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View Full Version : Passports..who's got one?



changeng
09-05-2014, 05:18 AM
I've been asking, seems very few Americans have a valid passport or more often never had one. seems odd as traveling overseas is so cheap these days. Why would this be so? Lack of interest?

Rich Jones
09-05-2014, 05:25 AM
I finally got one nine years ago and have never used it. Too many nice places to go in this country. Have to renew it soon as the wife would like to go to Scotland next year.

changeng
09-05-2014, 05:38 AM
Yeah it's a big country with lots of great places to see and explore..but mono cultural.
Re Scotland.. theres a Scottish cultural thread live at the moment..ask .. Isla is a great source of info. :)

Rum_Pirate
09-05-2014, 07:15 AM
I've been asking, seems very few Americans have a valid passport or more often never had one. seems odd as traveling overseas is so cheap these days. Why would this be so? Lack of interest?


Many Americans don't know that there is a whole big world outside the USA. Some don't even know there is life outside their County much less State. It is due in part to a lack of geographical knowledge.

Maybe many are quite content to stay put in their neighborhood. There is no reason to fault them if that is the reason and they are happy.

PS Some possibly don't travel because they are afraid they there will not be a MacDonalds, Domino's or KFC etc when they there. Although these invidious fast food franchises are spreading rapidly around the globe.

Reynard38
09-05-2014, 07:22 AM
Had one for over 30 years.
Daughters had one since she was 5 or so.
Europe, Carribbean, Mexico, Central America and Canada have been visited.

Flying Orca
09-05-2014, 07:47 AM
I suppose I'm technically eligible for two, since the US government retroactively bestowed an unwanted citizenship upon me, but I do not want and will never use the citizenship or the passport.

Rum_Pirate
09-05-2014, 07:54 AM
I suppose I'm technically eligible for two, since the US government retroactively bestowed an unwanted citizenship upon me, but I do not want and will never use the citizenship or the passport.


You are probably now liable to pay US taxes.

Please check it out for your own peace of mind . . . and your wallet.

Breakaway
09-05-2014, 08:03 AM
I have had a passport all my adult life. I have, in the course of life, been to Ireland, Europe, Canada, Mexico, South America, Bermuda, Bahamas, and the Caribbean. For the most part, though, where I live has everything I need to keep busy and having fun. YMMV.

Kevin

changeng
09-05-2014, 08:08 AM
Hmm. I get that. Happy to explore where I am these days. I'm planning a last big O/S trip in a couple of years. Plonk myself in one country for a few months and live like a local.

Flying Orca
09-05-2014, 08:21 AM
You are probably now liable to pay US taxes.

I'm supposed to file returns and information forms; it's very unlikely I would owe anything. However, I refuse to do so - I left the USA before my first birthday and have never worked or earned money there, don't have a Social Security number, have never voted or held a passport - in short, never acted as a US citizen in any way other than acknowledging that they consider me one. I'm not going to pay thousands of dollars in bribes to renounce a citizenship I never wanted, and if that means never going back there, that's fine.

The ironic thing is that they brought in this poorly written tax law in an attempt to boost revenues, and thanks to the way they've gone about it, there are about a million Canadians (and who knows how many millions elsewhere) who will not go to the USA because they are affected by this. That's a huge amount of tourist income lost, much more than they'll recover in taxes and renunciation bribes. It's just stupid.

Nicholas Scheuer
09-05-2014, 08:22 AM
I would imagine folks living near the Canadian border tend to have valid passports. On a cross-USA vacation we once decided to hop over to Niagara Falls on a whim 'cause wife had never seen them. However, we had not embarked on the vacation with our passports. We won't ever do that again. As boat enthusiasts residing near Canada, we love to cruise the North Channel and Lake Superior.

Canoez
09-05-2014, 08:29 AM
I've had one since I was about 10 and have traveled for both business and pleasure over the years. I've only got one, but everyone else in my house has two.

Keith Wilson
09-05-2014, 08:40 AM
I've got one, it even has some stamps in it, although not as many as I'd like. In fact I need to get it renewed; thanks for reminding me


it's a big country with lots of great places to see and explore..but mono cultural.Hah! You've never been to Brooklyn or Queens? :D

S.V. Airlie
09-05-2014, 08:45 AM
Although I have a passport, usually I only have to show it at airports. Crossing country borders, rarely checked especially in the EU.

