The Story of My Passport

Anyone who has done any international trip must have had this ultimate travel document, right? Well, true… However, I think I am probably one of the few who got this even long before having any specific plan whatsoever of going overseas.

Back in the 1990s I was a teenager who daydreamed about going to faraway land. This was originally thanks to my late Dad (may he rest in peace) who was a geography teacher. He introduced me to the thing called… map! At home we got any kind of geographical maps you can think of: our hometown, Cianjur; our island, Java; our country, Indonesia; our continent, Asia; and of course, world map; from the size of your palm to the size of your door. Sometimes he brought home a globe, a map shaped like a ball, just to show us things like time zones, international dateline, world climate, etc. I was truly amazed by how tiny my lovely hometown is compared to the world. And for some reasons, out of his five children, I was the only one who got completely stunned by this idea. I was like, I got to be there one day, be in the other parts of the world.

As time went by I guess this became my only passion, of course back then I didn’t realize it. This made me want to be a diplomat. So, since younger age, I projected myself to become one. One of the efforts I made was learning foreign languages, first was English as the international language and later on Russian as the major I chose in university.

Long story short, things didn’t go as planned after university graduation in 1998. For those who don’t know, between 1997-1998 my home country Indonesia was hit hard by Asian monetary crisis followed by a political unrest. Reality bit, I had to survive, so I took any job to make ends meet. Then, the idea of being a diplomat just vanished. My only hope to see the rest of the world was being a traveller which I had to put in the closet because I turned myself into a workaholic, a career oriented lady, with only 12 day leave each year. I had enough money but no time and interest to travel anywhere anymore.

Then came along the moment when I felt like enough is enough, work exhausted me. So in 2007 I left that demanding job in Bandung and found the very less one somehow in Jakarta. My brain now was able to be in normal pace, so I was like, “I’ll get myself a passport!”

I went to the Immigration Office to get my passport done. When I was filling in the forms, an older Chinese Indonesian man standing next to me said:

“Oh young lady, you were born in the year of Tiger, you must love visiting faraway lands…”

And I was like: “Pardon…?”

He said: “I’m sorry, I accidentally took a glimpse at your papers and I noticed that you were born in the year of Tiger, just like many people who come to me for the passport were. By the way, my name is B, I work for a travel agent, that’s how I got people coming to me.”

I said: “Oh, I see… That’s quite interesting, Sir. I don’t know about that though, this is my first passport and I don’t even have any plan to travel overseas.”

Mr. B: “Ah, don’t worry, you will! Remember, tiger is a natural wanderer, so are you. Sooner or later..”

My reply: “Well, sounds good to me… Nice talking to you, Sir…”

Little did I know that later in life, I did get the chance to go overseas for the first time, on my own (like tiger, the natural solitaire wanderer), in less than a year after this peculiar encounter at the Immigration Office.

And…fast forward to 2014, here I am looking at my second passport with the first one attached in the back. Both of them are “decorated” with dozens of immigration stamps and stickers from some countries in 6 different continents. Not too bad for someone who didn’t have any overseas trip plan in the first place.

The next time I apply for the new passport, I’ll remember what he said to me: “Remember, tiger is a natural wanderer, so are you. Sooner or later.”

So, what’s your passport story?

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83 thoughts on “The Story of My Passport

  1. Interesting story! Money cannot buy you happiness that’s true!

    My first passport was made because I wanted to travel to Germany. Unlike you, I was basically a fresh graduate when I had my first passport. Got to taste the corporate world for about 1 year and a couple of months and just knew that this was not the thing I wanted that moment, I wanted to study and travel the world. So I just took off, hoping I could find out what I wanted more from life. Now, 9 years later it still makes me smile when I think about my “escape” 9 years ago…

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    • Wow, what an amazing story you got. I’m happy for you that you fulfilled your dream early in your younger age. Not many younger people these days know exactly what they want in life. When I was younger, I heard about this stuffs: au pair, exchange student, work and holiday visa, etc. I was interested in at least one of them. However, back in my time, such information was rather hard to find.
      So, congratulation on your life achievement😄!

