THE REAL REPUBLICA UPDATE: THE PASSPORT
Rule numero uno whenever flying international, no matter how soon the trip, always make sure your passport is valid! Or else you'll wind up like yours truly and realize almost too late to catch it. Thankfully I was able to recover the fumble, as good old Uncle Sam granted me a $170 favor. Yep, that's how much I had to shell out to expedite the passport renewal process. Not only that, but because the New York City regional agency was booked until the 23rd of March (with my trip scheduled for the 19th), I had to resort to the next closest branch–Norwalk, Connecticut. So that's a roundtrip on the MetroNorth on top of the expedite fee. But wait, there's more! Pictures. Of course, what valid passport is updated without recent pictures? Off to the photo studio it was. So that's; expedite fee, train cost and now a studio photo fee. The grand total? $210 worth of my renewed appreciation for U.S. Citizenship and international travel privileges. Lesson learned! Never again.