S.V. Airlie
09-05-2014, 08:59 AM
My nephew is the same way Norman. Always somewhere else! He was even married overseas. His Wife is 1st gen Greek! I didn't go!

changeng
09-05-2014, 09:03 AM
My BIL has a million air miles..A MILLION. He offered to give em to me before they expire. Too bad I'm broke :(

S.V. Airlie
09-05-2014, 09:06 AM
All with the same airline? Impressive!

changeng
09-05-2014, 09:08 AM
he's a Geologist and owns a small mining company. does a lot of traveling to places weird and wonderful.

S.V. Airlie
09-05-2014, 09:10 AM
Sounds interesting! My Nephew sets up company's mergers! The last one to my horror, was TW.and Comcast!

wizbang 13
09-05-2014, 09:24 AM
I usually have to send mine back to get the extra pages

S.V. Airlie
09-05-2014, 09:33 AM
As I said, my passport obviously was checked at airports. I traveled a lot of miles in Europe in the '80's by bike! No border guard ever looked at my passport! The Swiss guard at the Italian/Swiss border just waved at me! I was wearing a helmet not a European thing then. As said he just waved and said, "you're a American, go on through!" Probably different now!

S.V. Airlie
09-05-2014, 10:37 AM
You're homelife must suck!:)

John of Phoenix
09-05-2014, 10:44 AM
I have a couple of Texas stamps on my passport too. Strange country.

BrianW
09-05-2014, 10:48 AM
I usually have to send mine back to get the extra pages

Same deal. Extra pages in mine. But other than England, France, Netherlands, and Costa Rica, most of them are stamped in Dubai. Kinda sad. Need to get over to Europe again.

switters
09-05-2014, 10:51 AM
Travelling overseas is cheap these days? I dont know how much it costs to fly out of Oz, but it usually costs me about $400 just to get to one of the coasts.

I was happy last year when mine got renewed and the KSA page is gone, that was fun to have going through security.

ccmanuals
09-05-2014, 11:03 AM
Have 2. One for personal travel and one for official travel.

S.V. Airlie
09-05-2014, 11:06 AM
Does Homeland Sec. have IT's own passport?:)

L.W. Baxter
09-05-2014, 11:35 AM
Yeah it's a big country with lots of great places to see and explore..but mono cultural...

You live in "NY", possibly the most diverse and multicultural city on the planet, but the US is "monocultural"? Have you ever even been to the US?

Jim Bow
09-05-2014, 11:44 AM
I recall a Natl Geo article about this very subject. They claim that American's discretionary funds usually were used to buy "stuff". luxuries, electronics etc.
European's discretionary funds went to travel and other experiences rather than objects.

the_gr8t_waldo
09-05-2014, 12:39 PM
I've held a passport for the last 30. in the early days used it for travel, but the last 15 there's been little traveling. working construction ( re multiple employers) I used it to prove that I've the right to work in my own country. it's always fun to hand it over to the person checking..and watch the look on their face. they always question what it is AND how I relates to form I-9. and can waste up to, as much as an hour to get the person to actually read the form he's signing. then it's on to drug testing, and reading the company's new employee hiree manual. for a job that could end in as little as two days! what pain!!

Bobcat
09-05-2014, 12:55 PM
Yup and a Nexus card too.

S.V. Airlie
09-05-2014, 12:56 PM
I've held a passport for the last 30. in the early days used it for travel, but the last 15 there's been little traveling. working construction ( re multiple employers) I used it to prove that I've the right to work in my own country. it's always fun to hand it over to the person checking..and watch the look on their face. they always question what it is AND how I relates to form I-9. and can waste up to, as much as an hour to get the person to actually read the form he's signing. then it's on to drug testing. had to go through hoops to work in the UK!

pipefitter
09-05-2014, 01:13 PM
Many Americans don't know that there is a whole big world outside the USA. Some don't even know there is life outside their County much less State. It is due in part to a lack of geographical knowledge.

Maybe many are quite content to stay put in their neighborhood. There is no reason to fault them if that is the reason and they are happy.