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  2. hahahha sama sama kita pernah jadi calon diplomat toss lagi yukkkkk…bedanya dirimu lebih banyak stamp dari pada aku…hihihi dan jalan hidup beda beda tipis kita ya…

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  3. maksudku akhirnya kita jadi diplomat buat suami dan kroco2nya dan diri sendiri… hahhaha aku jg pernah cerita kisah karirku kalau pasport bedanya dirimu lebih beruntung stamp nya banyak aku kagak cuma dikit itu pun diganti karena sudah 5 tahun bukan karena penuh………………ntar kalo gak penuh aku stamp sendiri aja ya………….

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    • Hahaha😝betul, Siti! Orang2 kayak kita nih (diplomat wannabe) akhirnya jadi “diplomat” buat keluarga. Kadang aku ngerasa kayak jadi “duta kebudayaan” juga😜
      Soal paspormu yg masih “bersih”, tenang aja.. Kutipan dari Lau Tzu: “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”

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      • paspor baru sih ini yang lama cuma dapat 7 stamp selama 5 tahun memalukan dunia diplomasi wkwkwkkw… ini baru 1 akhhh tapi dosen gw tuh ya kaget kaget juga lihat saya sudah disini..kalo teman kuliahku kan anak HI semua memang semua diplomat wanna be… namun yang melakoni jadi diplomat cuma 2 orang … nah saya walau gak secara akademis diplomat tapi sudah buat dosen ku terkagum kagum ama saya katanya gw ini HI banget ya………..buktinya jdi diplomat buat suami WNA hahahhaha padahal saya nggak bule hunter loh..ya berjodoh ternyata………………..

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      • Hahaha😝sama dong, temenku sesama anak sastra Rusia yg jadi diplomat 1 aja..
        Eh orang2 kayak kita mah gak ada hubungannya sama bule hunter.., emang nasib aja😉
        Kalo pasporku yg pertama cukup banyak “diplomasi”-nya, 50 cap dalam 5 thn. Yang kedua sudah ada 40 cap dlm 2.5 thn ini. Lumayanlah utk seorang diplomat wannabe, dan utk seorang yg dulunya bikin paspor tanpa ada rencana “nge-bolang” sama sekali..😝😝😝
        Semoga paspormu makin banyak ya capnya.. Amiinnnn..😉

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      • wih salut ya 90 cap…luar biasa ajarin donk strategi cari uang banyak + cari cuti banyak dikantorku ngepas 14 hari setahun itu pun mesti cicil ya ampun…….hidup keras banget ya………….

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      • apalgi ini lagi liburan duit hancur2an ….bukitnya terkkir kmrin modal kesini…………………….Tolong berikan aku pohon duit…dirimu dua duanya enak di tambang …saya pontang panting di seluler cuma gtu tdi……….capek terancam mutasi + cutinya singkat+duitnya gak segede migas………………………suami krn wna ya awut2an deh buat usaha kecil maklum suami cuma bule biasa kagak tajir..job nya di luar kagak ada di mks ..jadilah dipks banting setir mesti wiraswasta …………………..mulai dari 0 besar modal kagak ada……….

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      • Ya semacam itu.. Aku aja sampe pindah tengah hutan Kalimantan yg asalnya kerja di Jakarta😝
        Eh tapi rejeki orang siapa yg tahu kan.. Yg penting kita tetep berusaha sambil berdoa😃

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      • Aku ngerti banget kondisimu. Semoga ini bisa menyemangatimu: aku juga pernah ngalamin masa sulit, lbh buruk dari yg kamu alami skrg. Tapi waktu itu aku yakin, gak ada yg kekal di dunia ini, termasuk kesenangan dan kesusahan. Jadi kalo lagi susah, aku mikir: Sabar, terus berjuang.. Kalo lagi senang: Nikmatilah, tapi jangan berlebihan, dan kalo bisa berbagilah dgn sekitarnya..
        Gitu deh..😄

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I always facinated by airplane, sewaktu TK sekolah saya di deket Kemayoran jakarta dan saking sukanya dengan airplane, setiap hari kalo di jemput sama my dad kita selalu keliling airport to see the plane. Little that anyone know growing up, I love travelling so much sampai sekarang. Sejak kecil dengar cerita mamaku tentang opa oma ku yang tinggal di Eropa.
    Sampe sekarang pun masih suka bgt travel…
    I love your blog…salam kenal ya!

