Collecting Passport Stamps

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I’ve been collecting passport stamps since I got my own passport at age 16 (before then, I was on my Mom’s passport). The first few trips were to Australia (from New Zealand), before heading over to Europe for my ‘Big OE‘ in 1999. It’s a shame we don’t get stamps for travelling in the EU (yet), as my passports would look far more exciting than they do!  But then again, I like the less restricted movement of people and the ease of travel without visas, so I can’t complain too much!
 
I’ve only been to a relatively small number of countries – a mere 20 out of the 195+ sovereign states in the world… but I have visited those 20 countries a combined 64 times (as at January 2017)… so that ain’t so bad in the scoring stakes! But remember, it’s not a competition – quality over quantity, as they say!
 
I found my old passports the other day and was enjoying looking through all the stamps.  My favourites are the Canadian stamps as they remind me of all the times I have visited my family in Canada. My Japanese visa is also fun – although I wish I had spent longer in Japan, rather than just a stopover in Osaka.
 
I love being able to look back at my passport to see where it has taken me, and am disappointed when I visit a country that doesn’t stamp! But I am excited to have many more trips planned to add to my passport stamp collection! What stories do your passport stamps tell?  What stamps are you most proud of?  Share in the comments below!
 

Happy travels!

 



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10 Comments

  • It’s not just the stamps sometimes, it’s the visas too (I’ve travelled in Africa a bit, for instance). Some visas are works of art with fancy holographic designs on pieces of paper (Laos), others are just simple paper printouts (Afghanistan), while others are mere illegible ink marks as if they were simply overly-large entry stamps (Burkina Faso).

    Each stamp and visa is its own unique souvenir for a trip – the long waits at the borders (Zimbabwe -> South Africa), the time I “lost” the share-taxi with my luggage (Benin -> Togo), the over-zealous border guards (Kyrgyzstan -> Uzbekistan), the really obscure border crossings (Thailand -> Cambodia), the uncomfortable journeys (Ukraine -> Belarus) …

    There was a pop album … I forget what, but I think it was by French singer Etienne Daho … where the album sleeve and lyric booklet was decorated in passport stamps … 🙂

    • HHLifestyleTravel says:

      Yes – visas! Love your stories – the ‘over-zealous border guards’ sound a bit scary! Your passports sound like rainbow-colourful things of beauty!

      • I really ought to make a post about them. Some of them are quite pretty, yes!

        The border guard into Uzbekistan spent 20 minutes looking through the photos on my tablet. Turns out he was looking for porn (!), so I think i may have bored him senseless with pictures of random places in Kyrgyzstan and Chile! :p

        The only scary guard I came across on my trips was the matron-like lady coming into the USA from Canada. She was truly fierce and dauntingly unjolly – she kept me so long my bus nearly went without me!

  • We have some not-so-common stamps and visas in our passports too. In our last passport we had Angola, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, Nepal & Malaysia for instance. In the current one we have multiple entries of Turkey (as we were living there), Zambia, Malawi again, and our pride and joy Iran (in my case head covered visa and everything) 😉

    • HHLifestyleTravel says:

      Wow – Iran – that’s awesome! I can’t wait to add Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa to mine too. What fabulous adventures your passports remind you of!

  • kylieuk says:

    I would love to one day photocopy and display all of my stamps! I love my Kenya one because it takes up a whole page, my land borders of Morocco and Bosnia are pretty cool and I should probably say my USA resident visa…it took nearly a year of paperwork to get that page and all it’s entry stamps!

  • At the start and end of the Inca Trail, they had passport stamps for our passport. Its lovely to see my Machu Picchu stamp in there when I flick through!

    • HHLifestyleTravel says:

      Aww wow, that is so cool. Something to look forward to when I finally get over there. Keep those old passports and enjoy reminiscing!

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