PS Some possibly don't travel because they are afraid they there will not be a MacDonalds, Domino's or KFC etc when they there. Although these invidious fast food franchises are spreading rapidly around the globe.

I have seen pictures and read of other places in the world. Why travelling ends up being a bucket list item for so many is beyond me and I swear it seems because they think that is what they are supposed to say. I can see it on tv, see the pictures and I get it. But to travel to tourist destinations to go and act like a tourist, not for me. Now if I could go live there for a spell and blend in with the culture, that would be another thing entirely. Otherwise, I would get there, and look back across the ocean towards my own country and the irony would almost be too much.

S.V. Airlie
09-05-2014, 01:20 PM
I have seen pictures and read of other places in the world. Why travelling ends up being a bucket list item for so many is beyond me and I swear it seems because they think that is what they are supposed to say. I can see it on tv, see the pictures and I get it. But to travel to tourist destinations to go and act like a tourist, not for me. Now if I could go live there for a spell and blend in with the culture, that would be another thing entirely. Otherwise, I would get there, and look back across the ocean towards my own country and the irony would almost be too much. I was no treated like a tourist! I did not hop in a rental car, wear shirt with horizontal stripes accenting every roll and smoking a stoogie. Was on a bike, wearing an old wool sweater, top siders, wool socks, and with topo maps!

Phillip Allen
09-05-2014, 01:23 PM
I was no treated like a tourist! I did not hop in a rental car, wear shirt with horizontal stripes accenting every roll and smoking a stoogie. Was on a bike, wearing an old wool sweater, top siders, wool socks, and with topo maps!

I don't like wearing any pull-overs so I'd have to find something else to keep me warm

Phillip Allen
09-05-2014, 01:23 PM
How did you get 2 passports?

his obvious double standard?

Keith Wilson
09-05-2014, 01:24 PM
Now if I could go live there for a spell and blend in with the culture, that would be another thing entirely.Yeah, I did that for a couple of years when I was young. You're right, it's very different than being a tourist, particularly in a place that's quite unlike where one comes from. But 'blending in' is hard, partially when one has has weird-color hair and eyes, and is a head taller than the locals - and that's even without language and culture issues. That would be an interesting thread in itself. Being a foreigner, not ever being able to blend in - that teaches one something, I think. OTOH, there's nothing wrong with being a tourist; actually going somewhere, even for a short time, is also very different than reading about it or seeing it on TV.

Rum_Pirate
09-05-2014, 01:25 PM
I don't like wearing any pull-overs so I'd have to find something else to keep me warm


Well try what Richard Branston of Virgin did:

http://bfam.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/richard-branson-water-skis-naked-woman-1-500x250.jpg

CWSmith
09-05-2014, 01:26 PM
Passports are great. I plan on going to Mesopotamia later this year...

S.V. Airlie
09-05-2014, 01:27 PM
I just didn't like being told where to go, have set schedules, places someone else chooses for me, etc. NO THANK YOU!I liked getting up in the morning, checking on the weather, checking the map, hoppng on my bike and just going for it! Taking the "usual Tourist" route is not for me! For some yes!

switters
09-05-2014, 01:32 PM
Well I've never been to Spain

But I kinda like the music

Say the ladies are insane there

and they sure know how to use it

S.V. Airlie
09-05-2014, 01:41 PM
I drank a little too much wine waiting for the bike shop to open one afternoon! It was Siesta Time in France! Ended up in Spain that night! Could not DO THAT on a tour!:)

Canoez
09-05-2014, 02:03 PM
I've got 3. Nice to have options when dealing with the unknown....

Three? US, Republic of Pub and what else?

George Jung
09-05-2014, 02:07 PM
I've got 3. Nice to have options when dealing with the unknown....


Are these 'known', or 'unknown', unknowns?

Gerarddm
09-05-2014, 02:08 PM
Many Americans don't know that there is a whole big world outside the USA. Some don't even know there is life outside their County much less State. It is due in part to a lack of geographical knowledge.

Maybe many are quite content to stay put in their neighborhood. There is no reason to fault them if that is the reason and they are happy.


