Though I have since amassed a whopping three stamps in the ol' passport (one of which feels cheap to count, as it was essentially a resort trip), leaving the country has grown far more exciting and much less serious. Now, as I stroll through security with the longer hair and the patchy beard getting stopped at every checkpoint, I just focus on what's on my headphones.
It seemed so serious when I was in my early twenties and leaving the country for the first time. Pudgier, shorter hair, cleaner cut...my passport photo looked (still looks, in fact) as though I was being held hostage, but whose doesn't? There were so many concerns about money and safety and vaccinations that I ultimately never received. It was my introduction to money belts, traveller's checks, and the international terminal at the airport.