being British in Argentina

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks Sam. Sadly you are not missing out on the EU stamps… they are BORING and LAME…lol!!! If only they could all be as beautiful as Egypt.

  8. I love my passport. I was able to keep my old one when I renewed (they just snipped off the corner) so that I can look back on my stamps fondly. I may dismantle it and frame them someday. I’m not sure if I really have a favourite stamp. It could be England because that was my first overseas trip. Or it could be Costa Rica because that was my first international solo trip. I also like looking back on my Croatia and Japan stamps too.

    I was actually annoyed when I didn’t get stamped crossing from Croatia into Bosnia and Herzegovina. C’mon…I have a collection!
    Melissa recently posted..Drinking with Cats – Visiting a Korean Cat Cafe

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Are you from the US Melissa? I ask because someone just told me we don’t get our PP back when we renew it & well that makes me sad. I know for a fact I don’t wanna give up my passport. I like your idea about dismantling it and framing it… LOVE IT. I may do that one day. Oh & agree it’s annoying when you don’t get stamps crossing certain EU countries.

      • Jaime, love this post!! BTW, you do get your old US PP back when you renew…they just punch holes in the old one and return it to you with your new PP. So you will have it as a great souvenir!,

        • Jaime Davila says:

          Oh that is so damn good to know Monica. Thank you!!! This is going to be the best souvenir ever!

  9. Great post!! I love my passport too! I am currently on my second passport and even my old expired one is brought out as a conversation piece! Every stamp in both books bring back a flood of memories everytime they are opened. I also just had pages added to my new one as my husband and I are embarking on our RTW in 8 months!!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Awesome that you are on your 2nd passport Lina. I love that each stamp in a passport seriously brings back so many amazing memories or well sometimes scary…lol! So excited that y’all are about to embark on a RTW in 8 months! How long for & where all do y’all plan on going? Let me know if you need help with anything!

      • So true! Amazing AND scary moments! but that is why we globe trot, right? 🙂 As of right now we are planning 2 years! Originally 1 year, but once we decided to just sell everything, we figured might as well travel longer! We plan on going everywhere, some places to stay longer and others just short time periods. We’re starting in Fiji and then heading over to NZ, OZ, SE Asia, China, India, Africa, S America, C America and Mexico. 🙂

        • Jaime Davila says:

          Thanks Lina & yes that is why we globe trot. It’s amazing and yet can be so terrifying. I’m excited to hear y’all are doing a two year RTW trip. Ah so jealous yet so happy. Looks like you have an amazing trip ahead. Let me know if you need any help. Oh & yes why not 2 years, right?

  10. Wow I love love love this post! I have to admit that my passport doesn’t look anything like yours (only have a few pages filled) but I have been able to travel around the US quite a bit. Can’t believe you had to get extra pages added! How crazy! I love getting new stamps! So fun to flip through, it’s a great reminder of amazing memories!
    Jessica @ A Passion and A Passport recently posted..Sunrise at Mount Masada: A Bright and Cheery Photo Essay

    • Jaime Davila says:

      I know Jessica, it’s a crazy feeling when you get pages added to your passport. I’m glad you have been able to travel a bit in the US, I haven’t been able to do much of that and have so many places I wanna visit.

  11. Oh wow! What memories! I remember how excited I was when I first got my Thai visa back in my passport! I especially love the Egyptian stamps! Are you able to keep the passports or do you have to give them back when you need to get a new one?

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Stephanie, I’d love to get a nice Thai VISA. I never needed it though so always just got the ugly stamps. I just found out they do give you your old passport back when you renew it. They just put to holes in it so no one can use it any more.

  12. This is adorable. My pet peeve with passport stamps is when they get all messy and out of order. I’m able to get over the inevitable issue of entry stops being on different pages compared to exit stamps, but when they’re all crooked and taking up multiple slots…sigh. Then the next border guard has to flip through and find a clean page, all because the other guy stamped all weirdly. Oh well. It’s a small problem, admittedly.
    OCDemon recently posted..Bluffworks Pants Review: The perfect travel jeans?

    • Jaime Davila says:

      OCDemon we have the same pet peeve, because I agree I hate everything you mention. I guess it’s 1st world problems…lol!!

