Well, that went against nature

I think my biggest fear when I travel is not knowing where my passport is at all times. Fourteen years ago while I was on an overnight train from Paris to Munich my passport slid between a bunk and the wall as I tossed my pack on the bed. When I looked for it I couldn’t find it and I thought I had dropped it on the platform while boarding the train. I went through 15-minutes of hell before a travel mate found it. This is why what I did yesterday goes completely against my nature. In order to get into Afghanistan I need a Visa, being that I’m in Minnesota the easiest way for me to get that Visa is to apply for it on-line and mail a hard copy of my application, photo and PASSPORT to an office in Washington, D.C. After being ‘talked off the ledge’ by a couple of kind souls here at tpt I put my application and passport in a FedEx box located under a stairwell in the tpt building in St. Paul, Minnesota.

A FedEx box under a staircase in St. Paul

It's completely logical to put your passport in a quiet, out-of-the-way FedEx box, right?

Someone I don’t know will pick it up, scan it, put it on a truck, drive to the airport, load it on a conveyor belt, put it on a plane and it will magically show up in the proper office. Everything will get processed and then the passport and visa will make the return leg of their journey. I am currently passport-less. When it’s all said and done everything will be fine, besides thousands of people do what I did everyday, right?

The process for applying for the Visa is pretty cut and dry. I ended up using a Visa service called VisaHQ. They add a pretty hefty service charge to the order; but I think their system was well-defined and left no room for interpretation or error. Also, they provide tracking numbers and a support line should the process not go smoothly. After I receive the Visa I will complete my paperwork with the ISAF and will then will receive my orders as an accepted member of a media embed.

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