The stamps in my passport don’t mean more or less that I’ve been somewhere; it is the foods I have tasted, the pictures I took, and the memories I will treasure for the rest of my life that make the experience real. The passport is merely a means to an end. But then I started to think that in fact it does carry a lot of weight. It is that country’s official acknowledgement of my having been there. Someone stamped it in that forceful and noisy way they do, and now there is no denying it. This strange, new country has granted me access. They’ve invited me in to experience it and this is my paper trail.
The experience is as varied and unique as each new border crossed, so here is where that paper trail comes in handy. Sometimes I might be so stuck in a moment, I forget to take a picture. Other times I might get food poising from eating cart food at the side of a dirt road. Then again perhaps one day my memory will fail me and I will be left without all of these wonderful moments. That is when I realised that these stamps are the record and collection of each individual handshake I've had with foreign places - the common denominator between all of my adventures. And that is definitely worth cherishing.