Happy Spring Break Workweek

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It’s Spring Break in these parts! Which means I’m going to work like normal while the South By Southwest interactive/film/music festival takes over Austin around me.

I’ll celebrate my Spring Break once Brian is back to go adventuring with me. In the meantime, enjoy this photo from a few years ago at Sandy Cay in the British Virgin Islands. (Also known as the beach in the Corona commercials.) It’s been rainy here as of late, so this is the new background on my computer for the week.

Here’s to Spring!

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10 Years of International Travel

For the first time in my young life, it’s time to renew my passport. Hard to believe it’s been that long. In one sense,  it’s a reminder of how times have changed. 10 years ago wasn’t the first time I travelled outside the U.S., but back in those days you didn’t need anything at all to go from the U.S. to Canada as a kid in the backseat. All the same, it’s fun to think that 10 years ago was the first time I travelled overseas to a new country.

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After so many years of safeguarding my passport, it’s weird to be dropping it in the mail and hoping for the best to get a renewal. But I won’t complain about the relatively simple process. I’m realizing for the first time just how expensive passports are, though. There are a lot of reasons why only 46% of Americans have a passport, but the cost is a valid one for many. At $165 for a new passport and $140 for a renewal, I can see why even those Americans living along our borders may not have gotten around to that quick jaunt to Mexico or Canada.

At the very least the process is relatively painless. Renewals can be done through the mail and passport photos are available at a lot of post offices and pharmacies these days. This may be the end of a chapter, but I’m looking forward to beating my current record of 6 international visits per 10 years next time around.