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  5. I made my first passport over years ago when I started working as a journalist in an English language newspaper in Jakarta. Since then I have changed three or four times (cannot really remember) and it’s not because of its full expiration in five years (some rules here require you to have your passport renewed way before expiration date due to residence permit thingie and stuff).

    I love my passport and I’m proud of it although sometimes I wish I could have more ease of travel with it.

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  6. Love your blog and your story! Its amazing. My passport was made because I got a short study tour prize from my college (just 5 days), and the first trip was China, after that Macau, and Taiwan.

    My personal travel plan just Langkawi. I enjoyed Langkawi so much!

    I admire your full-stamped passport! Would you mind to exchange it with mine? LOL!

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    • Oh hello there..! Thank you so much for reading my ramblings😄 That’s very interesting passport story of yours. You must be a smart person to win such prize😃
      About my passport story, well it’s not 100% fully stamped but I should say that most of the pages were, especially the first one.
      I think you must exactly look like me if you want to exchange your passport with mine..hehehe😝

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  7. Em, akupun jg gitu waktu msh jaman SD. sampe skrg pun wish to travel other continent. tp apa daya kyk mbak siti diatas, cuti cm 15 hr then dgn krucil 2 yg msh piyik2 agaknya hrs sedikit menahan diri wlp akhirnya ttp ngiler liat trip2 org yg udh melanglang buana. belum lg suami yg beda kota dgn cuti yg gak bs diambil sekaligus. sampe2 waktu suami minta tmbh bocah lg, aku lgs jerit “kapan gue jalan2nya doooonnk”. hahaha..

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    • Mutia.., aku doakan semoga kamu segera diberikan kesempatan jalan2.. Aku mau cerita sedikit, semoga menyemangati: waktu aku dan suami lagi jalan di London, kami tak sengaja ketemu pasangan suami istri usia senior asal Bandung, kayaknya di atas 60 thn gitu. Dan mereka bepergian keliling Eropa berdua aja. Sang suaami bilang dia memenuhi impian istrinya untuk jalan2 yang sekian lama tertunda karena pekerjaan, mengurus anak2, dll.. Akhirnya mereka bisa jalan2 setelah menabung sekian lama.. Aku tuh jadi terharuuuuuu..banget. Mereka juga dulunya para pegawai yg karena kesibukannya beberapa impian harus ditunda dulu..

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aduh aku terharu banget baca ini. Pernah ngobrolin ini sama suami “kalau aku sekarang terlalu sibuk kuliah dan kerja, aku janji, pada saatnya nanti kita akan jelajahi dunia bersama” –langsung terisak haru pas suami ngomong gitu *ah jadi kangen suami hehehe

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      • Nah itu persis yg dibilangin si suami, kata dia: “saya menuhin janji ke si mak tua (istri), neng..” Dan mereka kelihatannya memang orang berpendidikan yg bersahaja.. Duh pokoknya aku iadi terharu gimana gitu..

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  8. Aku suka punya stempel di passport, tp skarang kyanya mulai elektronik ya jd bakal berkurang deh si stempel2 penggembira itu.
    Passport pertamaku waktu mo umroh taun 1999, itu satu2nya stempel disitu hahaha…

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    • Hehehe..iya bener.. Pasporku sih masih paspor biasa. Tapi emang semua mengarah ke elektonik. Imigrasi Aussie aja sejak 2 tahun ini hanya kasih cap arrival, gak ada lagi cap departure.., setidaknya itulah yg ada di pasporku.. Aku hapal soalnya aku bolak-balik Indo Oz 3x dlm sethn..hehehe.., kurang kerjaan emang..

