A passport stamp is just ink on paper.
How can something so simple be so complex, possessing the ability to transport us back so immediately to our pasts?
That frantic, crowd-dodging dash to catch a flight to Bhutan before the gate closed, the first time you tasted champagne in Champagne, the feeling of falling in love — with a person or a place.
We can all remember our first big trip abroad and what it meant to us at that point in our lives. And that meaning changes over time.
Lucky for us, our passports give us a chance to relive some of the best — and most memorable — moments of our lives.
When you work at National Geographic, one of the first questions people ask you is if you get to travel. The answer is often yes, but one of the best parts of the job is being surrounded by sharp, globe-trotting people, and getting to hear their stories.
That’s why we asked staffers in National Geographic’s digital media department to share their favorite passport stamps and the memories they provoke with our Intelligent Travel readers. Some of those memories are being made right now. One stamp was just picked up on NG Explorer Enric Sala’s expedition to the Pitcairn Islands.
Click through the photo gallery to see where we’ve been and what it’s taught us along the way.
What’s your favorite passport stamp, and why? We all want to hear about it, so let us know in the comment box below.