The US Passport regular processing turn around time only two weeks as of January 2010, not the planned four to six weeks.
Travel is about making decisions. In travel, every minute of every day involves making decisions — there are few things robotic about traveling: you must think about and decide where to go, where to eat, how much is a good amount of money to spend for something, should you stop and talk to the guy who is yelling at you, should you run away from or confront the creep following behind you, and thousands of other questions that you must ask your self daily, all day long.
Western New York, USA, January 5, 2009
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The absolute mental stimulation of traveling is perhaps one of the aspects that I love most about the profession. The mechanism for travel is perhaps found in the decision, and the ability to make decisions quickly and with finality — any amount of indecision can result in a tragic loss of well being or money. Travel is perhaps the physical manifestation of the decision making process.
I had a decision to make a couple of weeks ago, it was a reletively minor decision: do I pay $180 extra dollars to have the three US passports for my family expedited, or do I risk spending four to six more weeks in the USA waiting for the regular processing time to come to fruition?
All three of us — Petra, Chaya, and myself — needed new passports, and the $60 each expedition fee was too much to spend for a processing time that may only be faster by a matter of a week. The expedition turn around time was said to be 2 to 3 weeks, normal processing 4 to 6 weeks. I decided to wait out the regular processing time and just leave the USA whenever the new passports arrive.
I really want to leave the USA, but $160 is a week of traveling with my family.
I thought that the passports would come at the end of January or the beginning of February. They came yesterday, January 4th. I choose correctly, I saved $180.
We applied for the passports on December 23. The entire process took 13 days, including shipping time and three holidays.
We now have our passports are are ready to go (almost).
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