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      • Bapak aseli garut hahhaa ngerti sunda walopun kagok klo ngomong mah 😋
        Ngacay selalu urang mah da kabita ku sagala hihihi
        Tp kmaren bw roti abon, teri kacang lolos euy alhamdulillah secara pas ngidam, ngan teteup we eden na ngacay 😋

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      • Ha..?!? Bapakmu asli Garut? Astaga!!! Koq sama sih? Ini beneran deh jalan hidup kita kayak copy paste gimana gitu..😜
        Kalo makanan yg kemasannya tipe2 home industry masih ragu buat bawa, kalo yg modern mah kayak Indomie gitu lolos2 aja..
        Ih maneh anak orang Garut nanaonan di Perth😝? Geus pinuh teuing nya di kampung.. Sarua atuh jeung di Cianjur..😝😝😝

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      • Kyaaaa bisa gtu ya? Hahaha kita msh rajin mudik ke kampung pasir malang, arah ke bagendit. Udah ada jln baru skarang di belakang rmh, motong sawah kita 😋 iraha atuh urang mudik bareng atuh? Geus kabayang eta sagala mknan 😭

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      • Wah urang mah geus lila tara ka Garut.. Terakhir paling thn 90an..Tapi ibu saya mah masih suka ke sana. Sok atuh dirimu iraha rek mudik deui..?
        Eh kamu kenal Ayu anak sastra Indonesia angkatan 94?

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      • Kenal deh kyanya yogi, tp lupa2 inget. Kos dmana dulu? Urang ge kos di kosan uwa sebelah hegarmanah n pbb hadeuh masa ituuuu kekekkekek

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      • Waaahhhh..urang sering ka 2 kosan eta.., kan loba babaturan di dinya.. Eh jangan2 kita pernah ketemu euy..😝 urang mah baheula kos thn pertama di rumah penduduk, thn berikutnya di P3 (Pondok Putri Parahyangan yg gang masuknya depan gerbang masuk Unpad pisan. Si yogi teh nu juga Hedi Yunus tea, inget teu?

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      • Hihihi mulai nongol nih mukanya yogi di kepala, clue-nya cakep bgts!
        Mestinya sih kita pernah ketemu ya, secara jaman itu kan tpt mkn paling hits ya munggaran ato adi ada aja hahahah… Udah pernah ke jatinangor lg blom? Edyan keren bgts skaraaaang

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    • Hai Nina.. Apa kabar.. Salam kenal.. Kisahnya masih draft nih.., kalo otak lagi lemot koq draft nih jadi awet ya..hehehe..
      Makasih banyak lho sudah mampir ke blog-ku yg masih primitif ini:-) Aku barusan “ngintip” blog-mu.. Wuihhh..keren..! Keren blognya, apalagi jalan2nya..(..jadi agak minder nehh..) Aku follow ya..:-)
      Salam – Emmy

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  9. hi mbak, aku suka liat gambar negara2 baca2 buku wilayah yg punya kultur beda, akhirnya baca ensiklopedia negara pas dikampus. Pasport pertama bikin di imigrasi buncit critanya pengen jln sama karibku, eh dia dapat pacar dan mnikah duluan 😀 passport kosong, passport ke-2 sampai juga ke Belanda berdua sama dg karibku itu kami suka ttg belanda pas masih kursus di Erasmus bercita2 kami kesana dan sampailah, alhamdulillah rejeki, mampir pula diajak nginep di rumahnya di Norway :D, dan oh aku suka airport

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    • Hey, Roe.. Apa kbr? Wah beruntungnya dirimu bisa jalan bareng sobatmu ya..😄 Apalagi ke Belanda.., aku malah belum pernah tuh, pdhl Mei lalu aku n suami jalan ke Eropa.., gak sempet mampir ke Belanda..
      And you know what.., I love airports too!!!😍 Gak peduli di mana dan segede atau sekecil apa.., aku tuh semangaaaattt banget kalo berkeliaran di bandara, apalagi yg aku belum pernah..hehehe..

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  10. serupa tapi tak sama ini mah judulnya, hihihi..Dulu waktu buat paspor pertama kalinya saya juga boro-boro punya bayangan mau pergi kemana, cuma persiapan aja untuk cari beasiswa. Eeh…alhamdulillah kepake setahun kemudian :). Katanya segala sesuatu berawal dari mimpi…makanya gantungkan mimpimu setinggi langit, tul gak Emmy? 🙂

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  11. Hi there, salam kenal yah… I also wanted to be a diplomat, since my late grandpa was a diplomat and his stories always intrigued and fascinated me… But anyway, here I am now, a housewife with two kids… Still love to travel with my family though…. My first passport? Back in 1995… I went to Perth as an exchange student….

