Website Updates I finally put in a passport application.

Matt Derrick

Permanent Wanderer
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Aug 4, 2006
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Austin, TX
So, after over a decade of putting if off, I finally got off my ass and put in my application for a US passport. It's always just been one of those things where I'm like, "agh, $140 bucks is a lot of money, I'll do it later," and well, you know how it is, weeks stretch into months, months to years, and suddenly it been a decade.

In addition to that, I've been very much feeling like I've been spinning my wheels in place, not really achieving much for quite a long time now. Always waiting to have enough money to buy a van/car/bus/etc and live the perfect #vanlife. In addition to covid I made a whole mess of other mistakes this past year, which led to me not achieving that goal.

So with that in mind, I've decided this year to dedicate myself to a singular goal; moving out of the USA for an extended period of time, if not for good.

I've spent the past twenty years slowly bouncing around the USA between traveling full time and not, and over the past five or so years now, I've really started to feel like I'm going in loops I've done not just two or three times, but more like ten or more times and it's really starting to get kind of old, and well, frankly, not very much fun anymore. This is one of the reasons I've become pretty quiet here on StP over the past year or so; I was really not sure what the future of StP should be, much less my own personal life.

This all came to a head when I was traveling with my friend @Daisy in my Toyota Prius. We had fun, for sure, but ultimately I knew I was just killing time again, putting off what I really wanted to do for easier to achieve short term travel goals.

Fortunately, after returning to Austin, Texas after that trip, I managed to pull myself out of this slump. While the Prius trip wasn't ideal, it did help me realize what was important to me personally and give me some focus on what I needed to do to be happy (i.e. get out of the USA). I've always been under the opinion that nothing happens if you just wait around for things to happen to you rather than going out there and making things happen for yourself. So I got off my ass and started taking steps towards realizing the dreams I'd been pining on about in my head for so many years now.

I put a plan to paper, and getting my US passport was one of the first steps in that plan. No more excuses, just get it fucking done, that's my current motto.

Another part of my plan is thoroughly documenting the process. That includes this blog, which frankly I should have done and stuck to since the beginning of StP, but I was a lot less responsible back then. This time, I'm going to write about everything I'm going through both before I leave the USA and after I get to whatever country I end up going to. There really isn't enough information on this kind of thing from a more underground traveler type perspective, so I'm going to do my best to relate what I go through to help you and anyone else reading this do the same.

So here we are, first blog post. I think I'll write about what I went through to get my passport next. It was harder than usual due to some covid related things, but I with a little research I lucked out and now I only have to wait eighteen weeks for it to show up (more on that later).


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Global Moderator
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Nov 17, 2017
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Midst of a dog pile
I totally understand the feeling of going in loops in the US. I've lost track of how many times I've done it already. Wanted to plan a backpacking trip along the coast of Australia and it kept getting pushed back... here I am, four years later and still haven't done it. I admire you taking initiative towards achieving your goals. Can't wait to see more updates from you. I got my passport before the pandemic so I am curious how bumpy that process is now.
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