The last trip I took out of the country was back in May when my family and I went to Peru to hike Machu Picchu. Knowing back then my passport was to expire the following March, I planned to renew my passport upon my return. 7 months later I found myself actually entering the passport office with the idea I could have my passport expedited in plenty of time before my trip Jan 18th. Procrastination almost ruined my trip.
9 days before my flight, I still hadn’t heard anything about my passport, so I called the passport center. Apparently they had sent an email to the wrong address requesting that I send in a photocopy of my drivers license. It was too late to complain, so after correcting their entry as my email address I headed straight to the post office to overnight a photocopy. And then I waited.
I called the center every day for 3 days, heard there were 2 passport centers, so I overnighted another photocopy. Finally I hear that my passport has been processed and is being shipped. Thursday, 6 days before my flight, but because of weekends and Martin Luther King day, only 3 business days away.
So yesterday, the day before my 6:00 am flight, I’m just waiting for my passport to arrive. The anxiety finally caught up with me and I called the USPS office. They told me where I could find the truck that had my passport on it. I drove down and parked behind the truck and presently asked if I could get my package.
“I already went down your street, I didn’t have any packages for you”, he told me.
“My passport is on this truck, and I leave for Japan tomorrow morning”, I say, “can we at least look?”
And sure enough, there at the bottom of a box lay the package containing my passport. Thank god I don’t have to renew it for another 10 years.
Lesson: renew your passport early, and I mean really early. Also, don’t believe the office when they tell you that you don’t need a photocopy of your license — they do.