  13. Great idea for a post! Agree on how frustrating it is when immigration officials take up too much space on a page! We actually missed going into Bolivia once due to a lack of space for stamps. Booo. We were toward the end of our journey, and had the extra pages added as soon as we got back. This time, when I got my passport renewed I ordered the double-size from the beginning. Next issue will be returning to India, since my 10-year Visa is in my expired passport. Officially, you’re supposed to transfer it, but I’ve heard you can travel with both passports too. Going to find my passport now and look through some stamps! Thanks for the post.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Looks like everyone has the same frustrations Tamara, so I’m glad we are not alone! That’s crazy you almost missed a country for not having enough space. Good luck with India, man they are one of the strictest countries for documentation I have ever visited. Thanks for sharing your stamps on my fan page!!!

  14. Awesome stuff, buddy! I tend to look at mine often on flights or on trains or something like that and just think back to all the places and stuff. I just had the additional pages added to mine for Julia and I’s adventures this year and it is definitely a cool feeling to have a fat passport now.
    Scott recently posted..I Took Pictures of the Palenque Ruins and All I Got Was This Sweaty T-Shirt

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks Scott & yes I’m the same I look at it when I am going to use it. It’s such a cool feeling to have pages added. It’s like we are part of an elite club jaja!

  15. I’m just realizing I missed this post. I LOVE my passport, wrote a post a few years ago called Ode to My Passport. I flip through the pages often too to look at all the stamps and visas. I had to have extra pages added to mine before my RTW because I was running out. The lady asked me if I wanted 1 set or 2 and said she would charge me the price for 1 set but added 2, so that was cool. I’m kind of glad my German residence visa doesn’t go in the passport anymore because that sucker took up 2 full pages. Now we get an ID card. My favorite stamp is from Antarctica, not only because of where it’s from, but because it’s a penguin!

    Why didn’t you use your Mexican passport to go in and out of Mexico? Was that before you got that passport? I remember you applying for it but I don’t remember when that was.
    Ali recently posted..Naples is Not the Italy I Dream About

    • Jaime Davila says:

      I so remember that post Ali you are talking about. I love my PP too and yes I love flipping thorugh it all the time.

      Yeah I didn’t have my Mexican passport at the time I went to Mexico so I had to get stampped and pay the outrageous fee to get in and out.

  16. I just stumbled across your page. I agree I love my passports and getting a new stamp. I am 30 and have been to 10 countries, I am going to Germany for Christmas (I have already been) but am going to Luxembourg and The Netherlands (new stamps for me) and am planning backpacking Southeast Asia for a few weeks in January of 2015. Thanks for posting your stuff!!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      It’s always fun getting new stamps. I haven’t got a new one since coming home so I am anxious to get more. If you need help or tips for your SEA leg let me know!

  17. Hey Jaime… I am Amit from India. It was so sweet to read your note. Yess…I am exactly like you. I love my Passport. I flip through the pages whenever I can. It is really interesting. I aspire to have a thik and colorful passport in the days to come. Even I have lots of interesting stamps on my passport.

  18. I’ve heard it is easier to get the visas with a U.S. Passport as well as the UK passport!..? I have a Mexican passport since I was born there but I can become a U.S. citizen when I’m 22 and I think I might just wait until then and get the U.S. Passport to travel. I am so jealous of your passport! I’m too chicken to leave the safety of the U.S. but also have such a hunger to see the world!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Gabby… OMG go and see the world if you can. It’s amazing and will change you for ever. In the mean time though yes if you can get the US passport get it. It’s a great one to have and way better than the Mexican even though its good too in Latin America.

  19. Love your story or shall we say history. I too travel a lot and share a close relationship with my passports so much in fact I’ve had several of my stamps tattooed on my arm so I can never lose them.
    I’m currently in Vietnam ,Saigon D2 then over to Cambodia then another trip to Australia.
    My largest disappointment was not previously getting stamps during layovers and exploring the cities. I like to blame it on jetlag but truth is I was there is no excuse so now I simple plan for long layovers and use them to my advantage.
    Again, thank you for sharing with us.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks Rey! Wow amazing you have some tattooed on you. Don’t think I could ever do that!!! Glad you are back on the rode and think I agree with you about layovers. I am about to have one in KL, Malaysia and am thinking of stepping out for a bit.

  20. Why wouldn’t you use your Mexican passport to enter Mexico instead to save some room for visa pages in your American passport?

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