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02 Nov


Flowing with the challenges

November 2, 2013 | By |

(JZS: 11am) Apparently someone thought we needed a good lesson on going with the flow and dealing with challenges, so I am sitting here, 48 hours before departure, waiting for my emergency passport to be ready.

The situation: We had acquired the visas we expected would be helpful to have in advance (Bolivia and India), and the passport, successfully stamped with a visa, was en route back to my apartment from the Indian consulate via USPS Priority 1-Day Mail, with delivery tracking. The problem is that it turns out that USPS tracks packages as delivered when they go onto the truck, not when they are actually delivered. So… We know that my passport and visas went into a USPS truck bound for my apartment at 12:03pm. We also know that the package was never marked by the doorman for my apartment. Which all means that my passport may be in one of a few places: still at the post office, fallen out of the box of mail, accidentally delivered to another building, in my apartment building but accidentally delivered to the wrong apartment, or stolen somewhere along the way.

On the positive side of things, I am able to get a new emergency passport (I am currently sitting in a coffee shop near the passport office while it’s being made)… Thank goodness for living in NYC. And everyone has been doing their best to be helpful — from the post office workers and mail delivery staff, to my building management and staff, to my neighbors who have been on lookout for the missing package, even to the people on the passport office phone line and in the office itself. And, while it is many (many) hours down the drain and several hundred dollars, it’s a manageable problem to handle.

I think that we have collectively spent about 35 hours searching for and otherwise dealing with my passport this far. Which is also means that we have done zero research into where we are going or what we need to do to actually prepare for our trip. I feel totally unprepared to speak Spanish, hike the Inca Trail (next week), figure out where we are going after that, hop on buses between cities… Let alone lock up our stuff in storage or say goodbye to our little Neko for a year! (We are not as worries about our families and friends since we will see them on the road.)

I just cracked open a travel book for the first time and had this bizarre realization that in 48 hours, it will be two of us, two bags, and a whole year filled with new places, sights, smells, people, challenges.

Hopefully by the time we post this on our website later today, we can include a picture of me holding my shiny new passport (with no visas stamped in it)… A good lesson in going with the flow and realizing that situations, while they seem totally insurmountable, are just an exercise in patience and persistence.


  1. amy

    So the Epic Adventure started in New York!

    Safe and happy travels!!

  2. Karen Ziff

    new marriage, new haircut, new passport, new adventures… it makes a story to tell in the future with some levity & humor (though it’s not a story you would choose).

  3. suzQ!

    I love you so much.

    No prereading means you have all that to do on the flight…and the adventure begins that way: discovering.

    ALWAYS take the SAFE path (that doesn’t mean avoid adventure) but if you dont’ feel SAFE it might not be. And why risk that.

    HUGE good things to you. I will be following.

  4. Eleanor Hanauer

    Just to move your adrenaline…and get the aggravation over with before you hit the road.

    Bon Voyage and Love!

  5. Michel Swornik

    Well, we are given strange gifts sometimes the best memories are made of “contre-temps” and today’s problems are the bricks of tomorrow’s great stories to tell. In spite and perhaps because the little problems you will appreciate the trip even more.

    Have a good trip