Do you have a current passport? Nearly two out of three Americans do not have one.
According to the State Department statistics from January 2011, 114.5 million Americans have a passport, which equates to approximately 37 percent of the 308.7 million citizens having passports.
This means that nearly 2 out of 3 Americans cannot even drive or fly to Canada or Mexico, let alone travel to anywhere else in the world. There are some exceptions, including taking a closed-loop cruise.
Why do America’s need a passport?
There are a myriad of reasons. Here are 3 reason to get a passport.
Reason #1: To see, experience and understand the world.
If you want to leave the US, you need a valid passport. What better way to understand the world, than to experience it?
One can read about China’s immense population, growing global influence, and control of the internet and social media sites like Facebook. Experiencing first-hand how Facebook posts simply don’t work in Shanghai airport gave an understanding of Chinese lack of personal freedom like no article could.
During past travels to Tunisia, touring near the ruling family’s opulent places in great contrast to the nearby shacks of the middle and lower classes provided us with an unique perspective to the uprising there earlier this year.
Reason #2: Travel for creative and business inspiration.
For centuries, writers, painters and poets traveled for creative inspiration. Travel also provides valuable business inspiration.
Robert Mondavi spent his career in the California wine industry selling bulk wines until his first trip to Europe at age 49. Visiting famous French wine regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Mondavi realized California’s Napa valley had the same ideal soil and climate. Why couldn’t it making world class wines?
Robert Mondavi return from Europe inspired to change the California wine industry. And he did.
Howard Schultz was marketing director for a small Seattle coffee-bean shop called Starbucks.
Starbucks would likely still be a single store selling beans, if Schultz hadn’t taken a buying trip to Milan, Italy where he noticed coffee bars on every street. These coffee bars not served excellent espresso, Schultz noticed, they also provided neighborhood meeting places. And Schultz came back to Seattle determined that better coffee and places to drink it would be viable in the United States.
Reason # 3: To be a better global human being
When you travel and focus on meeting people, you learn that humans are basically the same around the world. We are all more similar than different.
Traveling out of your country gets you out of your comfort zone, and opens your life to a world of possibilities.
Apply for a Passport Today
There are hundreds of reasons to have a passport. If you want to go places in life, apply for a passport today. A new passport cost $135 dollars and it’s good for 10 years – that’s an investment of only $13.50 per year.
Passport application details and forms are available online at travel.state.gov which also directs you to passport application locations, often at local post offices or government buildings.
While you are waiting for your passport, start making a travel “must see” destination list. Where will you go first?