True that. Newport RI is the southern end of Aquidneck Island, 15 miles by 5, and I spoke to an old codger there once who casually mentioned he hadn't been off-island in 35 years. !!

ccmanuals
09-05-2014, 02:32 PM
How did you get 2 passports?

http://www.uspassporthelpguide.com/passport-books/

Phillip Allen
09-05-2014, 03:15 PM
Well try what Richard Branston of Virgin did:

http://bfam.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/richard-branson-water-skis-naked-woman-1-500x250.jpg

she's a sweat-er?

John of Phoenix
09-05-2014, 03:22 PM
Yeah, I did that for a couple of years when I was young. You're right, it's very different than being a tourist, particularly in a place that's quite unlike where one comes from. But 'blending in' is hard, partially when one has has weird-color hair and eyes, and is a head taller than the locals - and that's even without language and culture issues. That would be an interesting thread in itself. Being a foreigner, not ever being able to blend in - that teaches one something, I think. OTOH, there's nothing wrong with being a tourist; actually going somewhere, even for a short time, is also very different than reading about it or seeing it on TV.Iran, 1979, Islamic Revolution. Tell me about it.

BrianW
09-05-2014, 04:00 PM
Did you get special permission to have more then 1 passport?

We were offered the choice to get a second passport while working in Afghanistan. Most elected not to, but it had some positives. Mainly because about every second time coming home, we had to send them to a passport expeditor to get another Afghan Visa. Although nobody ever looked at our passports in Afghanistan.

So while it was gone, you were screwed for traveling abroad. Also, there were cases of passports not getting back in time, screwing up work and travel schedules.

Fortunately they did away with that Visa crap after awhile.

I believe that type of second passport we were offered had to be employer related, and they were only good for two years.

ccmanuals
09-05-2014, 04:26 PM
Did you get special permission to have more then 1 passport?

The red no-fee passport books are for international travel for military officers or government employees only while performing official duties.

Keith Wilson
09-05-2014, 04:39 PM
Iran, 1979, Islamic Revolution. Tell me about it.Oy. That makes Central America, even during the Nicaraguan revolution, seem like an all-expenses-paid trip to a nice beach resort. I'm glad you made it home.

John of Phoenix
09-05-2014, 04:45 PM
It was similar to the ISIS situation of today. Wholesale murder.

switters
09-05-2014, 04:52 PM
Seems to me after viewing this thread that most of the Americans you have asked have passports.

Of course we have also have a higher number of mensa members and super models in the bilge than the average forum.;)

WX
09-05-2014, 05:14 PM
I went to PNG in 92. No passport at the moment but I'd love to go to the UK and visit my daughter and family in the US.

purri
09-05-2014, 05:29 PM
Sneaky! and obviously in a "tour group" eh?


Passports are great. I plan on going to Mesopotamia later this year...

purri
09-05-2014, 06:02 PM
I have one. The missis has had thee over the years. Folk here would ask me if I had travelled as many Oz (40%?) have. I would reply "only when I have seen enough of Oz to speak with some authority". As Oz the same size as the continental US it took a while and I have seen places that require a travel permit even to pass (drive) through. (Aboriginal lands)

Went to Yurp last year for 5 week mostly stayed in small towns and villages, only visited 1 capital and stayed at cities such as Lausanne, Luzern, Heidelberg, Strasbourg, Frankfort, Grenoble and Varese, dressed in very low key summer wear plus one smart outfit, the missis had two. We found Europeans very well mannered AND friendly bar some Swiss. All were interested as to why/ distance travelled (33K kms plus 6.5K while there) and fascinated by OZ. (seen as very exotic)

Good manners, dress sense and an ability to speak 3 languages (Lydia speaks fluently and taught 2, mine are basic French and Italian plus some dialects I picked up (Pivrun and Lombardese plus Mediterranean Franco/Italian) got us a long way. And they used their English skills on us, even in a tiny supermarchetto in the gritty part of Turin.

BTW many prospective (even nationals) diners are refused service if they aren't "a la mode / la bella figura" with their dress sense and/or manners, gestures and body language. (We were complimented on several occasions). Good manners and situational awareness go long way!

Shang
09-05-2014, 09:30 PM
Yeah, got a passport signed by George Washington, or someone else...

CWSmith
09-05-2014, 09:43 PM
Sneaky! and obviously in a "tour group" eh?

