My Favorite Sound in Travel

I've traveled to six continents and have experienced countless overnight flights, where I arrive jet-lagged, my eyes red and tired. But there is one sound that gives me a shot of adrenaline and an exhilarating sense of freedom - my passport being stamped. In the hazy early morning hours, I am let in, free to go, accepted, and allowed to spend a finite amount of time in the destination before I must leave and go home.

The word that comes to mind when I hear the stamp is defiant, which can also describe a stubborn toddler about to throw a tantrum. But there is definitely a resolute defiance in the sound. It is an indelible marking that is now part of my story told in this little book of stamps. It might smudge and it will definitely fade away but no one and nothing can take that stamp, that trip, and those memories away from me.