Passport stamps are pretty useless…

I had to cross the Canadian border today and I realized that the stamps in my passport are completely misleading.

I’ve only had this passport since last summer, but it’s gotten some mileage.  I spent three weeks in that country I don’t name, two months in Prague, and went to the UK, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary.

What would you think I’d done if you looked at my passport?  You’d think I’d worked in that country I don’t name (I didn’t–I was on a tourist visa this last time).  And you’d think that I’d been to Germany twice, Poland, and Belgium.

(I flew through Germany on the way to the UK and through Poland and Belgium on the way to the Czech Republic.)

My old passport had similar weirdness.  I went to Croatia a few years ago and did day trips to Bosnia and Montenegro.  But, since I did them with a tour group, I don’t have stamps in my passport for either Bosnia or Montenegro.

It’s really kind of a bummer.  I’d love to think that a passport was a record of my travels, but it’s not.  It’s more a record of my personal interactions with border control.  And that’s (thankfully) not a big part of my travel experiences.

Ah well.  C’est la vie.

On a side note, it seems that Canadian border control thinks it’s weird to enter Canada alone to “drive around a bit and explore the mountains” for a couple of days. 

Granted, it’s not the most specific of plans.  And, yes, I am a weirdly antisocial person who perhaps doesn’t look the part.  But it is what I plan on doing and that is what I’m like.  So…

Well, at least they let me in.

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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8 Responses to Passport stamps are pretty useless…

  1. ashleypaige4 says:

    This is really interesting. I have a lot of those in-between stamps also, but had never really thought about my passport not being an accurate record of my travels, but you’re right, it isn’t. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Oh, Balkan passport stamps! On the bus from Kotor to Mostar, which is only about 200 km, you pass through passport control SEVEN times! Just when you think it’s safe to put it away you’ve got to pull it back out!

  3. Dave Higgins says:

    Based on the last few minutes of various Defenders Of Our Nation’s Sanctity!!!! reality shows I have seen when I switch my television on a few moments before another program, border control agents believe everything is weird.

    • mhleewriter says:

      And based upon some of the things I’ve seen on those shows, maybe they need to. Of course, they decided to search my car on the way back over the border. Good thing I had nothing to hide.

  4. Gezabelle says:

    I recently had some German security official tell me he couldn’t accept my passport at the airport in Washington DC a couple months ago. He further stated I couldn’t even use it to travel anywhere, even domestically, because I didn’t sign my passport when I received it. I told him I had used it traveling to Asia with no issues in the past. He refused to believe me … so I had to show him the numerous artfully placed stamps that less annoying officials had decorated my otherwise pristine passport.

    After proving my intellectual superiority despite my signatory laziness I smugly I signed the passport in front of him – Now I’m probably on some no fly or body cavity search list for the future, but I showed him…

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