It's been ages since I went travelling* and my realisation of this fact ran smack-bang into my remembering that one of my friends who has been working in New Zealand for the last year is finishing up her contract in about a month and will be heading back to Australia.
I messaged her saying it was a pity I hadn't had the wherewithal to get myself organised to go over and see her at any point during that time.
She said "What are you doing the weekend of the 25th and 26th of February? We're going to the beach for a weekend, you want to come?"
A few years ago this sort of spontaneous arrangement would have had me hyperventilating into a paper bag, here in the present I just said 'YES!'
I started looking at flights, got the OK from my boss to take some time off, made myself a reminder to buy a new bathing suit and then I remembered...
My passport was due to expire mid-June!
Sure I'd be travelling in February but they advise you not to travel on a passport with less than 6 months on it on the chance that you get to the other country and get turned back at the gate.
Crud crud crud!
I have my Italian passport of course and that would work but what if when I came back into Australia on my Italian passport that meant the immigration office would be considering me a foreign entry and would later demand that I leave the country and come back in on my Australian passport?
Unlikely, I know, but this is where all the nerves which would usually have popped up when I made the decision to travel had obviously decided to set up shop.
I jumped on the Australian passport website and started clicking around to see whether I was in fact screwed.
According to the website it usually takes 10 working days to process a passport - score! - but you should allow between 5 and 8 working days for postage to be safe - un-score**!
Crud crud CRUD!
For an extra wad of cash we will process your passport in 2 working days instead of 10?
So, bribery, ey?
I can play that game.
On the Sunday I filled and printed out my passport renewal form and located my old passport.
On the Monday I went into the post office, had a photo taken, signed my form, transferred my wads of cash, watched as they invalidated my old passport with a pair of scissors*** and submitted my form.
On Tuesday I received notice that my passport was finished and would be on its way to me soon.
On Thursday my passport turned up in the post.
Considering the amount of dreams and nightmares I've had about racing to airports and realising that I'd forgotten to bring my passport with me, I found the prospect of actually not having a passport completely terrifying.
Now I have my passport, I have my flights booked and everything else is just details.
This is going to be fun!
I know this is just going to set me off again, with the scheming and the planning and the yearning.
And oh boy am I ready for that.
I am definitely ready for that :-D
*A bit over 2 years.
**At the time I had 15 working days available to be and I was not willing to gamble.
***They just snip a bit off the front cover with scissors so nobody can mess it about to look valid again.