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    • Hey, Citra.. Salam kenal juga.. Thanks for stopping by at my humble blog.. Good to know that there was another diplomat wannabe out there..hahaha.. I took a glance at your blog and noticed that your hubby is Brazilian. It reminds me of the fact that the first foreigner I knew and then befriended is in fact a Brazilian back in 1995 when we first met in Jakarta, and ever since we always keep in touch..hehehe..
      Thanks for sharing your passport story.. I always wanted to join those exchange students program but like the diplomat thing, I never made it either.. Good to know that you did it.. Love your blog too..!

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      • My husband is actually Italian- Brazilian, we met in Australia, got married in Singapore, our daughter was conceived in France, both kids were born in Indonesia, we are living in Singapore, and it’s likely next year we are moving to England. So, we are quite an international family, not bad for a diplomat wannabe : P Brazilians are a bunch of very friendly and warm people, right? 🙂

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      • Wow!! A very international family.. And I think we got the similar twist of fate about Brazil, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, and France..
        In my case, the first foreigner I knew was an Italian-Brazilian young man, we met in Jakarta, then we’ve been very good friends ever since. Then few years later when I was applying for an Australian scholarship (which I didn’t get), he was finishing his master degree in France.. Then years later, I met my future husband, an Australian man, in Indonesia.. And because of his job, many times our trip to Australia involved some transit time in Singapore.. Interesting twist isn’t it..? Hehehe..
        And yes, Brazilians are warm and friendly people..

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  12. Suka banget baca cerita-cerita di komen ini tentang passport. Aku pertama bikin passport tahun 2009. Asal bikin, belum tahu mau kemana. Alhamdulillah setelahnya mulai nyicil bisa jalan-jalan dari yang terdekat, sampai mendarat di Belanda. Mudah2an setelah ini bisa berkelana ke lebih banyak tempat 🙂

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    • Iya aku juga gak nyangka post yg ini banyak responnya.. Semoga kamu bisa berkelana lebih banyak lagi.., apalagi sekarang sudah ada partner in life.., aku suka banget loh jalan bareng suami, biarpun tetep aja ada berantemnya kalo lagi jalan😄😝😃, berantem urusan gak penting gitu loh..😝

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  13. Hallo salam kenal, Mbak Emmy 🙂

    Perkenalkan saya Inong dan udah beberapa hari ini jadi silent reader blognya Mbak dari awal…Belum berani komen, tetapi pas baca judul posting yang ini jadi tertarik untuk komen 😀
    Kalo cerita paspor aku berawal dari tahun 2008 karena ada sepupu yang menikah dengan orang Malaysia dan saya berkunjung ke sana untuk melihat acara pernikahannya 🙂

    Alhamdulillah, sejak saat itu tiap tahun paspornya bisa terisi stempel walaupun cuma setahun sekali (Nasib orang yang masih dibayar :D). Untuk tahun ini belum ada rencana untuk ngasih stempel lagi ke paspor, tetapi mudah-mudahan bisa terisi lagi 🙂

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    • Hi Inong.. Salam kenal juga.. Makasih banyak sudah mampir dan baca blog saya.. Wah bersyukur banget dong kalo paspornya masih jalan tiap tahun..:-) Tidak semua orang punya kesempatan seperti itu.. Dan berarti kita sama mulai pake paspornya. Meski paspor pertama saya dapat thn 2007, tapi pertama kali dipake tahun 2008.. Semoga paspormu tetap dipake ya sampe kadaluarsa..:-) Salam

      Like

  14. Passport saya sampai dah hampir masa berlakunya habis masih kosong aja! Hiks.. rencana awalnya sih mo dipake backpekeran sendirian aja ke vietnam.. eeh keburu saya nya hamil.. gagal deh rencana. sampe skrg masih kosong aja tuh pasportnya. Kl pasport dinas cuman kepake sekali aja

    Like

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