I have many travel ideas that vary from taking an RV across the US vising every state to traveling all over Europe with my old college friends leading the way (which note I haven’t talked to in years).
Saying these plans to myself and out loud can seem at times irrational. Some reactions are of a surprised look along with a fake smile, or a look of knowing I won’t make it without even so much a smile, or just the mere rolling of their eyes is enough of a message.
My own mother gives me a look of sheer terror saying to me my thoughts are crazy and don’t I want to settle down. My answer is of course I want to settle down but I don’t have to settle down in one spot but settle all over the world with my significant other.
But I have wondered as of late, maybe I deserve these looks of disbelief. Sure I’ve traveled here and there but they have never reached my grandiose made up travel plans. So I have decided to take actual steps leading to all my travel dream destinations.
These beginning steps are not out of this world yet rather mundane and may seem common sense. But these steps are needed, to solidify dreams, to see the progress you make. Small steps lead to the big picture.
First Step: Get a passport.
Side Note: If you are renewing a passport but is expired more than 15 years (like mine, missing by one year!) then you will need to present yourself in person and offer more documentation as you would as applying for the first time. I had the luxury of my mother always setting me up with my passport, heck she even has my birth certificate! But I am a grown up and grown ups do their own responsible tasks right!??. If renewing then you fill out a different form and all your documents can be mailed off.
- Take the picture. This picture can be taken at your local drugstore or post office. Be sure not to wear a white, or very light shirt for you’ll seem to have a floating head that is taken in front of a white background (great for Halloween spoof). Take advantage of this picture taking by gettin your hair did, putting on your favorite lipstick or chapstick and an outfit that screams you! You’ll be seeing this picture for a while so why not do it the best you can.
- Have your documents ready! I had the mistake of not having my birth certificate and having to go through steps with my mother to get it into my hands. They do not accept a copy so be sure to bring your actual certificate along with another form of identification such as a drivers license.
- Fill out the documents. Visit here to fill out and download your DS-11 paperwork. Be prepared to provide your parents information such as birth dates, your most recent passport book number (if you have one), and emergency contact information.
- Show up in person. At the end of filling out your paperwork the site will lead you to a list of location nearest you of where to submit all your items. If possible choose a cool location! I happen to choose the Travis County building which is a historical courthouse built 84 years ago.
- To receive the routine of 4 to 8 weeks you will pay $110 if you are 16 or above. You can have it expedited in 2 to 3 weeks by paying a bit more. Be sure to have it as a check or money order because they do not accept cash or a card! The processing fee of $25 will be paid to the department and can be paid in cash, card or check. Payment details are here.
After this step is accomplished check it off your travel goal list! You will feel relieved, accomplished and ready to move on to the next step as you get closer and closer to your travel dreams.
To wrap it all up in a bow, how about you do a drawing of this step or write about it in some artistic way once completed like I did above? Further showcasing this step will let the Universe/God know that you are ready to take on the work to achieve what you have always desired.