If you mean what I think, oh no! In all seriousness, I would love to go there (cradle of civilization), but they have far too many things to work out for me to get there in this life.

Tom Hunter
09-05-2014, 09:48 PM
@pipefitter my passport, and much, much more importantly this forum got me a Saturday of racing on Sydney harbor. Sometimes travel is totally worth while.

The Bigfella
09-05-2014, 11:40 PM
You don't always need a passport. I managed 30 international land border crossings in one month at the end of last year.... for one solitary stamp in the passport.

Shhh. Don't tell the gubbermint(s).

C. Ross
09-06-2014, 12:40 AM
Yes, and I've been lucky enough to use it a fair amount.

I just returned from taking my younger daughter to Paris, where she just started her freshman year in college. She's going to have a well-stamped and well-used passport pretty soon.

paulf
09-06-2014, 12:55 AM
I did some seafloor surveys between Hong Kong And Taiwan, we were surveying a fiber optic cable route. They looked very closely at our passports, took the whole crews passports for a couple of days. Mine came back with an affixed number on the corner.
The Chinese and Taiwanese officials would not be on the vessel at the same time. It made for several port calls in Hong Kong.....yes!

They can't get along and still need high speed fiber????

Paul Pless
09-06-2014, 01:38 AM
You don't always need a passport. I managed 30 international land border crossings in one month at the end of last year.... for one solitary stamp in the passport.

Shhh. Don't tell the gubbermint(s).its been a couple of decades since I've received a single stamp in my passport traveling anywhere in Europe. My last few trips my passport has only been checked at my point of entry into Europe.

I have a passport and a passport card. The card is good for Canada, Mexico, and carribean travel as well as being a convenience when flying anywhere.

I also have an enhanced drivers license which allows u.s./cantada border crossings.

The Bigfella
09-06-2014, 01:56 AM
its been a couple of decades since I've received a single stamp in my passport traveling anywhere in Europe. My last few trips my passport has only been checked at my point of entry into Europe.

I have a passport and a passport card. The card is good for Canada, Mexico, and carribean travel as well as being a convenience when flying anywhere.

I also have an enhanced drivers license which allows u.s./cantada border crossings.

Europe these days is a tad different.

I don't get a stamp on arrival back home these days either... but that's travelling by air, not across a land border :D. We have a system called SmartGate (http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page5831.asp) here now. I swipe the passport, press a coupple of buttons, walk up to this,

http://www.customs.gov.au/webdata/resources/images/SGStandingatGate_RGBInternet_001.jpg

get checked electronically, and walk through. A client of mine developed the system. Good old biometrics. We even had a planeload of pollies and bureacrats turn up from the US to check it out.


Most of those crossings last year, we only knew we were doing it because of the border marked on the GPS map. This one was a bit different... the border was the river. Try as we might, we couldn't find anyone to stamp our passport. There was a bloke there with an AR-15.... but we didn't particularly want a stamp from that... and he wasn't being paid by any government I know

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff112/igatenby/Thai%202013/border_zpsa413370b.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/igatenby/media/Thai%202013/border_zpsa413370b.jpg.html)

C. Ross
09-06-2014, 09:45 AM
Oy. That makes Central America, even during the Nicaraguan revolution, seem like an all-expenses-paid trip to a nice beach resort. I'm glad you made it home.

No kidding. Though my first passport has a stamp from customs and immigration in Managua dated February 1983, post revolution but mid contra war. And we did visit a nice beach resort for an afternoon when we were there.

Dan McCosh
09-06-2014, 10:00 AM
Looking at a stack of four old passports. 2.8 million air miles.

elf
09-06-2014, 11:06 AM
In my pack. If I'd decided to take the ferry into Canada I would have been stuck.

CWSmith
09-06-2014, 11:11 AM
A former student of mine just got back from 6 months in South America. He was often staying with native communities and farming with them. He really enjoyed it!

ahp
09-06-2014, 12:21 PM
I have had one since 1953. My current one has a Peoples Republic of China visa.

purri
09-06-2014, 07:00 PM
Just go to Iran. You won't be disappointed.


If you mean what I think, oh no! In all seriousness, I would love to go there (cradle of civilization), but they have far too many things to work out for me to get there in this life.