The passport is the most valuable item that you need for travel. I love looking at them. I still have my old style dark blue GB passport, now long out of date, with the ivory windows and hand written names and numbers.

On average my passport lasts me 18 months to two years and thatʼs even with the extra pages. There is one country where upon entry their officials stamp across the seam of two pages. It takes great skill to do this as they work at such a speed. For the average traveller this is not a problem but for me itʼs disappointing as I then canʼt have a visa on either of those pages. I have started asking officials to stamp on certain pages to save space.

Some of the stamps and visas are beautiful. The array of shapes, colours and pictures is well worth the long wait in the queues. In my passport I have a picturesque visa for the Congo. It is hand written in a calligraphy. Iʼm sure it was a labour of love.

Passports tell you a lot about the person and their travel habits which is why we should not hand them over to just anyone, but we do. Why do hotels need a photocopy of our passport details? And what do they do with the paper copy afterwards?

I have started to refuse to let others photocopy my passport and will never let the hotel keep my passport in their pigeon holes, in reception, in exchange for the room key. These areas are normally easily accessible by the general public. A passport these days is a very valuable commodity.

I love the pages in the passports. The last one was all the weather, sun, rain (lots of rain), isobars and clouds. In the UK the weather is very high on the topics for conversation. The new one I have is very bright and colourful full of famous landmarks and people. Take a good look at the monogrammed pages and the artwork. The GB passport is a unique creation.

My passports gold leaf has all but gone and the pages look a bit tatty. Itʼs part of my life. The stamps are reminders of the patients that I have taken home to their families. The time away from my family. They remind me of very sad and very happy cases. They remind me of the wonderful cultures that I have been privileged to be a part of. But most importantly, my passport gets me home.


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