Have you ever been preparing for an international trip and suddenly panic, "oh no, where's my passport?" Lots of us have. I found myself in that boat last year when I was preparing to go on a dream trip to Iceland, I searched high and low for the passport that I hadn't seen in over a year. I turned my house upside down, the garage was thoroughly searched, boxes from my old apartment were torn apart, and yet I found no sign of my passport. With no other answers, I messaged the organizer of the trip that I wouldn't be going.
Last year I was invited to go to Iceland with a friend whom I had met through church nearly six years before that, she had said that a few people she knew would be going on the trip and that it'd be fun if I went too. I thought about it for about 30 seconds before replying to her message, "I'm in". Over the next few months, she and I started messaging each other more and more, getting to know one another further before the trip. While she lived in town when I met her, she had moved back home a state away and we hadn't really kept in touch. I was beginning to think that there might be something more to our friendship and it looked like it was going to culminate on the trip. That is, if I went on the trip.
After a weekend of searching for my passport, I was beyond bummed to send her a message that I wouldn't be going. We were scheduled to leave on the trip on Friday, and it was Sunday night; I was without a passport and had no answers how to procure one. She and I brainstormed about all of the possible scenarios; where the passport could be? how to locate it? how she wished she was here to help me look. I went to work on Monday at the marketing agency I used to work at feeling defeated, Iceland had been a dream trip for me for many years. I wanted to go to Skogafoss and Kirkjufellsfoss damn it! I told my friends at work that I wouldn't be going and they all said how awful they felt that I wouldn't be able to go, even my direct supervisor added his condolences.
She and I had talked about getting an emergency passport but it was only open for those who had a death in the family, and still, it would take at least 8 days to get the passport. One of my friends at work messaged me about an emergency passport program that the department of state offers IF you qualify AND can get to Denver. Since I live down the road in Boulder, I figured that I wouldn't apply but as it turns out the only things that I needed were; completed lost passport forms, completed passport forms, an authorized passport photo, identification, proof of travel WITHIN the next two weeks, and an appointment.
I decided to follow this rabbit hole and made an appointment for Wednesday at 10 am with the Department of State in Denver. I filled out all of my forms, got a passport photo, gathered my birth certification and license, and cash to pay the fees. I didn't expect to get a passport because I would have to admit my own negligence, "yeah, I lost it." and this wasn't exactly an emergency. Rolling with it, I went to my appointment and after waiting in line for a while I explained my case to the man behind the glass. After he took all my forms, made sure they were completed correctly, took my money, and told me to come back at 1 pm that day so I could pick up my passport!
So, I went to celebrate at Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs, then went back to pick up my new passport and sure enough, they had printed one on the spot. I messaged her that I would be going on the trip after all, then headed back to work for a few hours. Also, I scheduled my first maternity shoot for later that day up in Estes Park.
Two days later, I was flying to Iceland with essentially 5 strangers and had only met one in person before. I got to go to Skogafoss and Kirkjufellsfoss but, of course, things didn't go quite as planned.